Elbert County Georgia
Genl Wiley Thompson’s
Last Will and Testament

~ A Copy, 16 May 1836 ~

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Stampless folded letter sheet.
Circular black postmark:
       ELBERTON Ga. May 20
Manuscript rate:
       Col Nathan L. Hutchins
       Lawrence Ville
       Gwinnett County
       W. Thompson Will
       Isaac N. Davis

Elberton postmark.
(folded letter sheet front)
Elberton May 16th 1836
Col N Hutchins
DrSir I have been absent from home for a few days when I arrived today I was informed that you & my self were both exam of Genl. Thompsons will. The Courts of ordinary for this county was in session when I reached home. I went immediately to Mrs Thompson & examed the will thinking it might be necessary for me to qualify today but I find no such necessity. I have there suspended it untill you are present. I send you anexed a copy of his will that you may know its contents & look at the law connected with some of its Items.
My impression on that the Will will not be permitted to record. I mean that part of it which goes to Manumit his negroes, I do not give this as my opinion, but the Court will so decide for I have not yet examined the Statute. Will you look at the Law & -- Confer with some of the older members of the profession & bring with you all the information necessary -- the Court will meet in July. Come down some few days previous.
Copy of the Will
State of Georgia }
Elbert County }
Be it known that I Wily Thompson of the State and County aforesaid in perfect health mind and memory do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament.
1st. I will that my just debts & last charges be paid.
2d. I will that my Wife Elizabeth Thompson hold possession and enjoy all my estate both real & personal for and during her natural life, my estate both real & personal to be so managed by my Execs an to render my wife Comfortable and easy as to accommodate as large a Capatal in money as possible to be disposed of by my Execs at the Decease of my wife as I here after direct.
3.dy. I will that at the Decease of my wife my slaves with their increase be several & collectively manumitted & free.
4.th. I will that my Execs Sell the resadue of my Estate both real & personal at such time as in their Judgement will be most Conducive to the intent of the Estate & accomplishment of my wishes relation to the Comfort and happiness of my Slaves & that the money be equally divided among such of my Slaves as then may be in existence Share and Share alike.
5. I request my Exec to aid my slaves in the accomplishment of this Emancipation by offering them advice & Continuance especially in their imigration Should Circumstances make it necessary to some Section of the U.S. or of the World when unmolested they may enjoy the rights of Freemen.
6. I nominate Col Nathan L. Hutchins & Majr Isaac N. Davis Exec to & of this my Last Will & Testament hereby revoking any & all Wills by me heretofore made pr This my LW & T
dated 1833
By reading the Statutes of Georgia you will perceive the difficulty if any.
Write me on the receipt of this.
Your Obed Servt
Isaac N Davis.

1. This letter copy of Genl Thompson’s will was written in a very fast hand and was not intended for presentation in court. This copy contains spelling errors and a few omitted words. Presumably the original will was more correct.
2. Wiley Thompson, 1781-1835, “ ...a Representative from Georgia; born in Amelia County, Va., September 23, 1781; moved to Elberton, Elbert County, Ga.; served as a commissioner of the Elbert County Academy in 1808; served in the State senate 1817-1819; was appointed major general of the Fourth Division of the Georgia Militia in November 1817 and served until November 1824, when he resigned; elected to the Seventeenth through Nineteenth Congresses and elected as a Jacksonian to the Twentieth through Twenty-second Congresses (March 4, 1821-March 3, 1833); was a delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1833; agent to Seminole Indians; appointed in 1834 to superintend the removal of Seminoles from Florida; killed by band of Seminoles led by Osceola at Fort King, Fla., on December 28, 1835; interment in the private burial ground on his estate at Elberton, Ga.”
Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
3. “... Four years after his death [Willian Cannon Muldrow] his widow married Isaac N. Davis, a native of Elbert County, Ga., and a gentleman who stood high in state affairs. He was a state elector on several occasions, served a number of years as state senator and was an orator of great eloquence at one time. He was educated for the legal profession, but followed agricultural pursuits the principal part of his days. He was a Whig politically, but after his marriage with Mrs. Muldrow he changed to the democracy. Mr. Davis died on the 26th of June 1860, and his widow survived him eight years, her death occurring on the 6th of June, 1868...”
Source: Goodspeed’s Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi, Vol., II, p. 481, 1891

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