George Washington Papers

III-A. Schedule A: Assignment of the Widow’s Dower, c.October 1759


Schedule A: Assignment of the Widow’s Dower

[c.October 1759]

All the Lands in King William County 2880 acres1
N.B. the Marsh adjoing this Land is to furnish the other parts of the Estate with Hay (they being at the Expence and trouble of getting it) and this Land to receive necessary Timber from the Estate upon the same Conditions.2
Bridge Quarter Land ⟨is⟩ supposd to be about 700 acres
Ship Landing Quarter and to make up the above 700 acres3 1000
A Mill in York County4
Dwelling House, Gardens, and Appurtenances in Williamsburg5
One third of the Lotts in James Town6
Negroes pr Appraisment
House Servants7
Breechy £50 Beck 50
Doll 40 Jenny 45
Betty & Chd Austin 60 Sall 35 £ 280
Morris 60 Scomberg 45
Michael 60 Mulatto Jack Job[be]r 60 £ 275
Tom 50
In New Kent
illegible 15
Anthony £20 & wife Betty 25 £55 Phillis 50
Will 40 Duke 40
George } 40 Scomberg 30
Doll 30 Prince 10 £ 367
Lucy Dolls Childn 25 £ 922
Peter 20
Alce 12
In York
Bacchus £40 Child Je[my] ⟨illegible
Ben 50 Young B⟨illegible8
Crispin 40 Frank & C[hild Judith 50]
Ned 50 Brunsw⟨ick⟩ [50]
Old Captain 15 Arling⟨ton⟩ [35]
Young Ned 50 Caesar [25]
Jupiter 50 Geor⟨ge⟩ [30]
Cupid 50 Doll [15]
Old Daphne 25 Lydia 2⟨6⟩
Moll 50 Suckey 25
Pegg 60 Hannah 25
Young Daphne [25] illegible
In K. William
George 2[0] Sew 45
Stephen 6⟨illeg. Patt 50
David 60 Rachel 35
Guy 50 Crayger 25
Marlborough 45 Kitt a girl 35
Sam 40 George 35
Parros 65 Bi⟨l⟩ 25
Hector 50 Lucy 20
Solomon 65 ⟨Frank⟩ 10
Will 45 Na⟨n⟩ 15
Sarah 30 illegible 15 £ 845
In Hanover
Matt 45 John 20
Sam 45 Paul 23
Sarah 30 Patrick 15
Moll 35 Davy 12
Jenny 40 Alce 25
Morris 25 Jenny 8
Bob 25 Kitt 40 [£] 388
In all [£]29869
Sign’d as before
Cattle illegible Sheep Hogs
At Claibornes K: William 161 35 78 195
Hanover 31 3 30
Bridge Quarter (York) 68 12
Ship Landing 32 4
To get from Rocahock 32
from the Eastn Shore 19
In all 324 54 97 225

N.B. The Estate to be chargd with £100 for 80 head of Neat Cattle delivd Short of one T⟨hir⟩d.11

D, ViLxW: Washington’s Account Book. To this important account GW devoted an entire preliminary page to the letter “(A),” presumably to identify this and succeeding documents as comprising Schedule A (see Editorial Note, 20 April 1759–5 Nov. 1761). A part of the manuscript page on which the dower slaves are listed is mutilated, and occasionally other words and numbers are illegible. When the name or assessed value of a slave is mutilated or illegible but can be deduced from the Combined County Inventory (doc. III-A–1), the one or the other, or both, has been inserted here in square brackets.

For a discussion of Martha Washington’s dower rights, see doc. II, especially notes 1–3. The names of all the slaves belonging to the Custis estate are listed in the various county inventories (doc. III-A–1). GW’s list of slaves, entitled “A List of Working Dower Negroes, where settled, & under whose care, 1760,” is Appendix F.

1Called Claiborne’s, this plantation on the Pamunkey River came into Daniel Parke Custis’s possession in 1750 when he bought it from the estate of William Claiborne (d. 1746). John Roan was the overseer. Surveys of the plantation dated 14–18 April 1789 and 25–29 Mar. 1791 are in the Virginia State Library.

2Nearly half of Claiborne’s was marshland, which furnished grazing for the large amount of livestock there.

3Bridge Quarter (William Jackson, overseer) and Ship Landing Quarter (William Taylor, overseer), both on Queens Creek just north of Williamsburg, had a combined acreage of about one thousand acres. The estate steward, Joseph Valentine, lived on this tract.

4The gristmill adjoined the Queens Creek plantations.

5Custis House in Williamsburg was set in a four-acre tract on Francis Street, or the back street. It was here that John Custis lived before his death in 1749, tending his celebrated gardens and supervising his Queens Creek plantations.

6The 3,880 acres in addition to town property that were assigned to GW as his wife’s share of the Custis land was out of a total of 17,779 acres in the Custis estate (see III-A–6).

7See GW’s listing of house servants and tradesmen at Mount Vernon (Appendix C), which GW may have made before April 1759 and almost certainly made before the widow’s dower was assigned in October 1759.

8Young B. is probably Brunswick, the child of Moll (see Papers, Colonial Series description begins W. W. Abbot et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Colonial Series. 10 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1983–95. description ends , 6:229).

9This total represents one-third of the total value of all the slaves in the six counties. Slaves not assigned to Martha belonged to John Parke Custis. In the general account of the estate (doc. III-B), the appraised value of the slaves in each of the six counties where Daniel Parke Custis owned land is given.

10Mrs. Washington was entitled to one-third of all livestock, the remainder going to her son. According to the draft copies of GW’s and John Parke Custis’s individual accounts (see doc. III-C–1, n.2), GW got, as his share of the Custis livestock, cattle valued at £421.13.10, hogs valued at £77.7.2, and sheep valued at £18.18.8. See also doc. III-C–2, n.2. Because in the delivery of cattle GW got eighty head of cattle fewer than he was entitled to, he made up his full third by debiting the account that he kept for John Parke Custis by £100 “To 80 head of Cattle omitted in your former Accot” (April 1763, ViLxW).

11This refers to the cattle valued at £100 that GW transferred to John Parke Custis. See note 10.

Index Entries