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The Will of John G. Wilhite

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Madison, Georgia, United Statesmap
Surnames/tags: Wilhite Slavery black_heritage
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The Slaves of John G. Wilhite

The Transcribed Will of John G. Wilhite

John’s success in acquiring lands is evidenced by his will:

“In the name of God Amen — I, John Wilhite of the County of Madison and State of Georgia being weak and feeble in body but of sound and disposing mind and memory, blessed be God, do make, ordain and publish this my last will and Testament in the manner and form following (viz) —

First — It is my will and desire that after my death all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid—

Second — And whereas I am now possessed of several tracts of land (to wit) One tract in Madison County in said state on North Broad River whereon I now reside containing seven hundred acres more or less. One tract in Jackson County on the waters of Parks Creek containing six hundred and eighty acres more or less. One Lot number three hundred and ninety in the Eighth District of originally Wilkinson but now Telfair County containing two hundred two and half acres. One lot number Three hundred and fifty in the second District of originally Early now Baker County containing two hundred and fifty acres. One Lot number one hundred and forty seven in the thirteenth District at the time of survey in Cherokee County containing Forty acres and divers personal property as Negroes, Carriage, waggons, carts, Stock, plantation tools, Household and Kitchen Furniture, &c &c —

Third — And whereas I have heretofore loaned to my eldest daughter Lucy P. Wilhite now deceased, who intermarried with Meshack T. Wilhite[2] certain property (to wit) One Negro woman named Rachel, one Negro Girl named Mary and one Negro Girl named Martha together with Lands, Rents and other property of value which said property so Loaned was intended by me to be for the use of my said daughter during her natural life and at her death to go to and become the property of the lawful heirs of her body and my said Daughter Lucy P. Wilhite having departed this Life having Children, it is my will and desire that the Children of my said Daughter Lucy P. Wilhite deceased (to wit) Susan,[3] Jane,[4] Philip and Elizabeth Wilhite[5] should now have and enjoy the property so loaned by me to their Mother to be equally divided between them share and share alike, which together with fifty dollars worth of Property which I hereby direct my Executors hereinafter named to give to each of my said Grand Children whenever they shall respectively marry or become of age, which is all the share or interest they are to have in my Estate, deeming the portion so advanced to be equal or greater than a proportionate share.

Fourth — My will and desire further is that after my death my beloved wife Lucy Wilhite shall have the privilege of choosing or selecting either my plantation in Madison County or the one in Jackson County for the then future residence of herself and family which Tract of Land so chosen or selected I will and and desire shall be and remain in the possession of my wife Lucy Wilhite together with all my Negroes and other property during the Life or widowhood of my said Wife Lucy with the expectation and for the uses hereinafter expressed —

Fifth — The plantation and property above directed to remain in the care and possession of my wife Lucy for the comfortable support of herself, the raising, maintenance and education of my younger children as they shall respectively Marry or become of age as hereinafter named and for the raising and educating of my three youngest sons no charge or deduction out of their parts is to be made for the same —

Sixth — My will and desire is that when any one of my Children shall marry or become of age they shall be allowed to receive one Negro to be taken from the following list (to wit) Sarah, Tiller, Jenny, Dilcy or Lucy or such other Negro of like quality as shall be agreed on by such child and my wife Lucy or such other persons as shall then have the care of my Estate, such Child also to receive one negro child of the age of two or three years to be pointed out by my wife and also one good Feather Bed and furniture – the negroes and bed to be valued and a receipt given by such child as so much received of their share as a final division —

Seventh — It is my will and desire that my Sons have and enjoy all of my Lands to be equally divided between them and my Executors hereinafter named are hereby authorized to sale and dispose of all or any part thereof (except the tract which my wife shall select) whenever they may think the most advantageous for all concerned. Should all or any part of Lands be sold before all my sons become of age the share of such as are under age to be loaned out for the benefit of such son or sons untill they become of age.

Eighth — My will and desire is that my two daughters Elizabeth Jane Wilhite and Martha Pope Wilhite in lieu of any shares in my Lands shall each receive a small Negro at the age of two or three years at a final division of my Estate.

Ninth — I have loaned to my son Turner M. Wilhite the following Negroes (to wit) Letty, Savan and Jack. I hereby appoint my wife Lucy Wilhite and my sons John M. Wilhite and Jesse G. Wilhite Trustees to take care of and manage the property that I have to their care for the comfort and support of my son Turner M. and his children — at my death I desire that the trustees above named shall take into their possession the Negroes above named and with all their future increase and whatever money from time to time may be raised from the sale of Land or other property falling to his share from my Estate the said Trustees to have full and complete authority over it and hire and loan out the same and from time to time appropriate such part thereof as they shall see necessary for the support of the said Turner M. and his family during his life. At the death of the said Turner M. Wilhite whatever may remain in the hands of the said Trustees as the share of the said Turner M. out of my Estate then to be equally divided among the Lawful begotten children of the said Turner M. Wilhite — the Negroes above named to be all the share which the said Turner M. as the Trustees above named on his account are to have in my Negro property —

Tenth — If my wife Lucy should marry again before my children are all of age and a division taken place, I will that she have a child’s part of my Estate during her Life (my personal Estate) and at her death to be equally divided amongst all my children or their heirs and she to have her Dower in that Tract of Land which she may have before chosen for her residence —

Eleventh — In case of the death or marriage of my wife before all the Children become of age then my other Executors to take my Estate out of her hands and manage untill all my children become of age and a final division is made and in case my wife should not marry again at a final division she is to have a share equal to a child’s part —

Twelfth — I direct that as my three youngest sons grow up they each have given them out of my Estate one common good horse saddle and bridle without any charge being made against them as my eldest Boys have already had the same —

Thirteenth — The standard of valuation to be put on property of my Estate as the Children shall receive it is to be uniform. Those Children receiving their portion last not to be charged higher or lower for property of like quality than the first —

Fourteenth — I desire that what ever money is made from the crops yearly or sale of property over what is necessary for the support of the family and education of the Children should be kept out at interest so that my youngest children may receive their full share of what money and interest my Estate may gain--

Fifteenth — Whenever more stock shall accumulate on the plantation than is necessary or it should be desired to sell carriage waggons or other implements or Furniture or surplus crops it is my desire that the same may be without the necessity of a public sale, but my Executrix and Executors may dispose of the same privately in such sales to be principally governed by my wife Lucy’s direction not to sell what she wishes to be kept for the use of the farm or Family —

Sixteenth — I hereby nominate my Loving Wife Lucy Wilhite Executrix, my sons John M. Wilhite, Jesse G. Wilhite and William M. Wilhite and my Friend Berry M. David[6] Executors to this my last will and testament, and request that my sons will aid and assist their Mother in managing and settling up my Estate without making any charge for the same, and that my friend Berry M. David be allowed a reasonable compensation for all his care and trouble in the same —

Seventeenth — I desire that my Wife Lucy keep my Negro man Coleman and my Negro Woman Polly in the stock of Negros untill a final division and then take them at a fair valuation as a part of her share in my negro property ---

Eighteenth --- Finally I hereby revoke and set aside and declare null and void all former wills and testaments by me made.

In testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal this tenth day of August 1838. ……………………………………….John Wilhite (Seal)”

By the end of his life John had amassed a veritable fortune by the standards of northeastern Georgia in 1840 – including 48 slaves – as the detailed inventory of the sale of his personal belongings evidences:[7]

“An Inventory and Sale bill of part of the persihable estate of John Wilhite dec’d sold on the 13th day of November Eighteen hundred and forty on a twelve months’ credit (to wit) [Purchaser] [John’s Property] [Price] Funney Hammonds 1 Lot of Plows 62½ T. W. Filts 1 [lot of plows] .50 F. W. Hammond 1 [lot of plows] 37½ W. C. Head 1 Swingletree 37½ F.W. Hammonds 1 Grubbing Hoe 43¾ Jacob Eberhart Plows & Stocks 31¼

[plows & stocks] 31¼

Lot of Irons 37½ Robert Eberhart Lot of Gin Irons 56¼ W.C. Head Three plains & irons .25 M.G. Dyer Three Augers & Chisels .25

One adds .25 Jacob Eberhart Spade 56¼ Wm Cunningham Brace & bills 37½ Jesse G. Wilhite Scythe and Irons 1.60

One chest .06¼ Sebron Sanders [pair] Plow Gear[s] 93¾ M.C. Dyer [pair plow gears] 18¾ Jesse G. Wilhite Lot of cart wheels 1.50

[lot of cart] Irons .25 Jacob Eberhart [lot of] wheels .75 F.M. Hammonds ox cart 20.00 Jesse G. Wilhite [ox cart] 7.25

Large Pot 62½ John Vaper Road waggon 40.06¼ M.C. Dyer Bee Hive 6.25 A. Deadwilder Gray Horse 5.93¾ Wm Cunningham Black Sow & 2 Pigs 5.00

Six first choice Shoats 10.50 Jno. G. Deadwilder Five 2nd [choice shoats] 7.43¾ Wm Cunningham Sandy Sow & three Pigs 3.12½ George Butler White [sow & three pigs] 6.00 Jesse G. Wilhite Yellow Steer 3.12½ S. Swindals 1 [illegible] Cow & Calf 5.75 A. Deadwilder 1 Black Bull 5.06¼ J.G. Wilhite One black white faced Cow 7.06¼ Jas. Lacere 1 Red Cow & Calf 5.06¼ J.G. Wilhite 1 Cow & Calf 7.06¼ Sebron Sanders 1 Red Heifer 5.00 Jesse G. Wilhite 1 [red heifer] 7.06¼ L. Swinale 1 Small Bull 1.25

1 White Heifer 2.56¼

1 [illegible] 2.75 Jesse G. Wilhite 1 Yoke Oxen 31.50 John Vaper 10 Geese [@3 2¢ each] 3.20

10 [geese @ 30¢ each] 3.00

13 [geese @ 36¢ each] 4.68¾ F.W. Hammonds 1 Clock Case 6.50 M. Breadwell 2 [pair] Sheep Shears .25 Joseph Deadwilder 2 [pair sheep shears] .12½ John Vaper 1 Hogshead .31¼

1 [hogshead] .50 Jacob Eberhart 1 [hogshead] .31¼


John M. Wilhite 600 Acres Land, more or less 390.00 Gabriel Grimes 1 Negro Man Joe 97.00 James M. Bird 1 [Negro man] Bluford 500.00 R.E. Oliver 1 Girl Martha 504.00


John’s additional estate was inventoried in the first few days of 1840:[8]

1 Walnut Bureau $8.00 1 large folding table, birch 8.00 1 side board, Mahogany 15.00 1 eight day Clock 30.00 4 Windsor chairs 8.00 8 split bottom chairs 6.00 1 looking glass .12 3 slates [illegible] 1.12 1 lot of Books 10.00 3 lamps with reflectors 2.50 2 [illegible] .12 lot of Crockery & Glass Ware 7.00 lot of Stone Ware 3.18¾ lot of tin Ware 2.00 lot of bottles 1.00 lot of Knives & forks and spoons & Waiters 1.50 1 folding table walnut small 5.00 1 Walnut desk 10.00 3 small toilette tables @50 1.50 1 large pine dining table 2.00 2 small trunks & chest 3.00 3 pair fire dogs 3.00 1 Cupboard 3.00 1 feather bed, bedstead & furniture 30.00 [1 feather bed, bedstead & furniture] 20.00 [1 feather bed, bedstead & furniture] 30.00 [1 feather bed, bedstead & furniture] 25.00 [1 feather bed, bedstead & furniture] 20.00 [1 feather bed, bedstead & furniture] 25.00 2 side saddles @ $7.00 each 14.00 1 mans saddle & saddle bags 5.00 2 old shot guns & powder horns 6.00 1 table & safe 1.00 2 buckets & 2 piggins 1.25 lot pot ware 14.00 4 spinning wheels & cards 8.00 1 loom & apparatus 4.00 1 Clock reel 2.00 2 flax wheels 2.00 3,000 lbs. Pork @ 6 180.00 a lot of salt beef 10.00 1 lot of hogsheads & barrells 2.75 6 club axes & 1 chop axe 7.50 4 mattocks & 1 Grubbing hoe 3.00 1 anvil and vice 2 ft long, 3 hammers & serving plate 8.00 1 lot plough, singletree & plough hoes 8.00 1 Ox Cart & body 10.00 1 Ox cart, body & carry log 10.00 1 barrel & 2 kegs contaning brandy & whisky 11.00 1 barrel & molasses 3.00 1 barrel & sugar 4.00 empty cask & tub .50 1 hogsgead salt supposed to be 12 bushels 15.00 1 box manufactured tobacco 12.00 92½ bushels of Wheat 69.37½ lot of barrels 2.50 1 Road waggon & gears, blue 100.00 [1 Road waggon & gears] 50.00 500 Seed Cotton @ 200 100.00 3 bags supposed 900 clean cotton @ 8 72.00 1 lot of raw hides, 4 4.00 1 dutch fan 18.00 12 bushels peas, supposed 9.00 1 pr steelyards 3.00 3 pr plough gears 3.00 136 barrels of Corn (supposed) @ $2.00 pr barrel 272.00 1 sett Blacksmith tools 15.00 15” Iron (supposed) 1.00 1 grey mare young 60.00 1 sorrel mare with blaze face 100.00 1 sorrel horse old 25.00 1 sorrel horse 50.00 1 sorrel horse blaze face 50.00 1 dark bay mare 70.00 1 sway-backed bay horse 40.00 1 sorrel mare fly 50.00 1 bay horse dick 20.00 1 bay blind horse 25.00 3 sows & pigs 15.00 1 yoke red oxen 40.00 1 yoke [illegible] oxen 15.00 5 Cows & Calves 50.00 2 Cows & Yearlings 24.00 1 sorrel blazed face stallion 75.00 7 stacks fodder 21.00 1 stack oats 10.00 9” sole leather @ [illegible] 2.70 1 Carriage & harness 100.00 2 walking sticks 3.00 1 Negro fellow Blueford 800.00 [1 Negro fellow][Name illegible] 400.00 [1 Negro fellow] Squire 1000.00 [1 Negro fellow] Old Joe 175.00 [1 Negro fellow] Buck 850.00 [1 Negro fellow] Daniel 1000.00 [1 Negro fellow] Young Joe 900.00 [1 Negro fellow] Tarlton 900.00 [1 Negro fellow] Wilson 850.00 [1 Negro fellow] Coleman 800.00 [1 Negro] boy Charles 500.00 [1 Negro boy] Simeon 400.00 [1 Negro boy] Peter 450.00 [1 Negro boy] Gabriel 300.00 [1 Negro boy] Jack 325.00 [1 Negro boy] Nelson 325.00 [1 Negro boy] John 250.00 [1 Negro boy] Anderson 250.00 [1 Negro boy] Fleming 200.00 [1 Negro] Woman Letty & child Aaron 900.00 [1 Negro woman] Louisa & child Jane 850.00 [1 Negro woman] Chana & child Sam 600.00 [1 Negro woman] Harriet & child Sidney 700.00 1 Negro Woman Easter & child Sam 525.00 [1 Negro woman] Martha & child Carolina 850.00 [1 Negro woman] Rose 800.00 [1 Negro] Girl Jinny 750.00 [1 Negro girl] Sarah 775.00 [1 Negro girl] Tilla 750.00 [1 Negro girl] Dilsey 775.00 [1 Negro girl] Sally 550.00 [1 Negro girl] Eliza 600.00 [1 Negro girl] Harrison 600.00 [1 Negro girl] Mary 250.00 [1 Negro girl] Susannah 375.00 [1 Negro girl] Adeline 250.00 [1 Negro girl] Edney 250.00 [1 Negro girl] Susan 225.00 [1 Negro] Woman Polly 300.00 [1 Negro woman] Amey 50.00 [1 Negro woman] Lucy 00.00 [1 Negro] Man Gabriel 00.00 1 Wooden Clock 6.00 3 Barrels 1.25 2 Augers & 2 chisels 1.00 2 tables 1.50 11 chairs 1.00 1 old gin & other irons 5.00 1 Chest 1.25 1 pr steelyards 1.00 1 Culling Knife 1.50 4 pr gears 4.00 4 stacks of fodder 8.00 4 singletrees & [illegible] 2.00 8 plough hoes 1.00 40 head of Geese 10.00 4 head of sheep 4.00 45 barrels of Corn @ 250 pr barrel 112.00 6 head of Horses 245.00 4 old waggon wheels 8.00 2 scythe & cradels 4.00 7 plough stock, 5 rods, 5 screws & tapes 1.43 shucks 2.50 10 bags Cotton (supposed) 3400 at 8 272.00 2 spinning wheels 2.00 2 pr Cotton cards .50 1 oven & pot 2.00 14 head of Cattle 56.00 32 head of Hogs 60.00 1 square 1 drawing Knife, 2 planes & 1 adz 1.00 2 turning ploughs 50 20 Bushels wheat 15.00 5 Barrels 2.00 1 loom 5.00 1 club axe 1.00 2 washing tubs 25


In addition to his plantation in Madison County, Georgia, John also left a sizeable estate in neighboring Jackson County as reflected in the inventory of his property taken by William Morgan, D.W. Burns and Preston Hardy on 11 January 1840: [9]

“two beds & furniture appraised to $60.00 one Table and two chairs 2.00 one cross cut saw 5.00 one lot of forming tools 25.00 one ox cart & yoke 12.00 one Grind stone 4.00 three raw cow hide[s] 4.50 three sythes & Cradles 6.00 two ten gallon cags [kegs] 2.00 one lot of wheat supposed to be ten Bushels 82.50 five Bushels Peas 5.00 one five gallon cag [keg] full of Brandy 5.00 one drawing Knife .75 fifteen gallons cider 3.75 five axes 5.00 one brown colt 30.00 one lot of oats 50.00 one lot of Fodder 37.50 one lot of corn 320.00 one lot of shucks 10.00 one lot of stock Hogs 65.00 one lot of fat Hogs 90.00 One Yoke of Oxen & Yoke 40.00 One Cow & young calf 10.00 Two Cows and Yearling calves 24.00 One Yoke Young Oxen 16.00 One red Cow & Yearling 14.00 Two Yearlings 9.00 One small steer 4.00 One lot of Hogs at the mill 31.00 One lot of Pork 45.50 One lot of fat Tubs .50 One lot of stone ware 1.00 One lot of pot Ware 5.00 Four spinning wheel, two pair of cards and one dough machine 10.00

$1,035.00” [1] Madison County, Georgia Will Book A-B: 106-112. [2] Meshack Turner Wilhite was almost certainly named for his grandfather Meshack Turner, the father of his mother Susannah (Turner) Wilhite; his obituary was published in The Jackson Herald on 10 June 1881: “In Memoriam of M.T. Wilhite. Died, at the unusually advanced age of ninety-two years, at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. E.A. Borders, in Jefferson, on June 4th, 1881, M.T. Wilhite, who was born in Wilkes county, Ga., August 20th 1789. The deceased attended old Franklin College about the time of its foundation, when there were but three stores in Athens, where he laid the foundation of that education which so eminently fitted him for a school teacher in the early history of his State. In 1816 he was married to Lucy T. Wilhite, who died in 1828 leaving him the father of four children -- three daughters and one son. About the year 1830 he commenced teaching school, which avocation claimed and received his continual attention for twenty-six consecutive years, in the counties of Jackson, Madison and Elbert. Some of his former pupils, now over sixty, testify of him that he was one of the most efficient and effective teachers of his time. His labors, no doubt, in that capacity have resulted in much public good. In 1825 he moved to this county and claimed it as his home until the time of his death…” As a student at Athens Academy, “Turner” Wilhite was tested in English grammar as well as “three books of Caesar’s Commentaries” (Poss, Faye Stone, Clarke County (Athens), Georgia Newspaper Abstracts 1808-1820: 197 citing the Athens Gazette, Volume I, No. XXIII, Thursday, 21 July 1814). The 1820 Madison County, Georgia Slave Schedule enumerates 11 slaves owned by Meshack T. Wilhite. Meshack also served as Sheriff of Madison County, Georgia from 1824 to 1825. [3] “Susan Elaisa Wilthite” married James Rogers on 30 January 1834 in Jackson County, Georgia (Jackson County, Georgia Marriage Book 2: 207) (original record not consulted); Susan’s grave marker in the Rogers family cemetery in Jackson County, Georgia states Susan was born 1819 and died 1888. [4] Jane M. Wilhite married 7 November 1841 in Jackson County, Georgia to Enoch H. Borders (Jackson County, Georgia Marriage Book 2: 287). [5] Elizabeth Wilhite married, first, 26 September 1844 in Jackson County, Georgia to Russell C. Daniel (Jackson County, Georgia Marriage Book 2: 305 and 317); and second, 18 September 1861 in Elbert County, Georgia to Enoch H. Borders (transcribed records of Elbert County, Georgia marriage book at <ancestry.com> (downloaded 6 September 2003)). Elizabeth was enumerated as age 57 in the 1880 Jackson County, Georgia Census (in which her father Meschack T. Wilhite, age 90, and her two sons Julius F. Daniel, age 34, and Eugenius Daniel, age 17, were enumerated in her household). Elizabeth’s grave marker at Mizpah Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Jackson County, Georgia states Elizabeth was born 26 March 1823 and died 15 April 1900. [6] A next-door neighbor of John in the 1830 Madison County, Georgia Census. [7] Madison County, Georgia Inventories, Appraisements, Bills of Sales 1841-1847 Book D: 59-60; Recorded 26 July 1843. [8] Madison County, Georgia Inventories, Appraisements, Bills of Sales 1841-1847 Book D: 69-73. 13 January 1840; Recorded 5 December 1843. [9] Madison County, Georgia Inventories, Appraisements, Bills of Sales 1841-1847 Book D: 67-68. Recorded 28 November 1843.


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