Captain Lewis Rose was in Mercer County, Kentucky, by 1780 – one of the earliest pioneers. The captain’s first wife was Barbara Trayer, and after her death he married Mary McMurtry, widow of his friend John McMurtry. In his will he leaves bequests to his wife, Mary, sons Charles Rose and Lewis Rose, Jr., daughters Mary Graham, Catherine McMurtry, Jemima McMurtry and Rebecca Chinoweth, granddaughter Deniza McMurtry and grandson Lewis McMurtry. He gives $500 to Centre College for a Professorship of Theology. And his slaves, who he calls his black people, are to be freed at the age of twenty-nine. The will can be found in Mercer County Will Book 9, pages 203-205. For more information on Lewis Rose go to the top of the page and do a search on my blog on his name!
I, Lewis Rose, of the County of Mercer and State of Kentucky, being at this time in my usual health and perfect mind and memory, do ordain and establish this instrument of writing as my last Will and Testament as my present age and the uncertainty of life admonishes me to be prepared to meet my Savior, whensoever it seemeth good for him to call for me having the fullest confidence in the Christian Religion as it is because the church of which I have been a member since the fall of the year 1783.
1st. In the first place I commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God, who gave it and my body to be decently buried by my executor to be hereafter named.
2nd. It is my will that all my just debts be paid which are inconsiderable.
3rd. My beloved wife, Mary, is to have my dwelling house and one half of my plantation and home tract of land where I now reside during her natural life, also two beds and furniture, my tables, the cupboard and half its furniture and one half the kitchen furniture, the chairs, my clock, the desk, two cows and calves, my riding chair and the horse that works it, all my books, six sheep and one third of the hogs and all the poultry, also one plow and gear – to her during her natural life and to dispose of as she pleases at her death, except the land, clock and Scott’s family bible, which are to be disposed of as her exact direction. Also my black woman, Melinda, and my black boy, Drew, are to live with my wife during her life, or until they arrive at the age of twenty-nine years,
at which time they are to be free, but in case my wife dies before they arrive at that age, Melinda is to go to my granddaughter Deniza McMurtry until that age and Drew may be disposed of as my wife chooses until he is free.
4th. My son Charles Rose has already received all I can give him in land for which he has a deed where he lives.
5th. The remains of my property estate after my wife has received her part is to be sold and the money when collected shall be equally divided between my children Mary Graham (of Indiana), Catharine McMurtry, Jemima McMurtry, Lewis Rose, Junior and Rebecca Chinoweth (of Illinois).
6th. My black boy Cupid is to go to my son Lewis until he arrives at the age of twenty-nine, when he is to be free as already recorded.
7th. My two black boys, Richard and Robin, are to go to my daughter Jemima McMurtry and for her use under the control of her son Lewis, and in case of her death the said Lewis is to have them until they are twenty-nine years old at which time they are to be free.
8th. The remaining half of my home plantation and tract of land is to be rented and during the life of my wife and at her death my whole tract of land is hereby vested in my executors or such of them as qualify or any of them surviving who are hereby authorized and directed to sell the same, entire or in pieces, as upon such credits as to them may seem right and out of the first proceeds of the same pay over to the Trustees of the Centre College at Danville five hundred dollars to be by them vest in the fund of a Professorship of Theology established by the Synod of Kentucky in perpetuity.
9th. One hundred dollars more out of the proceeds of my lands is to be paid to my granddaughter Deniza and the remainder of the proceeds of my land and the clock together with the rents of the one-half of the same which may accrue previous to the death of my wife shall be (after all reasonable expenses are paid) equally divided between my children as aforesaid, except my son Charles.
10th. My executors or the survivor or survivors of such as qualify are hereby vested with full power to convey my lands to these purchaser or purchasers in behalf of my heirs and will as to sell it for the purposes aforesaid.
11th. There is an instrument of writing in my hands given by Samuel McDowell relinquishing his claim to money coming from the Harrodsburg church, the one half to the Rev. Doctor T. Cleland and the other half to the Harrodsburg church, so soon as the same is collected from the Trustees of the Seminary. This instrument of writing, if not paid off previous to my death is to be used for the benefit of Doctor Cleland.
12th. These of my children who receive my black people shall have the same valued by the appraisers of my estate for the time they have to serve and the amount is to be deducted out of their part of the money arising from the sale of my personal estate and land, and if any of them refuse to receive them on said terms then they shall be hired out and the money placed in the surplus fund of my estate to be divided according to my directions as above.
13th. It is my desire that my friends the Rev. Thomas Cleland, Robert B. McAfee, Madison L. Worthington and Doctor William Robertson be and they are hereby appointed the Executors of this my last Will and Testament which request that they be permitted to qualify without giving security.
Witness my hand and seal this 9th day of January, 1829.
Signed in the presence of B. F. Pleasants, J. Haskin, James H. Thompson
Mercer County at March County Court 1829
The foregoing last Will and Testament of Lewis Rose, deceased, was this day produced into Court and proven by the oaths of B. T. Pleasants and J. Haskins, subscribing witness thereto and ordered to be recorded.
Thomas Allin, County Clerk