Violetta Mauzy Emancipates Slaves in 1832 Will – Mercer County

Violetta Bradford was born about 1760, in Fauquier County, Virginia, to Daniel Bradford and Alice Morgan.  The family included eleven children, Violetta being number seven.  She married Thomas Mauzy December 8, 1805.  He died in Orange County, Virginia, in 1827.  Violetta made her way to Kentucky – possibly with one of her brothers – living in Mercer County.  Fielding and Enoch Bradford died in Scott County and John died in Fayette.

According to the November 20, 1983, Advocate Messenger, of Danville, Boyle County, Mrs. Violetta Mauzy was buried in a cemetery that includes graves of the city’s first settlers.  The area is known as McDowell Park, and is adjacent to the Presbyterian Church on West Main Street, and bordered by College and Walnut Streets.  Many of the original graves were moved to Bellevue Cemetery when it was opened in 1848.  The stones left have inscriptions that have faded away over time.  It mentions that a list of the marked graves at McDowell Park, compiled by the historical society are in the possession of Mrs. Bosley.  Mrs. Violetta Mauzy is on this list.

Several aspects of this will make it very interesting.  Violetta emancipates her five slaves, the first item mentioned in the will.  After giving $100 bequests to her brothers and sisters living spouses, or other relatives.  Brother Fielding Bradford is the only living brother in 1832 when the will was written.  This gives a nice list of her siblings, and who many of them married.  Also a nephew and two great-nephews are named.

Will of Violetta Bradford Mauzy

Mercer County Will Book 11, pages 377-378

In the name of God, amen.  I, Violetta Mauzy, being of sound mind and disposing memory, aged about seventy-three years, and in a good state of health, thank God for the same, wishing to dispose of my worldly affairs, conscious of the certainty of death and the uncertainty of how long I am to live, do make and ordain this my last will and testament to wit.

In primis.  It is my will and desire that all my slaves, to wit – Adam, Mark, David, Lydia and Chany, the child of Lydia, be emancipated and set free, and should either of the women have any children they are also to be free.  And I want it here understood that should I die before Chany arrives at the age of twenty-one years her (to wit Chany’s mother) mother is to have her until she arrives at the age of twenty-one years.

2nd.  It is my will and desire that the children of my sister, Mary Allin, deceased, (of Virginia), Charles Allin excepted, have one hundred dollars in cash to be equally divided between them.

3rd.  I give and bequeath to the wife of my brother, John Bradford, deceased, one hundred dollars in cash to do with as she thinks proper.

4th.  I give and bequeath to Frances Bradford, the wife of my brother, William Bradford, deceased, one hundred dollars to do with as she thinks proper.

5th.  I give and bequeath to the two grandchildren of my brother, Charles Bradford, deceased, by the name of Finley, one hundred dollars in cash.

6th.  I give and bequeath to Mary Bradford, the widow of my brother, Enoch Bradford, one hundred dollars in cash to do with as she may think proper.

7th.  I give and bequeath to my brother, Fielding Bradford, one hundred dollars, counting what his son Morgan owes me as a part of it, which he is to collect of his son, but should he, Morgan, pay me, then my brother Fielding to have the hundred dollars entirely out of my estate.

8th.  It is my will and desire that George Hume, the husband of my sister, Kitty, deceased, have one hundred dollars in cash.

9th.  I will to Chany, daughter of Lydia, first above named, one bed, bedstead and furniture, and all my own clothing, and, also, I give to Chany all my household furniture of every description.

10th.  It is my will and desire that should there be anything left after paying the funeral expenses, then the above-named Negroes are to have it to be equally divided between them.  I do hereby appoint my friend, George Hume, the executor of this my last will and testament.  In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 26th day of March 1832.

Violetta Mauzy

Test.  John C. Miller, Joseph Miller

Mercer County, September County Court 1841

The foregoing last will and testament of Violetta Mauzy, deceased, was this day produced into court and the handwriting of said decedent proved by the oaths of Bita [?] Bradford and Frederick Yager, and ordered to be recorded.  Att. Thomas Allin

List of siblings mentioned in will –

  • John Bradford married Mary
  • William Bradford married Frances
  • Charles Bradford – two grandchildren last name Finley
  • Enoch Bradford married Mary
  • Fielding Bradford – son Morgan Bradford
  • Kitty Bradford married George Hume

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