Newspaper Articles

Obituary and Will from 1797 Kentucky Gazette

The following obituary and will were found on page 3 of the Kentucky Gazette, October 14, 1797.  All four pages of the newspaper are similarly written, except the first page has the name and date of the paper at the top.  This paper is Number 566, Volume XI.  Notation says, ‘Lexington – Printed on Wednesdays and Saturdays by J. Bradford, on Main Street, where subscriptions, at twenty-one shillings per annum.  Advertisements, articles of Intelligence, essays, etc., are thankfully received and printing in general executed in a neat and correct manner.’

The following obituary is for a Mr. Zachariah Worthy, who died July 22, 1797.  He is listed as 55 years of age, which makes his birth in 1742.  Unfortunately the name of the county and church he attended is not listed.  I have been unable to find anything more about this gentleman.  The newspaper is very hard to read since at that time an ‘f’ was substituted for an ‘s’.


Saturday, October 14, 1797


On the 22nd of July last, departed this life, Mr. Zachariah Worthy, of ****** county, aged fifty-six years, after a long and painful illness, which he supported with truly Christian fortitude, and patient resignation to the will of God.  He died universally regretted by all his acquaintances and friends, but his loss will long be felt and deplored by the ****** Church, of which he had been for more than thirty years a member and zealous supporter.  The friends of freedom, justice and Christianity and good will to all men, will observe the principles which so eminently distinguished the life of this truly religious and benevolent man, displayed in his last will and testament of which we are happily enabled to give a copy from the records of ****** court.

In the name of God, Amen.  I, Zachariah Worthy, of ****** county, ,and state of Kentucky, being of sound mind and disposing memory; but having long been admonished by a painful illness, that I am shortly to ‘go the way appointed for all flesh,’ and wishing, before my departure from this mortal state, to make a full disposition of all the worldly substance with which it has pleased the bountiful giver of all good to endow me, do make and ordain this my last will and testament, in manner and form following (to wit).

First, I give my body to the earth, and resign my soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it, hoping that as it has pleased him in his great goodness, to teach me by his holy word, to do justice, love, mercy and walk humbly in his sight, I shall find mercy in his presence at the great day when he shall judge the world in righteousness, and reward those who have done well, and banish forever from his presence the workers of iniquity.

Item.  It is my will and desire that my lands, which are all in dispute, shall be sent to Philadelphia, and there sold by my executors (herein after named) by deeds with special warranty only, for the best price which can be had, in order to raise a fund for the payment of my just debts.

And as to all my slaves and other perishable property of which I am justly possessed, I dispose of the same as follows:

I have and bequeath unto my beloved daughter Dorothy, two slaves, Patty and Poll and their increase to her and her heirs forever.

I give and bequeath unto my daughter Rebecca, my slaves Nan and Philllis, and their increase to her and her heirs forever; also, my bay mare and sorrel colt, and their increase.

I give and bequeath unto my youngest son, John, the following seven slaves, to wit:  Ned, Tom, Sam, Bill, Peter, Charles and Dick, to him and his heirs forever, also six horses and all my black cattle.

And whereas it is my will and earnest desire, that my eldest son,  Timothy, who is now at college, should be brought up to the gospel ministry, and it being necessary to raise a fund to enable him to complete his education & procure him books; and as my two slaves, Methusalem and Sarah, (the father and mother of the above bequeathed slaves) having served me faithfully thirty-six years, are now grown old, sickly and infirm, and might shortly become chargeable to my children, my will is that my executors send the said slaves by the first boat which descends the river, and sell them in that part of the Spanish dominions where the best price can be had, and apply the money arising from the said sale towards defraying the expenses incurred in the education of my said son Timothy, to whom I give all the residue of my estate, both real and personal, to him and his heirs forever.

And I do hereby appoint my truly esteemed friends, the Rev. John Obadiah, and the Rev. Henry Harrison, executors of this my last will and testament, requesting that as a compensation for their services, and as a token of my esteem, they will apply to their use the hire of Methuslem and Sarah, until an opportunity offers for disposing of them as above, and that each of them accept a copy

of Bishop Watson’s inestimable sermon, “On the mercy of God, in creating both rich and poor, bond and free.’

And having thus made a just disposition of all my worldly concerns, I have only to enjoin on my said children, as they wish for a peaceful and quiet conscience at the awful hour of death, that they invariably practice the sacred precept of our Redeemer, ‘Do unto all men as ye would that they should do unto you.’

Given under my hand and seal this 22nd day of July 1797.

Zachariah Worthy

Teste, John Jessamy, Henry Wholesome, Titus Thompson

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