Joseph Ashlin will, 1807 July 16.

Dublin Core


Joseph Ashlin will, 1807 July 16.


Ashlin, Joseph--Will
Racially mixed people--Virginia


Last will and Testament of Joseph Ashlin of Richmond, Va. Ashlin freed his enslaved children, William, Salley, Frances and Cyrus Barrett in his will. The verso contains the judgment of Edmund Randolph that the law requires the children leave the state of Virginia.


Ashlin, Joseph
Randolph, Edmund, 1753-1813
Virginia. Hustings Court (Richmond)


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










MS 2002.6

Document Item Type Metadata


Page 1

In the name of God. I Joseph Ashlin being of sound mind
and memory, do make and ordain this present writing
my last will and Testament! To God I recommend my
soul, from whom I received, and now retain it, my body to
the humanity of my bretheren in life : Item. It has
been my misfortune, from and by a connection carnally
with a woman of colour, to bring into creation the
following children, now living "to wit" William Barrett
now with Capt Benjamin Ireson, Salley Barrett, now
residing with Thomas Pulling, Frances Barrett, now
residing with Peter Heifer, and Cyrus Barrett, now or
heretofore residing with me. And although the laws of
my country in whose strugles I have fought and bled, now
prohibit a general emancipation, yet from my peculiar
situation, I beg, solicit and pray that the aforesaid William
Barrett, Salley Barrett, Frances Barrett, and Cyrus Barrett
and the future increase and progeny of the said Salley and
Frances, may be permitted, and I do hereby bequeath to them
and each of them the blessing of Liberty, and free emancipa-
=tion during their natural lives, and I do hereby request
Colo. Richard Adams to execute this will, and act as the
guardian to my said Children. In testimony whereof
I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 16th. July 1807.

Signed, Sealed, acknowledged
and declared, to be his will
Joseph Ashlin seal
and at his request, subscribed
by us Geo. Wm Smith
Alexr. Hare, James Cannon

At a quarterly Court of Hustings continued by adjournment
and held for the City of Richmond, at the Courthouse, the
thirteenth day of November 1807. This Last will and
Testament of Jospeph Ashlin deceased, was proved by the

Page 2

oath of George William Smith, a witness thereto, and
ordered to be recorded.

Test Adam Craig Clk
A copy. Test Th. C. Howard D.C.

Joseph Ashlin's

I am decidedly of opinion, that the free chil
dren of colour of Joseph Ashlin, to wit, William Barrett,
Sally Barrett, Francis Barrett and Cyrus Barrett
are free, by virtue of this will. The law requires
that they should remove from this state. I therefore
advise William Barrett to carry them with him
to the Northward. If he meets with any difficulty
in so doing, let him mention the subject to me.

Edm: Randolph
March 26. 1808.

John Ashlin's will
Relating to some natural children
opinion of Ed. Randolph
on the validity of said will

Original Format

Ink on paper.


Ashlin, Joseph , Randolph, Edmund, 1753-1813, and Virginia. Hustings Court (Richmond), “Joseph Ashlin will, 1807 July 16.,” John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, accessed January 26, 2022,