Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

the uncertain provision to be made by individuals. And to my Mulatto man, William, calling himself William Lee, I give immediate freedom, or if he should prefer it, (on account of the accidents which have befallen him, and which have rendered him incapable of walking, or of any active employment) to remain in the situation he now is, it shall be optional in him to do so; in either case, however, I allow him an annuity of thirty dollars, during his natural life, which shall be inde. pendent of the victuals and clothes he has been accustomed to receive, if he chooses the last alternative ; but in full with his freedom, if he prefers the first; and this I give him, as a testimony of my sense of his attachment to me, and for his faithful services during the revolutionary war.

Item.--To the trustees (governors, or by whatsoever other name they may be designated) of the academy, in the town of Alexandria, I give and bequeath, in trust, four thousand dollars, or in other words, twenty of the shares which I hold in the bank of Alexandria, towards the support of a Free School, established at, and annexed to, the said Academy, for the purpose of educating such orphan children, or the children of such other poor and indigent persons, as are unable to accomplish it with their own means; and who, in the judgment of the trustees of the said seminary, are best entitled to the benefit of this donation. The aforesaid twenty shares I give and bequeath in perpetuity; the dividends only of which are to be drawn for, and applied by the said trustees, for the time being, for the uses abovementioned; the stock to remain entire and untouched, unless indications of failure of the said bank should be apparent, or a discontinuance thereof, should render a removal of this fund necessary. In either of these cases, the amount of the stock here devised is to be vested in some other bank, or public institution, whereby the interest may with regularity and certainty be drawn and applied as above: and, to prevent misconception, my meaning is, and is hereby declared to be, that these twenty shares are in lieu of, and not in addition to, the thousand pounds given by a missive letter some years ago ;

in

consequence whereof, an annuity of fifty pounds has since been paid towards the support of this institution.

Item.Whereas by a law of the commonwealth of Virginia, enacted in the year 1785, the Legislature thereof, was pleased, as an evidence of its approbation, of the services I had rendered the public during the revolution, and partly I believe, in consideration of my having suggested the vast advantages which the community would derive from the extension of its inland navigation under Legislative patronage, to present me with one hundred shares, of one hundred dollars each, in the incorporated company, established for the purpose of extending the navigation of James's River, from the tide water to the mountains; and also with fifty shares of 1001. sterling each, in the corporation of another company likewise established for the similar purpose of opening the navigation of the river Potowmack, from the tide water to Fort Cumberland ; the acceptance of which, although the offer was highly honourable and grateful to my feelings, was refused, as inconsistent with a principle which I had adopted, and had never departed from, viz, not to receive pecuniary compensation for any services I could render my country in its arduous struggle with Great Britain for its rights; and because I had evaded similar propositions from other states in the union. Adding to this refusal, however, an intimation that, if it should be the pleasure of the legislature, to permit me to appropriate the said shares to public uses, I would receive them on those terms with due sensibility; and this it having consented to, in flattering terms, as will appear by a subsequent law, and sundry resolutions, in the most ample and honourable manner, I proceed, after this recital, for the more correct understanding of the case, to declare-That as it has always been a source of serious regret with me, to see the youth of these United States sent to foreign countries for the purpose of education, often before their minds. were formed, or they had imbibed any adequate ideas of the happiness of their own; contracting too frequently, not only habits of dissipation and extravagance, but principles unfriendly

to republican government, and to the true and genuine liberties of mankind; which thereafter are rarely overcome. For these reasons it has been my ardent wish, to see a plan devised on a liberal scale, which would have a tendency to spread systematic ideas through all parts of this rising empire, thereby to do away local attachments and state prejudices, as far as the nature of things would, or indeed ought to admit, from our National Councils. Looking anxiously forward to the accomplishment of so desirable an object as this is (in my estimation) my mind has not been able to contemplate any plan more likely to effect the measures than the establishment of an University in a central part of the United States, to which the youths of fortune and talents from all parts thereof, may be sent for the completion of their education, in all the branches of polite literature; in arts and sciences, in acquiring knowledge in the principles of politics and good government, and, (as a matter of infinite importance in my judgment) by associating with each other, and forming friendships in juvenile years, be enabled to free themselves, in a proper degree, from those local prejudices and habitual jealousies which have just been mentioned; and which, when carried to excess, are never failing sources of disquietude to the public mind, and pregnant of mischievous consequences to this country, under these impressions, so fully dilated.

Item. I give and bequeath in perpetuity, the fifty shares which'I hold in the Potowmack company (under the aforesaid acts of the Legislature of Virginia) towards the endowment of an University, to be established within the limits of the district of Columbia, under the auspices of the general government, if that government should incline to extend a fostering hand towards it; and until such seminary is established, and the funds arising on these shares shall be required for its support, my further' will and desire is that the profit accruing therefrom, shall, whenever the dividends are made, be laid out in purchasing stock in the bank of Columbia, or some other bank, at the discretion of my executors, or by the trea

[ocr errors]

surer of the United States for the time being, under the direction of Congress, provided that honourable body should patronize the measure ; and the dividends proceeding from the purchase of such stock, is to be vested in more stock, and so on, until a sum, adequate to the accomplishment of the object is obtained; of which I have not the smallest doubt be. fore many years pass away, even if no aid or encouragement is given by the legislative authority, or from any other source.

Item.--The hundred shares which I hold in James River Company, I have given, and now confirm in perpetuity, to and for the use and benefit of Liberty Hall Academy, in the county of Rockbridge, in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Item.--I release, exonerate and discharge the estate of my deceased brother Samuel Washington, from the payment of the money

which is due to me for the land I sold to Philip Pendleton (lying in the county of Berkley) who assigned the same to him, the said Samuel, who by agreement, was to pay me therefor : And whereas, by some contract, (the purport of which was never communicated to me) between the said Samuel and his son, Thornton Washington, the latter became possessed of the aforesaid land, without any conveyance have ing passed from me, either to the said Pendleton, the said Samuel, or the said Thornton, and without any consideration having been made, by which neglect neither the legal por equitable title has been alienated; it rests therefore with me to declare my intentions concerning the premises ; and these are to give and bequeath the said land to whomsoever the said Thornton Washington (who is also dead) devised the same, or to his heirs for ever, if he died intestate, exonerating the estate of the said Thornton, equally with that of the said Samuel, from payment of the purchase money, which, with interest, agreeably to the original contract with the said Pendleton, would amount to more than a thousand pounds: And whereas, two other sons of my said deceased brother Samuel, namely, George Steptoe Washington, and Lawrence Augustine Wasb

N N

ington, were, by the decease of those to whose care they were committed, brought under my protection, and in consequence, have occasioned advances on my part, for their education at college, and other schools, for their board, clothing, and other incidental expences, to the amount of near five thousand dollars, over and above the sums furnished by their estates, which sum it may be inconvenient for them or their father's estate to refund--I do for these reasons acquit them and the said estate from the payment thereof-my intention being that all accounts between them and me, and their father's estate and me, shall stand balanced.

Item. The balance due to me froin the estate of Bartholomew Dandrige, deceased, (my wife's brother) and which amounted on the first day of October, 1795, to four hundred and twenty five pounds, (as will appear by an account rendered by his deceased son John Dandridge, who was the acting exe.. cutor of his father's will), I release and acquit from the payment thereof—and the negroes (then thirty three in number, formerly belonging to the said estate, who were taken in execution, sold and purchased in on my account, in the year (blank) and ever since have remained in the possession, and to the use of Mary, widow of the said Bartholomew Dandridge, with their increase, it is my will and desire shall continue and be in her possession, without paying hire, or making compensation for the same, for the time past or to come, during her natural life; at the expiration of which, I direct that all of them who are forty years old and upwards shall receive their freedom ; and all under that age, and above sixteen, shall serve seven years and no longer; and all under sixteen years shall serve until they are twenty five years of age, and then be free and to avoid disputes respecting the ages of any of these negroes, they are to be taken into the court of the county in which they reside, and the judgment thereof, in this relation, shall be final, and record thereof made, which may be adduced as evidence at any time thereafter, if disputes should arise conserning the same-And I further direct that the heirs of the

« EdellinenJatka »