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en furniture of every sort and kind, with the liquors and groceries which may be on hand at the time of my decease, to be used and disposed of as she
proper, “ Item.-Upon the decease of my wife, it is
my will and desire, that all the slaves which I hold in my own right shall receive their freedom. To emancipate them during her life would, though earnestly wished by me, be attended with such insuperable difficulties, on account of their intermixture by marriages with the dower negroes, as to excite the most painful sensations, if not disagreeable consequences, from the latter, while both descriptions are in the occupancy of the same proprietor ; it not being in my power, under the tenure by which the dower negroes are held, to manumit them. And whereas among those who will receive freedom according to this demise, there may be some who, from old age or bodily infirmities, and others who, on account of their infancy, will be unable to support themselves, it is my
will and desire, that ali who come under the first and second description, shall be comfortably clothed and fed by my heirs while they live ; and that such of the latter description as have no parents living, or if living, are unable or unwilling to provide for them, shall be bound by the court till they shall arrive at the age
of twenty-five years; and in cases where no record can be produced whereby their ages can be ascertained, the judgment of the court, upon its own view of the subject, shall be adequate and finał. The negroes thus bound, are (by their masters or mistresses) to be taught to read and write, and to be brought up to some useful occupation, agreea. bly to the laws of the Comnionwealth of Virginia, providing for the support of orphan and other poor children. And I do hereby expressly forbid the sale, or transportation out of the said Commonwealth, of any slave I may be possessed of, under any pretence whatever. And I do moreover most solemn. ly and most pointedly enjoin it upon my executors hereafter named, or the survivor of thein, to see that this clause respecting slaves, and every part therenf, be religiously fulfilled at the epoch at which it is directed to take place, without evasion, neglect, or delay, after the crops which then may be in the ground are harvested, particularly as it respects the aged and infirm ; seeing that a regular and permanent fund be established for their support as long as they are subjects. requiring it, not trusting to the uncertain provision to be made by individuals.
“ Item.-To the trustees, (governors, or by whatsoever name they may be designated,
of the academy in the town of Alexandria, I give and bequeath (in trust) four thousand dollars, or in other words, twenty of the shares which I hold in the Bank of Alexan. dria, towards the support of a free school, established at and annexed to the said academy, for the purpose of educating such orphan children, or the children of such other poor and indigent persons as are unable to accomplish it with their own means; and who, in the judgment of the trustees of the said seminary, are best entitled to the benefit of this donation.
“ Item.--I give and bequeath, in perpetuity the fifty shares I hold in the Potomac Company (under the aforesaid acts of the Legislature of Virginia,) towards the endowment of a university, to be established within the limits of the District of Columbia, under the auspices of the general government, it that government should incline to extend a fostering hand towards it ; and until such seminary is established, and the funds arising in those shares shall be required for its support, my further will and desire is, that the profit accruing therefrom shall, whenever the dividends are made, be laid out in purchasing stock in the Bank of Columbia, or some other bank, at the discretion of my executors, or
by the Treasurer of the United States for the time being, under the direction of Congress, provided that honourable body should patronize the measure, and the dividends proceeding from the purchase of such a stock, are to be vested in more stock, and so on until a sum adequate to the accomplishment of the object is obtained; of which I have not the smallest doubt before many years pass away, even if no aid or encouragement be given by legislative authority, or from any other source.
“ Item.--To my brother, Charles Washington, I give and bequeath the gold-headed cane left me by Doctor Franklin, in his will. I add nothing to it, because of the ample provision I have made for his issue. To the acquaintances and friends of my juvenile years, Lawrence Washington and Robert Washington, of Chotank, I give my other two gold-headed canes, having my arms engraved on them; and to each, (as they will be useful where they live) I leave one of the spy.glasses, which constituted part of my equipage during the late war, To my compatriot in arms; and old intimate friend, Dr. Craik, I give my bureau ; or, as the cabinetmakers call it, tambour secretary, and the circular chair, an appendage to my study. To Dr. D. Stuart, I give my large shaving and dressing table, and my telescope. To the Reverend, now Bryan Lord Fairfax, I give a bible, in three large folio volumes, with notes, presented to me by the Right Reverend Thomas Wilson, Bishop of Soder and Man. To General de la Fayette, I give a pair of finely wrought steel pistols taken from the enemy in the revolutionary war. To each of my nephews, William Augustine Washington, George Lewis, George Steptoe Washington, Bushrod Washington, and Samuel Washington, I give one of the swords or cutteaux, of which I die possessed ; and they are to choose in the order they they are named. These swords are accompanied with an injunction not to unsheath them for the
purpose of shedding blood, except it be for self-defence, or in defence of their country and its rights; and in the latter case to keep them unsheathed, and prefer falling with them in their hands to the relinquishment thereof.
“ The family vault at Mount Vernon requiring repairs, and being improperly situated besides, I desire that a new one of brick, and upon a larger scale, may be built at the foot of what is commonly called the Vineyard Inclosure, on the ground which is marked out ; in which my remains, with those of my deceased relations (now in the old vault,) and such others of my family as may choose