WILL OF BENJAMIN BRITTON
State of South Carolina
In the name of God, Amen, I BENJAMIN BRITTON, planter, of the district of Williamsburg and State aforesaid being of sound disposing mind and memory do make and declare this my last Will and Testament in manner & form following to wit - Item 1st . I give devise and bequeath unto my beloved wife SARAH GRIER BRITTON the following named twelve Negroes viz, Phill. Judy. Lilla. Sam. Isaac. John. Hanna. Flora. Rose. Dial. Jinney and Jessey with the future issue and increase of the females, also one fourth of my household and kitchen furniture, my riding chair, her choice of one horse, eight cows and calves, and one thousand dollars in cash or good bonds or notes.
Item 2 I give devise and bequeath unto my said wife SARAH GRIER BRITTON whilst she remains my widow a joint use with my children of the house and plantation where we now reside, provided she pays a part of the annual expense incurred by keeping up said plantation, agreeable to the number of hands she may work thereon.
Item 3rd I give and devise and bequeath unto my wife SARAH GRIER BRITTON my Baxter tract of land situate lying and being on the Poplar Hill originally granted to Thomas Wright on the seventeenth day of April and in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and thirty six containing five hundred acres said tract is at present bounded north by land belonging to John Gordon and on all three sides by my own lands, also I give her all that part or portion of an adjoining tract (originally granted to William Hort as containing one thousand acres) lying on the east side of said swamp, nevertheless it is my will and desire that if my said wife (or her heirs) should ever wish to sell said lands or parcel of lands herein given to her it shall be appraised or valued by disinterested persons and my executor to purchase the same for the benefit of my children or refuse as they may think most conducive to the interest of my estate, but nothing herein mentioned or said is intended as a prohibition to my wife selling said lands to whomever she may think proper in event that my executors refuse or think proper not to purchase the various bequests herein given my wife is in express condition that she claim no dower of my landed estate but in the event of my wife claiming her dower of my lands it is my desire that the said legacies herein given her shall be considered a part of my estate and shall be disposed of as I shall herein after dispose of the rest and residue of the same.
Item 4 I give devise and bequeath unto ELEANOR N. BRITTON wife of STEPHEN BRITTON, three hundred dollars $300.00
Item 5 I give devise and bequeath unto BENJAMIN BRITTON LITCHFIELD the sum of one hundred dollars $100.00
Item 6 I give devise and bequeath unto my children the following named fifteen Negroes viz: Jennet, Paddy, Crissy, Sally, Elvira, Nelly, Fortune, Tom, Rosetta, Decalb, Ned, Henry, Arvenia, Venus, and Mary with the future issue and increase of the females for and during the term of their natural lives, and at their death, to the lawful issue of their bodies. If either of my children die leaving no lawful issue, begotten of their bodies, I give devise and bequeath the part or portion of the child so dying to the survivors or their children, in case any of these should have previously died, leaving children who may be surviving at the time in question, such child or children I wish to inherit such part or portion as their parent or parents would have been entitled to if alive.
Item 7. I give devise and bequeath all the rest residue and remainder of my estate both real and personal to my children, share and share alike to them their heirs and assigns forever.
Lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint my friends DAVID D. WILSON, JOSEPH W. McCUTCHEN, SAMUEL I. SNOWDEN, STEPHEN BRITTON, and JOHN B. PRESLEY executors to this my last will and testament hereby revoking all former wills heretofore made by me or for me at my request. I do hereby give my executors or either of them full power to execute this my will and also full power and authority to call in three freeholders to assist to appraise and divide my estate as my children arrive to the age of twenty years or marry, without petitioning any court of law or equity for a division, and such division made by any one or more of them shall be as binding on my heirs as if it had been made by the authority of a court. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twelfth day of Nov. and in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty eight.
Signed sealed and delivered by the above named BENJAMIN BRITTON as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses.
JOHN F.D. BRITTON
ROBERT H. WILSON
Addition to the above will dated same day
Whereas, by the first clause of bequest in my said will, it is among other things directed that my wife SARAH GRIER BRITTON shall have one fourth of my household & kitchen furniture & my riding chair. Now be it known that it is my will and intention & I hereby so direct that my said wife shall have my entire household & kitchen furniture, and the use and benefit of said riding chair, or any other carriages or vehicle on my plantation which may contribute to her comfort and convenience. And whereas by the sixth clause item or clause of bequest in my said will fifteen certain Negroes therein named are to my children with certain limitations and restrictions therein declared - now be it known, that to the Negroes named the following are added to wit: Melissa, Charles, and Jackson, under the same restrictions, for the same purpose and subject to the same limitations, as expressed and directed in reference to the fifteen Negroes in said sixth clause named. And whereas, after specific legacies named and set forth in my said will, bearing date as aforesaid, the rest & residue of my estate is by the 7th clause of said will distributed equally among my children - now by way of explaining to and directing my executors in the premises, it is hereby declared as my wish & desire that so much of my stock of cattle as may be necessary to the convenience, use and comfort of my plantation be kept for the use & benefit of my plantation, and the remainder be permitted to remain as it has been my habit to do, among poor persons who have had their use for the care bestowed in their management. This arrangement to continue so long as is the direction of my executors it may not prejudice the value & well being of my said stock. Said stock to be distributed ultimately as the "rest and residue" of my estate is directed to be disposed of & distributed in the seventh of my will aforesaid, my other stock, consisting of sheep, hogs are to be kept for the general use and benefit of my plantation. Signed: BENJAMIN BRITTON
JOHN F.D. BRITTON
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