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Submitted by Penny F. Maynard; edited by Cheri Todd Molter

See the story of Jesse Harris at this link: Jesse-Harris

From Microfilm at North Carolina State Archives (WB – A /171)

The following is a transcription of his will:

Will of Jesse C. Harris 1863 Caldwell County, NC

State of North Carolina, Caldwell County September the Eighth in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Eight hundred and sixty three.

I, Jesse C Harris of the State and County aforesaid do seal myself to write my last will and testament. Thanks be to God for his blessings, that he has permitted me to be in sound mind and memory at this time Glory be given to his name for it Amen

First I will my Spirit to God who gave it

Second: That I may be buried [decently] and all my just debt paid.

3 That my beloved wife Phatima Harris and all my little children shall stay here on my land and keep all my property of all kind, and notes and money and try to do the best they can to live with it

4th my beloved wife shall have free use of all my land during her lifetime or widowhood. If she marries, my lands and property shall go to my children, I will waive only Cathrine, her black girl she shall have to wait on her her lifetime and then she shall go to my children at her decease, and increase, if any.

5th I give all my land to my four sons to wit Jacob M. Harris 2 Miniard P Harris 3 Jesse F Harris 4 J B Gruder Harris. to be equally divided between and for them to live on it and not sell it and to look at my will and remember it when they grow up and if they will sell it let one of them buy from the other and pay him what it is worth, my sons try to keep it and don’t let no man come in here but yourselves.

6th my four daughters shall each one of them have one little Negro in place of the land which the boys has got which is Fanny E Harris, 2 Sally D Harris 3 Emma P Harris 4 not named and if Lincoln comes and sets the Negroes free or they get stolen or runaway, the boys if they hold the land, they shall pay their sisters two hundred dollars each one for their part of the land, and if my little daughters never marry they shall stay here on my land and have it for a home their lifetime and the boys shall see to them and pay them one hundred dollars each if the Negroes is gone for their part of the land and let them stay for they have got a home. After the four little girls gots their little Negro, the balance of the Negroes shall stay here with my wife and four sons, on my land and help them work as long as their mother lives and there to be lotted off Equal between my four sons and four daughters by giving my four sons one hundred dollars each out of these last Negroes for raising their increase if any, and if the negros gets contrary and will not obey my wife and two sons, who I have or will appoint as my executors, they may hire them out for a while, and then bring them home and if they will not obey then hire them out till they will and if Phatima dies and my sons cant see to them some just man must see to them till Jacob or Miniard can take it in hand and execute my will and let the Negroes be lotted off when my last little daughter without a name comes of age. My will is that my four sons and four daughters shall have a good education out of my estate. My will is that Justice be done. I leave your mother with you to see to you, I hope she will give you all a good start to live alike when you leave her if she can that is Jacob M Harris Miniard P Harris Jesse F Harris J B McGruder Harris, Fanny E Harris, Sally D Harris Emma P Harris, our not named, and I hereby make and ordain my worthy wife Phatima Harris and my two oldest sons Jacob M Harris and Miniard P Harris Executors of this my last will and testament, In witness whereof, I Jesse C Harris have to this my last will and testament have set my hand and seal, The day and year above written.

Signed and sealed in the presence of us Jesse C Harris (seal)

Witness Joseph Corpening JuratA T Littlejohn Jurat
Date: 8 Sept 1863
Place: Caldwell County, NC
Description: Last will and testament of Jesse C Harris

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