Will of Deborah Morris, 1793

Dublin Core

Title

Will of Deborah Morris, 1793

Subject

Morris, Deborah, 1724-1793 -- Will
Free African School (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Pennsylvania Hospital (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Philadelphia Dispensary
Quakers -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
Women -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
Wills -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- 1793

Description

Printed will of Deborah Morris in which she devised and bequeathed her exensive assets to family and others including her sister, Elizabeth Shoemaker, nieces, Elizabeth Lightfoot, Abigail Griffiths, Phebe Morris, Sarah Buckley, and to her attendant Rachel Baremore. Morris made provisions for funds to be paid to the Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia Dispensary and free negro school in the form of annual annuities from the devised properties. Concerning the annuities to the school Morris wrote: "And before I conclude my will, I feel it necessary to mention that I hope none of my dear relatives will think my donations in favor of the free negro school too large, as it appears to me to be a debt due to the posterity of those whom our predecessors kept in bondage." Owen Jones, senior, Sauel Coates, Jonathan Jones, Anthony Wistar Morris and Samuel Powel Griffiths were named as executors.

 

Deborah Morris was the daughter of wealthy Philadelphian Anthony Morris. A Quaker, she was noted for her piety, individuality and eccentricity.

Creator

Morris, Deborah, 1724-1793

Publisher

Special Collections, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Date

ca. 1793

Rights

This material is protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). For reproduction queries: Rights and reproductions

Format

jpeg

Language

eng

Type

Text

Identifier

MS 2009.7

Document Item Type Metadata

Text

Page 1


BE IT REMEMBERED, That I Deborah Morris, of the city of Philadelphia, spinster, being of
sound disposing mind and memory do make (this sixteenth day of the third month, one thou-
sand seven hundred and ninety-three) this my last will and testament, as follows : revoking hereby
all other wills by me heretofore made.


First, I authorize my executors, herein after named, to pay and discharge all my debts and funeral
expences, as soon after my decease as may be, and to enable them so to do, I hereby impower
my said executors, the survivors or survivor of them, to sell at public or private sale, convey and
assure, all that my tract of land in Nockamixon township, Bucks County, being the remainder of
what I purchased of my nephew, William Shoemaker; all that my undivided moiety of a tract of
land called Callenders Meadows, on the Allegany Mountain, in Bedford County, purchased of
Samuel Wallis, and held jointly by Joseph Potts, and myself, although the deed is in my name ;
all my estate purchased of Alexander Mackey, situated on Dock and Pear-Streets, in the city of
Philadelphia; all that my lot of ground in seventh street, in the said city, now in the tenure of
Vigil Warder, a black man; and also all that my house and lot of ground, on the north side of
High-Street, in the said city, now in the tenure of James Biddle, being in front, eighteen feet, ten
inches, and in depth, an hundred and seventeen feet, from which no priviledge of outlet shall ever
be granted into the Court, but I will and direct, that the house and lot last mentioned shall be
sold, subject to twelve pounds per annum, payable thereout annually for ever to the contributors
to the Pennsylvania Hospital, for the benefit of that institution.


And as this property with the monies in my possession, or due to me at the time of my de-
cease may not be sufficient to discharge my debts, I hereby devise and bequeath to my said execu-
tors, the survivors and survivor of them, and the heirs and assigns of such survivor, all and singu-
lar, other my lands tenements and hereditaments in trust, however, and to and for the following,
and no other purposes, intents, and uses whatever :---That is to say, to receive the rents, issues,
and profits thereof, and after paying taxes and other unavoidable charges, to pay off and discharge
the residue of my debts; also to pay thereout to my sister Elizabeth Shoemaker, during her natu-
ral life, in quarterly payments of twelve pounds ten shillings each, fifty pounds per annum, to
commence from the day of my decease; and to her daughter, Elizabeth Lightfoot, the sum of
fifty pounds per annum, payable from the same time in like manner, during the natural life of
her said mother, and for the term of two years after the decease of her said mother ; also to pay
thereout to my faithful attendant, Rachel Baremore, now living with me, during the term of her
natural life, fifty pounds per annum, in four even quarterly payments, to commence from the day
of my decease; all which payments I direct to be paid in the first place, and out of the estate
I shall leave, and after payment of my debts, and the foresaid annuities, I will and direct that
my said executors, the survivors and survivor of them, the heirs and assigns of such survivor, shall
be, and stand seized of the said estate, until from the rents, issues, and profits thereof, the sum of
six hundred pounds shall be received, which shall be applied for the repairs hereafter mentioned,
and also to discharge all other, the pecuniary or specific legacies, not hereafter particularly other-
ways charged upon any part or parts of my real estate, if the same shall be sufficient, but if not,
then so much as my said executors shall find necessary ; and after the said sum shall have been
so raised, then they shall continue to be and stand seized as aforesaid, until the further sum of
twelve hundred pounds shall have been received therefrom, for the purpose of erecting a dwel-
ling house and wall on the lot of ground herein after devised to my niece Abigail Griffiths, and
her son Samuel Powel Griffiths, which sum, as it is received from time to time, shall be put out
to interest by my executors, on good securities, and the interest again put out for the same pur-
pose, and from and after the time that the said last mentioned sum shall have been raised, then to
and for the use of my devisees herein after-named according to the estates and interests to them
respectively granted.


Item. I devise to my niece Abigail Griffiths, and her son Samuel Powel Griffiths, for and du-
ring the term of the natural life, of the said Abigail Griffiths, all that my late grand-father's
mansion house, at the corner of Front-Street and Morris's Alley, to have, and to hold the same,
for and during the term of her natural life, and from and after her decease, then I devise and
bequeath the same to her son Samuel Powel Griffiths, for the term of ninety-nine years, if he
shall so long live, subject to the payment of two hundred pounds, to his brother James Griffiths,
in three years after the death of his said mother, or if the said James Griffith, shall not then be
living, then to his children, if any, equally to be divided between them, and from and after the
decease of the said Samuel Powel Griffiths, then to the issue of his body lawfully begotten, to be
equally divided between them, during the residue of the said term of ninety-nine years, and after
the expiration of the said term, or in case the said Samuel Powel Griffiths shall die, leaving no
issue, then I devise the same to Benjamin Wister Morris, and the heirs male of his body, lawfully be-
gotten, subject of the payment of an annuity of twenty-five pounds per annum, payable thereout, an-
nually for ever, to Nicholas Waln, James Bringhurst, Thomas Fisher, Samuel Coates, Henry Drinker,
Samuel Hopkins, Isaac Cathrall, Thomas Scattergood, Samuel Sansom, John Field, Joshua Cresson,
and John Drinker, their heirs and assigns, which annuity I will and direct shall be applied to the relief
and accommodation of the poor in the Alms-house in this city, under the care and direction of Friends :
and for want of such male heir of the body of the said Benjamin Wister Morris, I devise the said man-
sion house and lot of ground to Caspar Wistar Morris, the brother of the said Benjamin Wistar Morris,
and the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten, and for want of such male heir of the body of the said
Caspar Wistar Morris, lawfully begotten, I devise the said mansion house and lot of ground in like man-
ner, to his brother Luke Morris, and the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten, and for want of such
male heir, I devise the same to the said Nicholas Waln, James Bringhurtt, Thomas Fisher, Samuel
Coates, Henry Drinker, Samuel Hopkins, Isaac Cathrall, Thomas Scatterwood, Samuel Sansom, John
Field,


Page 2


Field, Joshua Cresson, and John Drinker, their heirs and assigns, for the purpose of rebuilding the
said Alms-house, and accommodating the poor thereof, and it is my desire, as it was the desire of my
late dear father, that the mansion house at present erected on the said lot shall stand as long as it may
with safety to the inhabitants, and when it shall become necessary to rebuild it, I hereby authorise and
impower my said nephew, Samuel Powel Griffiths, or the person or persons, who shall at that time be
rightfully seized or possessed thereof by virtue of this will, to call in the said twelve hundred pounds, and
the interest thereof, and erect therewith, a good, but plain three story brick house, keeping as near as
possible to the old foundations, and also a brick wall on the south side of the garden, and when this shall
be done, I direct the following words and figures, viz. A. M. 1686, to be affixed in blue bricks at one
of the gable ends of the house, that being about the time my worthy grand-father built the present
house.


Item. I devise to my sister Elizabeth Shoemaker, for, and during her natural life, all my present
mansion or dwelling-house, and half the garden lot contiguous thereto, with the westermost frame house,
in Farmer's alley; the adjoining tenement now in the tenure of Jacob Fister, and my chair house and
stables, subject to the payment of twenty pound per annum to my niece, Mary Jones, daughter of my
brother James, during the natural life of the said Mary, and also subject to the ground rent of fifty
shillings per annum, now payable thereout : and from and after the decease of the said Elizabeth Shoe-
maker, I devise the same to Sarah Powel Buckley, daughter of my niece, Sarah Buckley, during her
natural life, subject to the payment of the said annuity to Mary Jones ; and also subject to the pay-
ment of twelve pounds per annum to her mother, Sarah Buckley, during the natural life of the said
Sarah Buckley, and from and after the decease of the said Sarah Powel Buckley, then I devise the same
to the lawful issue of the body of the said Sarah Powel Buckley, begotten, who shall be living at the
time of her death, equally to be divided between them as tenants in common, and not as joint tenants,
subject however to the payment of the aforesaid annuities and ground rent, and also subject from the ex-
piration of the said annuities, to an annuity of twelve pounds per annum, payable thereout annually for
ever, to the overseers of the public school, founded by charter, in the town and county of Philadelphia,
in Pennsylvania, for the use of the free negro school, in the city of Philadelphia, under the care of
friends : and if the said Sarah Powel Buckley, shall die without issue, then I devise the fame to my
nephew, Jonathan Jones, the late husband of my beloved niece, Mary Jones, his heirs and assigns sub-
ject to the aforesaid annuities and ground rent.


And, I do hereby declare this devise, and the several successive estates, hereby limited and created to
be upon this express condition, viz. that the owner of the several messuages and lots, in this clause men-
tioned, shall not build nor suffer any building to be erected in the garden spot, on the south end of
my said dwelling-house, nor open, nor permit, or suffer to be opened, if they can in any wise prevent
it, an alley through the court, in which my said dwelling-house is situated; and in case of failing in
performing this condition, I hereby devise all and singular the premises in this clause mentioned and de-
vised to Nicholas Waln, James Bringhurst, Thomas Fisher, Samuel Coates, Henry Drinker, Samuel
Hopkins, Isaac Cathrall, Thomas Scattergood, Samuel Sansom, John Field, Joshua Cresson, and John
Drinker, their heirs and assigns, for the purpose of repairing or building, or rebuilding the Alms-house,
or a house of employ, for the better accommodating the poor of our society.


Item. I devise to my niece Phebe Morris, during her natural life, all that my next house or old man-
sion, situated in Mulberry Court, with the lot back of it in Farmer's-alley, and both the frame tene-
ments thereon ; being bounded on the east by the lot sold by me to Jonathan Jones, and on the west by
a cartway, left for the use of the said court : also one half of the garden lot, south of my present dwel-
ling-house, bounded on the south by the lot sold by me to Jonathan Jones, in High-street, and eastward
by the lot on which my store room now stands, subject to the payment of thirty pounds per annum, to
my attendant Rachel Baremore, during the term of her natural life, in four equal quarterly payments : and
after the decease of the said Rachel Baremore, then subject to the payment of twelve pounds per annum,
payable thereout annually forever to the overseers of the public school, founded by charter, in the town
and county of Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania, for the use of the negro school under the care of friends,
in the said city : and from and after the decease of the said Phebe Morris, I devise the premises in this
clause mentioned subject to the aforesaid annuities to Elizabeth Mifflin, the daughter of my niece Mar-
tha Mifflin, and from and after the decease of the said Elizabeth Mifflin, to the issue of the said Eliza-
beth Mifflin, lawfully begotten, and if she die, leaving no issue, then I devise the same subject to the
said annuities, to Thomas Mifflin, brother of the said Elizabeth Mifflin, and to Anthony Buckley and
their heirs equally to be divided as tenants in common, and not as joint tenants : and I do declare this
devise and several successive estates hereby limited and created to be subject to the same conditions, as to
building on the garden lot, or opening the alley as area in the last preceding devise expressed.


Item. I devise to Elizabeth Buckley, eldest daughter of my niece Sarah Buckley, during her natural
life, all that house and lot of ground adjoining my last mentioned house, and all the buildings on the
said lot of ground, erected in a straight line northward into the Horse-yard, with all the ways and water
courses thereto belonging, subject to the payment of twenty pounds per annum, to my said niece Sarah
Buckley, during her natural life ; and from and after her decease, subject to the payment of twelve
pounds per annum, payable annually thereout for ever to the overseers of the public school, founded by
charter, in the town and county of Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania, for the use of the free negro school
under the care of friends in the said city ; and from and after the decease of the said Elizabeth Buckley,
I devise the same, subject to the aforesaid annuities, to the lawful issue of her body, equally to be divided
between them, share and share alike as tenants in common, and not as joint tenants ; and if she die,
leaving no issue, then I devise the same, subject to the aforesaid annuities, to her brother Anthony and
sister Sarah, their heirs and assigns equally to be divided between them as tenants in common.


Item. I devise to Hannah Cathrall and Rebecca Jones, and the survivor of them, during their natural
lives, all that my eastermost house and lot of ground in Mulberry-court, now in the tenure of Isaac Zane,
with


Page 3


with the chair house and stables thereto belonging, and the vacant ground at the east end of the said
dwelling house, together with the privilege of the Horse-yard, and all ways and water courses thereto
belonging : and I hereby will and direct that the said dwelling house be repaired by my executors, at the
cost of my estate ; and that during the lives of the said Hannah Cathrall and Rebecca Jones, and the
life time of the survivor of them, it be kept in good tenantable order, and the taxes thereon be paid out
of my estate : and from and after the decease of the survivor of my said two friends, I devise all and
singular the premises in this clause mentioned to Elizabeth Lightfoot, grand-daughter of my sister Eliza-
beth Shoemaker, her heirs and assigns for ever, subject to the payment of twelve pounds per annum, to
be thereout paid annually for ever to the overseers of the public school as foresaid, for the use of the
negro schools under the care of Friends in this city.


Item. I devise to Jonathan Jones, his heirs and assigns, all that my lot on the north side of High-
street, twenty-two feet in front, and in depth extending to the pallisade fence, south of my present man-
sion ; bounded on the east by a lot he purchased of me under certain restrictions which shall be observed
in this devise : also so far as respects incommoding my other dwellings.


Item. I devise to Rachel Baremore, during her natural life, all that my house and lot of ground in
Sixth-street ; and I hereby will and direct that my executors put the same in good repair, and dig, and
wall a cellar under the kitchen belonging to it, at the expense of my estate ; and this I wish to be done,
and the possession thereof delivered to the said Rachel, as soon as conveniently may be after my decease ;
and after the decease of the said Rachel, I devise the same house and lot of ground to Elizabeth Light-
foot, grand-daughter of my sister Elizabeth Shoemaker, and her heirs and assigns ; the paying thereout
to her mother Elizabeth Lightfoot, during the natural life of her mother, the sum of twenty-five pounds
per annum.


Item. I devise to the aforesaid Rachel Baremore, during her natural life, all my ground rents as fol-
lows, viz. Ground rent in Race-street, paid by Joseph North, ten pounds. Two ground rents in Second-
Street, near Arch-Street, paid by Samuel Sansom, and Thomas Waters, fifty shillings each, five
pounds. One in Front-street, near Arch-street, paid by Benjamin Wynkoop, five pounds twelve
shillings and sixpence : and from and after her decease, I devise the fame to the contributors to the Penn-
sylvania Hospital, for the use of the said institution, which is not however to be deducted from the
debt I owe them.


Item. It is my intent and meaning, and I hereby will and direct that no forfeiture of any estate or
interest herein before devised, by reason of neglect or non-performance of any condition or proviso, shall
annul or defeat any annuity or charge made payable thereout.


And I do hereby also authorise and empower, all those persons, to whom I have devised annuities or
rent charges, their heirs, successors and assigns, as the case may be to enter and distrain from time to time
in case of non-payment thereof.


Item. I will and direct that the devises to my niece Abigail Griffiths, and her son Samuel Powell
Griffiths, and also the devise of the dwelling house in Sixth-street, to Rachel Baremore, shall take effect
immediately after my decease ; and that my executors put them respectively into possession thereof, as
soon as my conveniently be ; but the other devises and the bequests hereafter mentioned shall not take
effect in possession, until by the sale of what is directed to be sold, and the receipt of the rents, issues and
profits, from the remainder of my estate, my executors shall have discharged all my debts, and raised the
beforementioned two separate funds of six hundred pounds, or such larger sum as shall be found necessa-
ry for the purposes of this will, and twelve hundred pounds for the purpose before mentioned.


Item. Being desirous that the Court in which I now dwell, shall be kept open for the health, and
convenience of the inhabitants, I direct that the garden lots herein before mentioned shall be always left
open, and unbuilt on, and that the lot on which my store room lately stood, shall be left open for public
use, as part of the said Court, and to enlarge the way therein.


I give to my sister Elizabeth Shoemaker, my niece Sarah Buckley, and my niece Abigail Griffiths, all
my best wearing apparel, and the rest to Rachel Baremore.


I also give to the said Rachel, all the furniture in the back room, commonly called the dining room ;
the back chambers in the second and third stories, and in the two small rooms in the second and third
story, with six cane chairs, and the easy chair in the front chamber ; the painted field bedstead in the
front garret, bed and bedding, and suit of red and white calico curtains used in the third story : as much
kitchen furniture, pewter, china, and queen's-ware as she thinks necessary for her : also, four diaper ta-
ble cloths, one damask table cloth, six damask napkins marked D. M. 12 in figures, six diaper nap-
kins, marked do. six pair of sheets and pillow cases, with whatever houshould common linen she may
want ; all the provision of every sort, and wood which may be in the house at the time of my
decease, without any account to be taken thereof; one silver porringer and six silver spoons, mark-
ed D. M.


And it is my will, that she be allowed to stay two months in my present mansion, or till my executors
put her into possession of the house before devised to her. And I request my beloved relations, Susanna
Jones, and Sarah Waln, to see that she has all things comfortable and necessary in her house, though
they may not be named here, for she has been faithful to my interest.


I also desire that they will see my little maid Margaret Boyer is well cloathed and returned to her pa-
rents, to whom I give a silver spoon, marked D. M.


And the residue of my furniture and linen, I give to my nieces Elizabeth Lightfoot, and Sarah Buck-
ley, senior, except some small matters which I have marked for some of my friends.


And all the rest of my plate to my executors in trust for the several persons named in a schedule or list,
to be delivered to my executors, which I would not have inserted nor appraised in the inventory of my
estate.


I give to Lydia Robinet, fifty pounds.


To Sarah Blake, and Rachel Attmore, two widows, my tenants, ten pounds each.


To


Page 4


To Rachel Attmore's daughter, Margaret fifteen pounds.


To my friend, Phineas Buckley, fifty pounds.


To his son Thomas, a silver pint cann, marked E. E. W.


To his daughter, Elizabeth, a silver waiter or salver, with the same mark, they were their uncle and
aunt Williams', and also a small punch strainer.


Item. I give to Sarah Waln, Lydia Wallace's two daughters, Mary and Hannah, Owen Jones,
Susanna Nancarrow, Jonathan Jones, Samuel Coates, Hannah Clifford, and Deborah Buckley, daughter
of Phineas Buckley, each of them, six silver table spoons, to be marked D. M.


Item. I give to the Philadelphia Dispensary, fifteen pounds.


And to each of the children and grand-children of my deceased father, I give one quarto family bible,
a small memorandum of much love.


And before I conclude my will, I feel it necessary to mention that I hope none of my dear relatives
will think my donations in favor of the free negro school too large, as it appears to me to be a debt due
to the posterity of those whom our predecessors kept in bondage.


Lastly, I appoint my trusty friends, Owen Jones, senior, Samuel Coates, my nephew Jonathan Jones,
Anthony Wistar Morris, grand-son of my brother Anthony, and Samuel Powel Griffiths, executors of
this my will, to whom I devise and bequeath all the rest and residue of my real and personal estate not
herein before devised, bequeathed and disposed of.


In witness whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name, and published and declared this to be
my will, the day and year first above written.


But before executing the same, I authorize my executors, the survivors and survivor of them to make
titles for all such lands as I have agreed to convey.


Written on four sheets of paper, in fourteen pages.
DEBORAH MORRIS.


Signed, published, and declared as the last will and testament of the said Deborah Morris, in the pre-
sense of us who at her request have hereunto subscribed our names. The words and lot of ground in the
fourth page; the words and the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten in the fifth page, and the
words and their heirs in the eighth page were interlined before signing.
CHARLES MOORE.
RICHARD HUMPHREYS.


I give to Hannah Fairlamb, twelve pounds, to my nephew Isaac Morris, twenty-five pounds, and
to Catherine Cerrill, a little girl, two years English schooling, when she attains the age of twenty-one
years, and the sum of ten pounds with interest, from the time of my death, if she behaves well; and I
declare this to be a codical to my will.


WITNESS,


Will of
Deborah Morris
belonging to Elizabeth
Wistar

Original Format

Ink on paper

Citation

Morris, Deborah, 1724-1793, “Will of Deborah Morris, 1793,” John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, accessed December 4, 2021, https://rocklib.omeka.net/items/show/447.