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Will of General William H. Broadnax.

Clerk's Office, Dinwiddie,

April 29, 1828.

I, Wm. H. Broadnax of the county of Dinwiddie do make the following will and testament:

I desire that there shall be no division of my estate while my wife and children remain unmarried and the latter under age, but that it shall be kept as an aggregate fund during that period, and managed for general support of my wife and children. I wish my children (and whenever I use that term I mean such as I now have or may hereafter be born to me) educated with the greatest attention to their moral and literary improvement, and as good manner as this property may appear to justify. When my wife shall marry (should she choose to do so), if neither of my children should have attained lawful age or married, I wish one-third part of my estate of every description allotted to her for life with remainder to issue as hereafter mentioned. Should my wife have remained single when my first child shall marry or attain to lawful age, I wish that child to receive his or her full portion of my estate on that account, that is an equal portion in regard to all my children (or issue per sterpes) at that time with the exception of my wife's one-third part, and so on in succession as they become of age or marry. If my wife still remains single which will leave one-third part for life for her when the last child shall receive its portion. In which event after the first allotment and until the last I still wish the estate ( except the part or parts allotted off) to be kept together as aforesaid for my wife and remaining child or children. Should my wife marry subsequently to my first, and previously to my last child's marriage or coming of age, I wish my whole estate then finally divided as aforesaid. And on the death of my wife, I devise and bequeath all the property lent her for life to be equally divided among my children (or their issue at the time of my death as per sterpes as the case may be).

Should either of my children die under age without issue I wish the interest of such child in my estate or any property acquired from my estate to go to my then surviving child or children or the then issue (per sterpes) of any that may be dead. I bequeath my gold watch and portrait to my wife and at her death or marriage to my son David. I invest my executors with ample power to manage, sell, or exchange or otherwise dispose of by changing the nature of any part of my estate real or personal as may in the judgement best comport with the interest and comfort of my family. My intention being to obviate as far as possible the inconvenience to which estates are often subjected from the want of authority which would be used by a prudent man, while living the managment of his affairs and having full confidence that in the execution of these discretionary powers the will as far as prudent consult the wishes of my wife. I owe very little except the sum of one thousand dollars to my son David bequeathed to him by my late friend and relation Dr. David Walker, which I wish paid him on his attaining age (but without interest) over and above his proportion of my estate unless he should then be my only son, in which event I wish interest also added from the time I received it. On the other hand a great many debts are due me ( I suppose about fifteen thousand dollars of each. as are solvent), these are in various amounts and different degrees of liquidation and safety. I earnestly recommend to my executors the providence and expediency of proceeding forthwith (by the aid of collection when they cannot in person attend to it) to bond all my fee accounts not paid on application- well knowing the great lapses for which claims for professional services are incident if not speedily closed after the death of the creditor. The policy will. no doubt strike my executors as equally obvious, to collect with all reasonable dispatch all my outstanding particularly the smaller ones, whether bonded or not to avoid the liability to loss and to enable them to accommodate the pecuniary funds of the estate and put it out at interest by investing it in stocks or lending to individuals on good security. Whether the bulk of my estate be sold or not, there are many things which will be of no present use to my family, but become less valuable by being kept, such for instance as my law library and many of my other books which will have to be disposed of and the avails of which mill add to the sum collected from my debts. I recommend to my wife and to my executors- at their discretion to see that the infant 'children of my deceased relative, John B. Broadnax are as comfortably provided for as may be, and if their own little property proves insufficient for the purpose,. I authorize the discretionary donation to each or all of them as may stand in immediate need of such sum or sums not to exceed," in all five hundred dollars, as my executors may think proper. But in conferring this power on my executors I do not mean an absolute bequest-or to vest such right in them, as could be judicially asserted. And lastly I nominate and appoint my friends, John Grammer, Jr., Thomas Withers and my son, David W. Broadnax, when he attains to lawful age, executors of my last will and testament, and guardian to my children, directing that in neither capacity is security to be required .of them, but that a list of my debts and an inventory and appraisement of my estate be made. In conclusion I earnestly request that each of them undertake the trust reposed in them. In testimony whereof I hereto subscribe my name ( the whole being written in my own hand) this 29th day of April one thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight.

Wm. H. Broadnax.

April 16th, 1830--- In the event my executors deeming it advisable to sell the whole part of my estate real and personal instead of keeping it or any part of it together, which I now think will be the most judicious course, particularly as my wife intimates an intention to not to reside on my estate or keep house with any of the slaves, but which sale of the mansion house I do not wish affected contrary to her wish while she remains unmarried. I wish her to have for life as her part of my estate the use of one-third part of all the money of which my estate may then consist, that is the annual interest:- the principal at her death to revert to my estate as within prescribed.

Written with my own hand this last day above,

Wm. H. Broadnax.

Erasures on the second and third pages and above erasure on the. other page and introduction of two new lines made with my own handwriting.

Wm. H. Broadnax.

I, Wm. H. Broadnax on the 3rd day of September, 1834 make the following Codicil all in my own handwriting, to the will I have heretofore made that is to say-- I own and have paid for several slaves which I have loaned on hire to John H. Davis, there are eight or nine, at this time I wish him or his wife, should she survive him, to be allowed to redeem the said slaves by paying to my executors all the original purchase money l paid for them, with legal interest thereon upon the time I respectively at which I paid for them, together with any other sum he may owe me or on other accounts, but the privilege must be availed of us to all or none- that is not to allow such to be redeemed as have. increased in value while others are left to my estate. If however he or she should desire to take only such a part as in the opinion of my executors who alone are to decide on it would render the terms of redemption just, in reference to the whole, they may at their discretion assent to it. I would recommend to my executors to sell all my blooded horses at public auction in Petersburg or Richmond. Some statement in my former will as to my pecuniary circumstances have since been greatly altered by having purchased many thousand dollars worth of property. In doing so I am in doubt now to the amount of which my. account will show to my deceased brothers estate to the legatee's of the Hill's estate as a commissioner (beyond the amount I have deposited in the Virginia Bank of Petersburg to my credit on that account and fifteen thousand dollars which J. Y. Mason Esq. has used of that fund by my consent and is to retain, I having undertaken to settle with all concerned) to Cunningham's Trust Fund and for thirty-four hundred borrowed, but there are, I estimate separate debts due to me to the amount of eight or nine thousand dollars more than all I owe. I repeat my intention to give my executors power to sell any portion or all of my estate real or personal here or in Alabama, should I have acquired any there, as I now anticipate, confident that such a power may become expedient. and will not be indiscreetly executed, I mean also to include the power of purchase any which may be found necessary. Should my wife die or marry before most of my children attain age, I recommend the policy of at once selling Kingston and boarding them out. It is too large for any one of them to own, I recommend to all my children my anxious desire that they should always treat their mother affectionately and respectfully. and if any advice from a father who tenderly, loves them, and has devoted his life to endeavoring to provide for them to the best of his ability could exert influence over them, I beg them to regard me as speaking to them from a grave where I shall be before they read this and earnestly impressing on them, as the most valuable legacy I could leave them. My last and most anxious advice - that-they will endeavor as an object in comparison with which all others are utterly worthless; to "remember their Creator in the days of their youth", and exert themselves to be fitted and prepared for that Heaven where a devoted father here in humble reliance and a Crucified redeemer hopes to be before them, and to be ready to meet them once more.

I desire that no security be required of my executors, as I have the fullest confidence in their integrity.

Subscribed by me this date above mentioned.

Fm. H. Broadnax.

Dinwiddie County, October 20, 1834.

I, Wm. H. .Broadnax do make this further codicil to my will and codicils. I hereby authorize my executors heretofore named to move to the western country all of those slaves which I have designed moving, which slaves are known to them and to purchase those slaves for which I have partially contracted, to be also reserved with their females, which I now own; and to manage them when so removed as they please, either to hire or sell them or to buy land and settle them as they think best.

Given under my hand this 20th day of October 1834. Signed, acknowledged and declared as his last will in the presence of:-

Thomas Whithers, Esq.,                                           
W. H. Clark,
John Grammer, Jr.
Wm. H. Broadnax.

At a Court held for Dinwiddie County on the 15th day of December 1834. These writings purporting to be the last will and testament of Wm. H. Broadnax deceased, and codicils to the same were produced in court by Thomas withers, Jr., and Wm. H. Clark, were sworn and severally deposed that they are well acquainted with the testator's handwriting, and verily believe the writings bearing dates respectively on the 29th of April 1828, the 16th of April 1830 find the 3rd of September 1834, and the name hereto subscribed to be wholly written by the testator's own hand and the writing bearing date the 20th of October 1834 was proved by the oaths of said Thomas Withers and Wm. H. Clark subscribing witnesses to the same, whereupon the said writings are ordered to be recorded as the true last will and testament of the said Wm. Broadnax deceased. And on the motion of said Thomas Withers, Jr. who made oath thereto, and entered into and acknowledged bond in the penalty of one hundred thousand dollars conditioned as the law directs, certificate is granted him for obtaining a probat of the said will in due form.

John Grammar, Jr. another executor named in the will appeared in Court and refused to take upon himself the burden of the executor thereof.

J. P. Crump, C. D. C.

At a Court held for Dinwiddie County, the 15th of July 1844.

On the motion of David W. Broadnax, executor named in the said will, who made oath thereto, and entered into and acknowledged bond in the penalty of one hundred thousand dollars conditioned as the law directs; Certificate is granted him for obtaining probat thereof in due form.


Jno. P. Grump, C. C.

Court Records, Clerk's Office, Dinwiddie County, Dinwiddie, Virginia.
Will Book Vol 1, page 554.

Transcribed and submitted by Nola Duffy

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