State of Georgia, Liberty County } In the name of God amen! I Thomas Quarterman of aforesaid State and county; knowing the mortality of human life, being in feeble health and declining years, but thanks be to God, in the possession of sound mind and disposing memory, having a large family to provide for, do make and constitute this my last will and testament.
My body I commit to the earth from when it was taken, and commend my soul to the God who gave it, trusting in the merits of His son for a blissful immortality.
Item 1st. I will devise and bequeath that all my just debts be paid, before any division of my estate is made.
Item 2d. I will devise and bequeath unto my son Thomas W. Quarterman his note for eight hundred dollars paid me for the Miller tract of land and containing fifteen hundred acres more or less, also the balance of the Stone Hill or Montpelier tract, upon which his settlement is, containing in the whole two hundred & fifty acres more or less, and valued by me at two hundred dollars, also the Griffin plantation containing four hundred and twenty five acres more or less; and valued at six hundred dollars, amounting in all to the sum of sixteen hundred dollars. It is nevertheless reserved, that the said Thomas W. Quarterman shall pay the sum of eight hundred dollars to my son Robert Y Quarterman, in trust however for the children of my deceased daughter Mary Hickman.
Item 3rd. I will devise and bequeath unto my son Robert Y Quarterman my Wood tract of land adjoining my NewPort plantation divided from it by and lying east of, the Barrington road., containing four hundred and fifty acres more or less, including a fifty acre tract upon which Hetty Hamilton, a free person of cour, now lives and which at her death reverts to me, valued by me at twenty one hundred dollars, also the Tanner tract of land, containing two hundred and fifty acres more or less and valued at three hundred dollars, amounting in all to the sum of twenty four hundred dollars; it is nevertheless reserved that the said Robert Y. Quarterman shall pay to each of his sisters Mrs. Jane Fleming and Mrs. Eliza McCollough the sum of eight hundred dollars.
Item 4th. I will devise and bequeath unto my two sons Alexander S. Quarterman and I.K. A. Quarterman my NewPort plantation lying on and west of the Barrington road, containing five hundred and twenty acres more or less also my old Pleasant Valley plantation containing one thousand and sixty acres more or less, to be appraised and drawn for by them, the one receiving the most valuable, to pay to the other the difference of appraisement.
It is nonetheless reserved however that my unmarried daughters Harriet Augusta and Caroline Claudia shall have the right and privilege of working their negroes upon said places free of rent, until married or otherwise provided for, and upon their marriage or removal of negroes from said places, they are then to be paid by each of their own brothers above named in this item, the sum of four hundred dollars making eight hundred dollars apiece that they are to receive.
It is further reserved that my dear wife Mrs. Sarah E. Quarterman shall have the privilege of working her negroes upon said places free of rent during her natural life. And it is still further reserved that the said Alexander S. Quarterman shall pay to his brother Thomas W. Quarterman the sum of three hundred dollars and the said I.K. A. Quarterman shall pay to his brother Robert Y. Quarterman the sum of three hundred dollars, in lieu and on account of my bequeathing to them, both of my settled and improved plantations.
Item 5th. I will devise and bequeath my house & lot in the Sand Hills where I reside and furniture of all kinds (save a complete set of bed rooms furniture to be selected for my daughters Harriet Augusta and Caroline Claudia) also [one word] bedding plate crockery kitchen utensils carriage and buggy, also four hundred and fifty acres of land adjoining called the Ditch Pond tract unto my wife Mrs. Sarah E. Quarterman during her natural life, and at her death to revert to my son I.K.A. Quarterman. But it is nevertheless reserved that my son Alexander and daughters Harriet Augusta and Caroline Claudia shall have a home in, and consider this an asylum for them, as long as they remain single and unmarried, and in the event of their marriage they will each be entitled to a suitable building lot of ten acres, to be selected in, or out of the Pasture enclosure, with the privilege of getting building lumber and wood off this tract so long as the lots are lived upon and used by themselves. I also grant my daughter Mrs. Jane Fleming the same privilege of getting building lumber and wood off of this tract, but at the same time I desire no lumber cut out of or from the Pasture enclosure (save upon the lots bequeathed), as the clearning of the land will impair the health of the settlements. This item saves the necessity of any appraisement of the beuqests, therein contained which is my desire.
Item 6th. I will devise and bequeath a pair of horses, to be selected out of the stock of which I die possessed, for my wife.
Item 7th. I will devise and bequeath my Sand Hills stock of cattle to my wife and children by my marriage.
Item 8th. I will devise and bequeath unto my wife Mrs. Sarah E. Quarterman two negroes to wit Cate & Simon valued by me at one thousand dollars. Also to my son Alexander S. Quarterman two negroes to wit Agrippa and Bess valued at one thousand dollars to my daughter Harriet Augusta two negroes to wit Henry and Jane to my daughter Caroline Claudia two negroes to wit Horace and Phillis and to my son J.K.A. Quarterman two negroes to wit Joe and Cloe [alt: Chloe] each lot valued at one thousand dollars.
The rest of my children have already received from me two negroes each and valued at one thousand dollars for which I told their receipts.
Item 9th. The remainder of my negroe property numbering seventy more or less, I will devise and bequeath to be divided equally between my wife and all of my children share and share alike. But it is nevertheless reserved that the negroes drawn as the portion of my deceased daughter Mrs. Hickman shall be offered to any of my children at appraisement value, and the money accruing from their sale shall be placed into the hands of my son Robert Y. Quarterman in trust however for the general use benefit and behoof of the children of the deceased. And I also desire that in the division of my Negroes no little negroe under the age of eight years be separated from the mother.
Item 10th. I will devise and bequeath my horses mules and stock of all kinds on both Newport and Pleasant Valley plantations to be equally divided between my wife and all of my children.
Item 11th. I desire an appraisement of my Horse Gins upon Newport and Pleasant Valley plantations, the one drawing Newport shall pay to his brother Robert one half of appraisement value of that Gin; and the one drawing Pleasant Valley shall pay to his brother Thomas one half of the appraisement value of that Gin.
Item 12th. My plantation utensils waggons [sic, wagon] casts ploughs etc (with the exception of one horse waggon which I reserve for the use of my wife and unmarried children) I will devise and bequeath to be appraised and equally divided between my four sons, each paying to one of his sisters viz Thomas to Mrs Fleming Robert to Mrs. McCullough Alexander to Augusta and Axson to Claudia one half of appraisement value.
Item 13th I will devise and bequeath my plantation provisions corn fodder peas potatoes and market crop, to be divided amongst my children according ot the number of hands drawn by each and employed in making said crop. And I further desire that there be no division of my property the year of my decease, if the crop of that year should be planted.
Item 14th. I will devise and bequeath my little bay horse called Peter my saddle and bridle unto my son I.K.A. Quarterman.
Item 15th. I will devise and bequeath five shares in the Savannah and Albany Railroad Company to be equally divided between my four sons, and each to pay his share of the balance of the installments, if any are due.
Item 15th. I will devise and bequeath that all and every other description of property of which I may die possessed, shall be equally divided between my wife and all of my children above named. The portion falling to the children of my deceased daughter, Mrs. Hickman, to be vested as before specified.
Item 16th. Having left my dear wife Mrs. Sarah E. Quarterman more than her share of my property in law I will devise and bequeath that it be considered by her, and is in lieu of dower.
Lastly I make and constitute my tried and valued friend Mr. G. W. Walthour and my young friend Mr. ?? Jones my Executors to carry into effect according to the most obvious construction of the same, this my last Will and Testament. And which I hereby declare and publish to be my last will and Testament.
Signed sealed and acknowledged eighteenth day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty four.
In the presence of
W. Q. Baker
Aug. S. Quarterman
Probated 2 March 1857.
Find the original (complete) will and other papers online at Ancestry.com or FamilySearch.org. [Source name on both sites: “Georgia, Wills and Probate Records, 1742-1992” → “Liberty County” → “Wills, 1869-1917 Miller, Melissa-Zoucks, D.”]