Willis: Petition, Nansemond County
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I John Fowles of the upper Parish of Nansemond County and State of Virginia being in good health and of sound mind and disposing memory, do make and ordain this my last will and Testament in manner and form following. That is to say First It is my will and desire that my Executors herein after named, after disposing of my body as hereafter directed and after paying all just demands against me to dispose of the bala. [balance] of my Estate in the manner and form following Item, It is my will and desire that my Negroe woman Bet and her three children shall be set free and Emancipated -- Item I give and bequeath unto each of the above named children the sum of one hundred dollars to be paid to them without Interest so soon as they come to the age of twenty one years. Item I give and bequeath to my said woman Bett the sum of one hundred dollars to be paid to her occationally [occasionally] as my Executors may think she may stand in need of the same and not allow her to be extravagant. Item It is my will and desire that my executors make as early an application as they possible can to the Legislature of Virginia for liberty for Bett and her children, to remain in this State and should she get that liberty, I give and bequeath to them and their heirs forever the land and Plantation wherein I now live. Should they not get the liberty to remain in the States then and in that case it is my will and desire that my friend Jacob Brinkley Should have the said Land and Plantation for the sum of five hundred dollars to be paid as may be agreed on by him and my executors Sho[ul]d he decline taking it, in that case it is to be set up so the highest bidder and the mon[e]y arising from the sale is to go to defray the expences of removing Bett and her children to a place where they may enjoy their freedom the residue of the sd. [said] Money is to be divided between the said children and their Mother in the same manner as the other Legacies are. Item I give and bequeath unto Owen Riddick Flynn the son of my Friend Owen Flynn the Sum of Fifty dollars to him and his Heirs forever. Item I give and bequeath to Susanna Tyler the Sum of ten dollars to her and her heirs forever