A Friend of Friends Friday: African American Slaves Named in the Will of JAMES HARRIS May 27, 1767 Cumberland Co Virginia
Note: "A Friend of Friends" was a password used on the Underground Railway
JAMES HARRIS born about 1702 Henrico Co Virginia, son of THOMAS HARRIS & MARY (some say JEFFERSON, unverified by me), married SARAH BAILEY, the only daughter of THOMAS BAILEY/BAYLEY Sr & PHEBE/PHOEBE HANCOCK, and granddaughter of ROBERT HANCOCK & JOHAN/JOAN LIGON of Lower Norfolk & Henrico Co Virginia.
I am not certain when JAMES HARRIS & SARAH BAILEY moved from Henrico Co Virginia to Cumberland Co Virginia, but SARAH's mother PHEBE/PHOEBE HANCOCK BAILEY married 2nd to NICHOLAS GILES, and they are listed in records of Southam Parish, Cumberland Co Virginia as early as 1748. SARAH's brother WILLIAM BAILEY lived adjacent to his stepfather NICHOLAS GILES during same time period. Another brother, THOMAS BAILEY Jr, lived in Goochland Co Virginia.
CUMBERLAND CO VIRGINIA WILL BK 1, PAGES 328-331
--IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN I, JAMES HARRIS of Cumberland County being sick and weak but of sound and disposing sense and memory do make & ordain this my last will and testament in manner following hereby revoking all former & other wills by me at any time before made. First I desire that all my just debts be paid and discharged by my executors hereafter named
--Item I give & devise to my beloved son THOMAS HARRIS and his heirs forever after the expiration of five years from the date hereof the upper part of the plantation whereon I know live beginning on Amonels line in the woods thence along the said line to a branch thence along the said branch down to the old spring and from the spring to a large forked Black oak just above the bridge from thence up the creek to the mouth of the ditch thence long the said ditch to the river To a White Oak sapling marked a corner including all the land between the said line & Benjamin Harrises line and on the death of his mother or her marrying again I then give my said son THOMAS the rest and residue of my plantation and tract of land whereon I now live including the land I bargained with Jesse Sanders for but have not yet a conveyance for to him my said son THOMAS and his heirs forever but in case a title to the said land bought of Sanders should not be obtained by my son THOMAS or his heirs or afsigns then my will is that the money I was by bargain to give for the same being five hundred pounds be equally divided among my five sons THOMAS, JAMES, JOHN, WILLIAM and FRANCIS & their legal representatives into five parts or portions. I also give my said son THOMAS & his heirs at the expiration of five years from this date two Negroes named ABRAHAM & SUKEY. My Will and intention being that the said two slaves as also the upper part of my land before devised to my said son be held by my executors during the said five years for & towards raising money for the purposes of this my Will & discharge of my legacies but if a sufficient sum for those purposes shall be sooner raised then my said son THOMAS is to be possessed of the said land & slaves so soon as the said sum shall be raised. I also give my said son THOMAS one Negro FRANK on my wife's death or marriage to him & his heirs I also give my son THOMAS two good feather beds and furniture.
--Item I give to my beloved son JAMES HARRIS & his heirs forever my tracts of land in Chesterfield County containing by estimation four hundred & eighty acres be the same more or less with the appurtenances and one Negro named JOE also the sum of one hundred & fifty pounds current money to be laid out by my executors or the survivors of them in their discretion in the purchase of land for him my said son JAMES & his heirs forever I also give my said son James one good feather bed & furniture.
--Item I give to my beloved son JOHN HARRIS and his heirs forever my tract of land in Buckingham County with the appurtenances containing by estimation four hundred & ninety acres be the same more or less & the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds current money to be paid out by my executors or the survivors for them in their discretion in the purchase of land for him my said son JOHN and his heirs forever I also give him my said son JOHNone good feather bed & furniture
--Item I give to my beloved son WILLIAM HARRIS the sum of two hundred & fifty pounds current money to be laid out by my executors or the survivors of them in their discretion at any time in the purchase of land for my said son WILLIAM & his heirs forever. I also give my said son WILLIAM one good featherbed and furniture.
--Item I give to my beloved son FRANCIS HARRIS two hundred & fifty pounds current money to be paid out of my executors or the survivors of them in their discretion at any time in the purchase of land for my son FRANCIS and his heirs forever I also give him one good feather bed & furniture
--Item I give my beloved daughter PHEBE FARRAR one Negro girl named JUDE which she has now in possession with the said Negro's future increase to her my said daughter & her heirs also the sum of two hundred pounds cash to her and her legal representatives.
--Item I give to my beloved daughter MARY HARRIS one Negro girl named ANAKY with her future increase to her my said daughter & her heirs also two hundred pounds cash and one good featherbed & furniture to my said daughter MARY & her legal representatives But if my said Daughter MARY should die before she attains the age of twenty one years or married then my desire & will is that the said Negro girl named ANAKY given to her be given to my son THOMAS & to his heirs and the two hundred pounds given to her be equally divided into four parts between my four youngest sons JAMES, JOHN, WILLIAM and FRANCIS or their legal representatives and the bed given to her to be given to my wife.
--My will and desire is that if either of my four youngest sons JAMES, JOHN, WILLIAM, and FRANCIS should die before they attain to the age of twenty one years or marries that then their legacies or portions should be equally divided amongst the survivors or their legal representatives.
--My will & desire further is that the fifteen slaves following namely BOB, CEASAR, SAM, AMY, PEG, NELL, JAMTON, HANNAH, NANNY, JANE, POMPY, SIMON, SAM, HARRY & MARIA & also the lands in Buckingham & Chesterfield above devised to my sons JAMES & JOHN be held & kept by my executors for the space of six years for & towards raising money for the discharge of my legacies & other purposes aforesaid then the said lands in Chesterfield & Buckingham shall be delivered up to the persons respectively instilled these to & the said fifteen slaves last mentioned & their increase divided into four equal parts or portions and one of such parts or portions to go to & be vested in each of my four youngest sons JAMES, JOHN, WILLIAM & FRANCIS and their heirs respectively.
--Item my will and desire is that my beloved wife SARAH hold & enjoy the lower part of my tract of land whereon I now dwell from the line before mentioned for my son THOMAS boundary and including the land bought of Sanders as aforesaid during her widowhood with full power to cut clear & work in case possession of the said land bought of Sanders as aforesaid shall be recovered from her then I desire that the line mentioned for a boundary between her and my son THOMAS as aforesaid may be removed to the middle of the land then remaining I also give my said wife the use of the nine slave following namely BRESSOL, HANNAH, JACK, DOLL, JANE, FRANK, WILL, PONT, & BETSY with their future increase during her widowhood, but on the death or marriage of my said wife then my desire is that such of the said Slaves as are not other wise hereby disposed of & their future increase maybe divided into five equal parts or portions & one of such parts or portions I give & devise to each of my aforesaid five sons & their heirs respectively and all the rest of my estate of what kind whoever not hereby otherwise disposed of I desire may be kept together by my wife during her widowhood for the better support education & maintenance of my children & on her death or marriage to be equally divided among my five sons before mentioned after the money I have hereby disposed of is raised, to my said sons & their respective heirs forever
--My will & meaning further is that all or nay of the several sums of money above directed to be laid out in the purchase of land for my four younger sons shall be laid out at any time by my executors or the survivors of them as they shall think proper or can find convenient purchases to be made & that whatever purchase or purchases they shall accordingly make shall be valid & binding on such of my said sons & their heirs for whom the same shall be so made & be accounted a sufficient laying out of the money intended given or intended for such purchase or purchases respectively.
--My will & intention also is the the particular pecuniary legacies give to my children or any of them shall not be demandable to my executors until a sufficient sum be raised for discharging the whole Tho my executors are left at liberty sooner to pay any one or more of the said legacies or part thereof if they judge it necessary or convenient so to do & more especially with respect to the sums directed to be laid out in the purchase of lands. Lastly I do appoint my wife my son THOMAS my brothers BENJAMIN HARRIS & WILLIAM HARRIS & my friend SAMUEL FLOURNOY executors of this my will desiring that my estate may not be appraised and declaring that the estate hereby given or lent to my wife is intended in lieu of & satisfaction for her dower in my estate IN WITNESS whereof I have set my hand & affixed my seal t this will written in six pages this twenty seventh day of May anno domini one thousand seven hundred and sixty seven Signed Sealed Published & declared In presence of the subscribers who In the testators presence & at his Request subscribe as witness JAMES HARRIS (S.S.) John Vilain Tho Smith John Bransford junr George Smith At a Court held for Cumberland County the 27th day of July 1767 This last will and testament of James Harris deceased was proved by the oaths of John La’Villain Thomas Smith & George Smith three of the witnefese thereto and by the court ordered to be recorded and on the motion of Benjamin Harris William Harris & Samuel Flournoy three of the executors therein named who made oath according to law certificate is granted them for obtaining probate thereof in due form giving security Whereupon they together with Thomas Smith & Anthony Martin their securities entered into bond with condition according tolan and liberty is reserved to Sarah Harris executrix and Thomas Harris another executor therein named to join in probate