Liberty County Will — John Osgood

African-Americans Mentioned: Isaac, Adam, Sophia, Plato, Juno, Dublin, Billy, Chloe
Slaveholder: John Osgood
Year: 1816
Location: Liberty County, Georgia

Will Summary (published 1964)

John Osgood of Liberty County, planter. Last Will and Testament dated February 27, 1816; codicil dated same date; probated May 6, 1816. Gives to his wife, Mary, his house and lot on Colonel’s Island, lands in Liberty County, livestock, household goods and slaves. To his brother, William Osgood, testator devises his books of physics, law and military tactics and his firearm when William is 21. Also gives to his wife all his right in Midway Meeting House, and all the estate he received by his marriage to her and the negroes he received from his father, also the lands in McIntosh County received by his father’s will, also a lot in Wilkinson County and his home plantation. If testator should have a child by his wife, such child is to receive that given his brother, William. Executors: Peter Winn, John Winn, Sr., William Fleming, Elijah Baker, Thomas Mallard. Witnesses: John Cocke, Thomas S. Winn and Cyrus Gildersleeve.

Slave names left out of the original summary:

To his wife Mary Osgood: “…my negro slave Isaac…”

Also to his wife: “…my negroes Adam and Sophia…” If she dies without issue or if her issue dies “in their minority” Adam and Sophia become the property of his brother William Osgood.

To brother William Osgood: “I give and bequeath all the negroes I inherited from my father: namely, Plato, Juno, Dublin, Billy and Chloe, with the increase of the females…”

If his brother William were to die before the age of 20, or without issue, the property given to him would go to John Osgood’s niece, Mary Ann Fraser.

“I do now recommend my heirs and servants to the mercy of God in Christ Jesus and recommend it to those who may manage my negroes, to treat them with a suitable degree of lenity, remembering that they also have a Master in Heaven.”

Find the original (complete) will online at:

“Georgia Probate Records, 1742-1990,” images, FamilySearch ( : 20 May 2014), Liberty > Wills, appraisements and bonds 1790-1850 vol B > image 125 of 689; county probate courthouses, Georgia.

1964 Summaries From: “Georgia Court-House Records – Liberty County,” 1964 quarterly issues of The Georgia Genealogical Magazine, Folks Huxford, Editor. Published Under the Auspices of The Wiregrass Georgia Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.

One thought on “Liberty County Will — John Osgood”

  1. It is incredible to me how slave owners built into their meanings of the Supreme God and Christianity the right to subjugate and redefine humanity to their benefit as something less human. I am writing a chapter titled “Two Masters, One God” and I find John Osgood’s last thoughts “to those who may manage my negroes, to treat them with a suitable degree of leniety, remembering that they also have a Master in Heaven” to be an abomination to what is means to be human. Thanks again for all of your hard work, Stacy!


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