Friday, June 29, 2012

A Friend of Friends Friday: The 1825 Will of Col JAMES SANDERS of Caswell County North Carolina

Note: "A Friend of Friends" was a password used on the Underground Railway

Col JAMES SANDERS (aka SAUNDERS) Jr was the son of JAMES SAUNDERS Sr who died May 1776 Orange Co NC and  a sister of GIDEON PATTERSON, likely named ANNE. His father JAMES Sr supposedly married 2nd to CASSANDRA HADEN--although I have never found any records to support this.

GIDEON PATTERSON gave to Col JAMES SANDERS a deed of gift of all his "goods & chattels" in 1788 Caswell Co NC, naming him as nephew.

Col JAMES  and his father JAMES SAUNDERS Sr came from Virginia to what was then Orange Co NC in about 1763, when his father established a grist mill. They also both sat on the jury at the trial of the Regulators in 1768. 

Col JAMES SANDERS represented Orange Co NC in the NC Provincial Congress of 1776. He was also involved in the decision making process when Orange Co was divided, and the establishment of Caswell Co NC.  He fought in the Revolutionary War, as his his three brothers:  THOMAS SAUNDERS,  Capt WILLIAM SAUNDERS and Major RICHARD SAUNDERS.  All three of his brothers moved to Tennessee and died there.

Col JAMES never married, but raised his nephew ROMULUS MITCHELL SAUNDERS, son of Capt WILLIAM SAUNDERS, after WILLIAM's death in 1803 Smith Co TN.  

ROMULUS MITCHELL SAUNDERS became a well-known judge & politician in North Carolina. Several published biographies are available; unfortunately many of them incorrectly list R M SAUNDERS grandparents as "William Sanders & Agnes Adams"--a couple who seemed to have never existed! 

--In the name of God, Amen. I JAMES SANDERS (Sr) of the County of Caswell and state of North Carolina, being of sound mind and memory, but aged and infirm, and being fully possessed of the uncertainty of life, being disposed to devise and bequeath such property as I have acquired in this life, for that purpose I do make and publish this my last will and testament.

1) It is my desire and instruction to my Executors to give me a decent & Christian burial and fully and honorably discharge my debts and just claims which may exist against me at my death.

2) I give and devise to my nephew JAMES SANDERS, son of THOMAS SANDERS, deceased, a tract of land on the Dan River, including the mansion house in which I reside; containing according to a recent survey of James Rainey approximately 820 acres, it being part of the tract of land on which I have myself resided and divided from the land tract...(rest is difficult to read but gives exact location of land).

I also give to the said JAMES SANDERS the following Negroes:  HARRY, SAM, CHUCKER, FRANK & his wife MILLY & their children PATTY, BETTY, NELLY, ALBERT, SETH, MILLY & STEPHEN.  Also a Negro girl named POLLY (rest illegible).

3) I give and devise to my nephew ROMULUS M SANDERS a tract of land on the Dan River commonly called the lower tract, containing according to a late survey of James Rainey 875 acres of land, and separated from the tract given to JAMES SANDERS by the dividing line described in the devise to him, it being all the remainder of the land except what was devised to the said JAMES SANDERS.

I also give the said ROMULUS M SANDERS the following Negroes JAMES and MAGGY his wife, their children WILEY, BETSEY;  KINGSTON and his wife SUCKY and their children EDNEY, ARCHER, DIXON, JESSE,  LABNER and also LABON the son of NANNY.

4) I also bequeath to ROMULUS M SANDERS my old Negroes JOHN, JESSE, MARY, MAGGY and SICILY and also old AMY if she choose to live with him, upon this special condition, and with the special instruction and request, that as they have been faithful servants for me many years, they shall continue to reside during their lifetime on the land.  I have devised that the said R M SANDERS (sees?) that the said Negroes shall be by him taken good care of, and here and hereafter taken care of  and supported, and the better to enable him to do so, and for that purpose, I also give to the said R M SANDERS a negro man EDMOND, a good horse, three good cows & calves, four head of hogs, and a suitable (illegible) quantity of provisions to support them for one year after my decease.

5) I give and bequeath to my nephew ALANSON TRIGG, son of WILLIAM TRIGG Jr (and SARAH SAUNDERS, sister of Col JAMES) the following Negroes  SARAH & her children DANIEL, SILVY, CRECY, BUCK, GEORGE, SAM , SALLY, SETH, PHILL, LETIT.

6) I give and bequeath to my niece MARTHA TRIGG (daughter of THOMAS SANDERS, decd) , wife of ABRAHAM TRIGG:   AGGY & her children EDY, TEMPY, PETER, HENDERSON and a little child just born and not named.

7) I give and bequeath for the separate and exclusive use of BETSY P ATKINSON, wife of THOMAS ATKINSON for and during her natural life DILY & her children MARIA, MAJOR, DICK, MARY, ARCHER & SANDY; and at the death of the said BETSY, I give and bequeath the said negroes & their increase to the children of the said BETSY P ATKINSON who may be living at the time of her death.(Note: ELIZABETH "Betsy" PAYNE SAMUELS was the daughter of JOSIAH SAMUELS & ANN P SANDERS, next section, who was niece of Col JAMES SANDERS). 

8)  I give and bequeath to my brother RICHARD SANDERS and his daughter ANN P SAMUELS for their natural life, for their separate and exclusive use of two negro men LABON and JAMES, sons of old MAGGY; and I hereby authorize the said RICHARD SANDERS to retain the (illegible) of both of them, as he shall think proper so to do and pay the said ANN P SAMUELS annually one half of the value of their hire; or if he shall deem it proper he is authorized to give one of them into the possession of his said daughter, for any part (illegible) of the time aforesaid. And after the death of the said RICHARD and ANN, I hereby give and bequeath the said negroes to JAMES SANDERS, son of RICHARD.

9) I give and bequeath to JAMES SANDERS , son of RICHARD SANDERS,  ISAAC, Old NANCY, and one good bed furniture.

10) I give and bequeath to HARRIET SANDERS, daughter of JAMES SANDERS (note; son of THOMAS SANDERS decd), and wife of Dr NATHANIEL SANDERS;  RACHEL & her children MILLY, JINSY (sp?), ELIZA, DELLANY.  Their increase and whole property I give to the separate and exclusive use of the said HARRIET, for and during her natural life, and at her death, the whole of the said property I give to the issue of the said HARRIET, living at her death. And if she shall have no issue living at her death, then as is their want, I give the said property to the children of LETITIA ALLEN dau of JAMES SANDERS son of THOMAS SANDERS decd; her husband was JOHN ALLEN).

11)  I give and bequeath to my nephew FRANCIS SANDERS son of THOMAS SANDERS decd, PARTHENA and her children ALCY, LEVI (sp?), LYLLA, MOSES and DAVID.

12) I give and bequeath to my niece SALLY MOSELEY, the use of the following negroes during her natural life: RINAR (sp?) and her child WASHINGTON, and after the death of said SALLY, I give and bequeath the said negroes & their increase to her son LUCIEN BROWN, and to her daughter (LOCKEY S BROWN), by her former husband BEDFORD BROWN, which said property shall be equally divided between them. (Note: this niece was SARAH "SALLY" TRIGG, dau of WILLIAM TRIGG Jr & SARAH SAUNDERS; married 1st to BEDFORD BROWN; 2nd to PETER GUERRANT MOSELEY)

13) I give and bequeath to LOCKETT SANDERS (daughter of WILLIAM TRIGG Jr & SARAH SAUNDERS; married her 1st cousin EDWARD T SAUNDERS, son of THOMAS SANDERS, decd) for her separate use the use of the following negroes for her natural life: Old AMY, if she should choose to go with her; young AMY her daughter, MATTHEW, BRANSON & JOHNSON. And after her death, I give the said negroes and their increase to her son EDWARD SANDERS.

14) I give and bequeath to my niece ELIZABETH JONES (daughter of THOMAS SANDERS decd, and wife of WILLIAM JONES II of Buckingham Co VA) during her natural life the following negroes NANCY & her children MARTHA, CHARLOTTE, THOMPSON, & FANNY; and after her death I give the said negroes and their increae to her son THOMAS JONES and her daughter POLLY.

15) I give and bequeath to my nephew WILLIAM TRIGG (son of WILLIAM TRIGG Jr & SARAH SAUNDERS) of Alabama my negroes TOM and STEPNEY.

16) I give and bequeath for the separate and exclusive use of KEZIAH JEFFREYS, wife of THOMAS JEFFREYS for and during her natural life, a small tract of land lying on the waters of little creek, adjoining the land of ARCHIMEDES DONOHO, and supposed to contain about 45 acres; and after her death, I give and devise the same to her children. If she should have no issue, then I give the same tract of land to MILLY WATLINGTON (note: KEZIAH JEFFREYS & MILLY WATLINGTON were the nieces of  Col JAMES SANDERS , the daughters of his sister KEZIAH SANDERS who married THOMAS DONOHO. ARCHIMEDES DONOHO & SANDERS DONOHO were their brothers). 

17) I give and bequeath to my nephew JOSEPH SANDERS son of RICHARD, a Negro woman now in his possession by the name of MARY, and her increase.

18)  I give and bequeath to my nephew JAMES SANDERS, son of THOMAS, all my household & kitchen furniture, except for bed furniture.

19) I give and bequeath to my nephew SANDERS DONOHO (son of KEZIAH SANDERS & THOMAS DONOHO) a negro girl by the name of BETTY, the daughter of RACHEL.

20)  In disposing of my negroes it has been an object with me to give them away in families, to prevent their separation; I do therefore give bequeath & devise  that if any of the negro women I have given to the said legatees mentioned in this my will, should bear children after the date of this my last will and testament, and before my death, then said child & increase shall go to where it's mother has been given.

21) If any of the negroes or their increase which I have given away shall die before my death, I herby give & devise that the legatees to whom the said negroes should have been given shall have of the remaining negroes (illegible portion)

22) It is my will and desire that all of the balance of my estate, of any description be sold to the highest bidder by my Executors, (illegible) from the proceeds my debts shall first be paid, and the balance equally divided between JAMES SANDERS son of THOMAS, ROMULUS M SANDERS, and JAMES SANDERS son of RICHARD. 

And I hereby appoint JAMES SANDERS son of THOMAS and ROMULUS M SANDERS Executors of this my last will & testament.


(Note: not sure why he used "Sr" after his name, when other earlier records show his as "Jr".  And he had no children of his own. Perhaps it was to distinguish himself as the eldest "James Sanders" currently living--there were several with that name)

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2012