Last Will and Testament
In the Name of God Amen.
I Davis Brown of the County of Giles and State of Tennessee being in the decline of life & of bad health, but of Sound and perfect mind & memory, and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die & return to the dust from whence they came, and feeling a deisre to dispose of the Wordly goods which God has bestowed on me, I do hereby make, Ordain & Constitute this my Last Will and Testament in the manner & form following at the hour of my dissolution. I return my Soul to God who gave it & my body to the dust from whence it came, hoping for a Joyful Resurrection.
First: I give to my wife Martha Brown during her natural life the following propery, Hartwell a Negro Man and Re[ny] a Negro woman, One Sorrel Mare [peg?], one bed & furniture & one Chest. And it is further My Will that My Wife have & enjoy unmolested the Samllest Room in my Dwelling house & one third part of My farm or plantation during her Natural life and at her death the house & plantation now given to her is to Return to my Son Ervin R Brown to him & his Heirs forever.
Item 2nd: I give & bequeath to my Son Ervin R Brown the land whereon I now live including that part already given to his Mother, Which part he is to Receive at her death, to him & his heirs forever. The Land Whereon I now live & Which I have in this my Will given to My Son Ervin is valued at Eight hundred dollars Which Sum he is [to account] for as somuch of his Legacy receives on a final division of the Estate Without Interest.
Item 3rd: My Will & desire is that all my Just debts be paid out of my Estate & that all the Remaining part of my Estate not already given away be Equally divided Share & Share a like between all my Children, the Children of my Son Beverly Brown to be considered as one Legatee, But as I am Opposed to Selling my Negroes at publick Sale to the highest bidder, My Will is that they be Valued by three disinterested Men to be Chosen by My Legatees & that they be drawn for by the Legatees and that the Negroes & perishable property Loaned to My Wife during her life be Returned to my Children as above Stated at her death, So that all my Children including the Children of Beverly Brown as one have an equal portion of my Whole Estate.
I do hereby establish this as my Last Will & Testament Revoking & disannulling all & every Other Will heretofore made by me. And I do Nominate & appoint my Two Sons James D Brown & Ervin R Brown my Executors to this my Last Will & Testament. In Witness Whereof I have this Eighth day of November 1837 Set my hand & Seal.
Signed & Acknowledged }
James Paine & by [Cols?] W.R. Brown
[Jesse?] T. Hicks
Submitted by Daniel Pierce