Will of James Fields
Last Will & Testament of
JAMES FIELDS, Deceased
Set up April Term 1855
State of Tennessee Dyer County
In the Name of Almighty God a moni; I JAMES FIELDS of the County of Dyer and State of Tennessee, well knowing the uncertainly of mortal life, the certainly of Death and being of sound and desposing mind & memory do make, ordain, and publish this my last will and testament, in the manner and form following, hereby revoking and making null and void all other wills and testaments heretofore made & published by me (that is to say) all of my just debts I desire to be paid as soon after my death as possible.
Item: To my beloved wife, JULIA FIELDS I give and bequeath all of my property real and personal consisting of lands, negros, stock in Plank Road, horses &c,&c for and during the term of her natural life. And if at any time my said wife shall deem it to her interest, or think it advisable or necessary to sell or dispose of any of said property, either real or personal in order to increase the value, or protect the same, or to provide for her own wants, She is hereby authorised and empowered to do so, without being liable to account to any one there for. And it is my wish and desire that the whole of said property, and all of my business shall be under her guidance and controll, and that my executors here in after to be appointed shall be governed by her in the execution of this my last will and testament.
And whereas I am largely interested in the completion of Dyersburg & Mississippi River Plank Road and Turnpike it is my wish, and I direct that my wife and my executors see that my views in this respect be carried out, and that my contract with the state of Tennessee be faithfully complied with & that my business in this respect be conducted in the same manner as if I were living.
Item: To each of my daughters "to wit" ELIZABETH WHITSON, MARY A. BEAUFORD, JULIA A. INGRAM, MARY I. CRENSHAW, WILMINA LEDSINGER and SARAH V. FIELDS, I direct my wife to pay as soon after my death, as she can with convenience such an amount of money including what had already been advanced to them in negroes &c. as will make the sum of two thousand dollars, the said money & property to be settled upon my said daughters for life, remainder to the heirs of their bodies, and not to be subject to the control or liable in any manner whatever to the debts or liabilities of their present or any future husbands they may have.
Item: If my business successes as I anticipate, I direct that my wife or executors shall pay as soon as they can without embarrassing my affairs to American Bible Revision Association the sum of one Thousand Dollars.
Item: It is my will & desire that all my property both real & personal here in not specifically desposed of shall on the death of my said wife JULIA FIELDS or sooner if she desires it be equally divided between all of my children share and share alike, and the property that may be alloted to my aforesaid mentioned daughters in said divisions, I give and bequeath to them and their heirs of their bodies as in the ___ of the _____, it is not to be subject the present or future debts or liabilities of their present or any future husbands they may have, nor in any wise subject to their control. Lastly, I do hereby nominate and appoint my three sons JOHN T. FIELDS, PETER G. FIELDS, and WILLIAM B. FIELDS executors of this my last will and testament and I wish and direct that they shall not be required to give any bond or security for the discharge of their duty as executors aforesaid; for testamony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and appraised my seal the thirteenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred fifty three and in the 77th year of the Independence of the United States of America.
JAMES FIELDS (Seal)
MARTIAN G. BURTON (probably should be Nathan G. Burton)
T. E. RICHARDSON (first name is Thos.)
A Codicil to said will and testament of JAMES FIELDS, Having heretofore made and published my last will and testament, do make and publish this as a codicil thereto, First I do hereby nominate and appoint PEMBERTON C. LEDSINGER an additional Executor of my last will and testament, without revoking but confirming the appointment of my three sons. Lastly it is my desire that this codicil be attached to and constituted a part of my will to all interested and purposes.
In testamony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affirmed my seal 11th day of April A. D. one thousand eight hundred and fifty four and of American Independence 78th.
JAMES FIELDS (Seal)
S. R. LATTA
E. G. HILL
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