Letter From William Geddes to John Geddes, August 17, 1832

Author: William Geddes

Date: August 17, 1832

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Campbellstown August 17th 1832

[Note: Their father, Robert Geddes, died July 14, 1832, in Pennsylvania]

Dear Brother [John Geddes] I am so very throng [stressed] and have been since I wrote last that what I promised to send as soon as pofsible is not yet written and notwithstanding I have commenced writing may not be dispatched for some time yet for it is owing to its raining now that I am ennabled to write, a circumstance that has not occurred often since spring: so seldom that there will be very poor crops of corn. I have been as anxious to write to you as you can pofsibly be to hear from me for I want to know your oppinion or rather your wishes of what is to be done which i expect you will send as soon as you receive this. Particularly of how much we ought to accept of per Acre for the land and how soon we ought to offer it for sale Whither we should sell or offer to do so this fall or wait till spring. I think we would do as well to wait till in the spring sometime for if we should try to sell this fall it would look like as if we were under a necefsity of selling or that something was wrong with the title or that we were so anxious to sell that [we] would be willing to sell under value rather than not sell which would make purchasers hold back in order to get a good bargain which has often has been done. But if you think we should endeavour to sell this fall: I am willing and shall offer the farm for sale at public vendue about the first of November or middle of October and then if the price offered should not be enough we would show them that we were not over anxious about selling. The law suit that Father was engaged in about Carpers Estate will likely hinder our sale; for there is few that know any thing about it as there oppinions will show – a great many people have got it in their heads that Father’s Estate will have to pay the demand and for no other reason that I know off but because he has been baffled so long about it without recovering a cent which has been the case with many a just cause. As ill founded as these fears or opinions are I am afraid they will retard the sale at least advantageously for too long a time period. We are putting out the same fall crop that Father intended to have put out so as to keep the farming going on; so that if we should not sell we can rent without any hindrance to the renter or lofs to the Estate. If there is a vendue made of the land this fall it ought to be early enough so that we could rent in time. I intend to make our sale of the personal property this fall and another in the spring to sell the hogs sheep Grain and as much of the household furnature as can be done without during winter, and keep the most of the horses and horned Cattle to consume as much of the Hay and straw as pofsible for the benefit of the farm for if there should be no manure made there would be a greater lofs in the coming crop than the hay would bring were it sold although there is 40 ton of it worth perhaps $250. Father never would sell any hay or straw which I think will justify me in consuming it. The dung will be worth 100 and I think the gain by keeping the Cattle another [year], but that is doubtful. Give your opinion freely on all things particularly on this for there will likely be some grumbling about it. The valuation of the personal amounts to $3026. Thomas has left us about two weeks ago he is with Alexander in the store. He took a notion of going and I said nothing against it; least there might be complaining. An aversion for work was what governed this choice; for he is the most lazy fellow of the three.

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I will not hinder any of the three from going to any trade or employment they may choose: or when they choose, more than to give my opinion of their choice and what would be better for them; which as a brother I am bound to do and shall further any laudable endeavour of theirs as far as it may be in my power at all times. We must all separate next spring each to seek a livelihood for himself. Agrippa is the only one that is a minor and for him I shall try to get a place to learn a trade as soon as may be suitable giving him his choice of trades. He ought to go to school this winter for all the teachers that he has went to yet have brought him no further than Practice. I will now give you a copy of the will in full and if I can recollect anything more that you ought to know after I have written it I will insert it if I have room. In the name of God Amen I Robert Geddis of Londonderry township in the County of Lebanon State of Pennsylvania being weak and infirm in body (by reason of sicknefs) but of sound mind Judgement memory and understanding blefsed be God for the same: and calling to recollection mortality of human nature that it is appointed for all men once to die; First of all I commend my immortal Soul into the hands of God who gave it and my body to the Earth to be buried in a christian like manner at the direction discretion of my Executors herein after mentioned named, And being desirous to settle my Worldly affairs whilst I have strength and capacity so to do, so that these who may survive me may have the least possible inconvenience Do make ordain and declare this my last will and Testament. As follows, I do order & direct my executors as soon as conveniently may be after my decease to sell by public or private sale all my plantation or farm on which I now dwell situate in said township and pay all my just debts and funeral expenses but the[y] shall not sacrifice or under sell the same by too hasty sale, the Executors is at liberty to sell the said plantation in parts or parcels or the whole together as it may suit most beneficial, and I do hereby empower my executors or the survivor of them to make a good and suffecient lawful fee simple title or deed or deeds to the purchaser or purchasers of my real estate so ordered to be sold in as full and ample a manner as I myself might or could do if personally present; The one third of the whole purchase money of my real Estate shall remain unpaid & to be a lien on the land together with its interest during the natural life of my dearly beloved wife, and the Interest of the said third shall be paid yearly to her each and every year as they become due, by the purchaser or purchasers of my said Estate so ordered to be sold or to my Executors for her use, the interest so to be paid shall be secured by mortgage on the land. When the land shall be sold the first payment shall be the one half of the whole purchase money in hand,

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and the remainder of the two thirds shall be paid in four equal payments to be paid yearly on the first day of April each and every year as they become due to be secured by mortgage on the land. the Executors shall be at liberty to accept other payments as they may think proper, exclusive of the goles. Whereas there is now deposited in the Harrisburg Bank three hundred and fifty dollars that came out of the Estate of Samuel McClure deceased, I do hereby give and bequeath the said Three hundred and fifty dollars to my said wife Martha the mother of said Samuel McClure decea’d if the said sum of three hundred and fifty dollars should not be in deposite in the said Bank, at the time of my decease the same shall be paid to her out of any money of my Estate that may be in the hands of my Executors, at the Settlement of my estate. Robert Geddes Graydon, my grand-son and son of my daughter Sarah deceased who was intermarried with Alexander Graydon my said grand child shall be charged with three hundred and fifty dollars without interest and my son John shall be charged with forty five dollars without interest, my son William shall be paid two hundred dollars as soon as money shall be in the hands of my executors for his past services rendered, my daughter Isabel shall have one hundred dollars for her long and faithful services, my son Robert shall receive a Sword formerly the property of Robert McAllen now in my house, Robert Geddes Graydon aforesaid shall receive a full share of my Estate after the deduction already mentioned, and my son John shall receive a full share after deducting as already mentioned, my son William shall receive a full share of my estate together with the aforesaid allowance of two hundred dollars, my daughter Jane shall receive a full share. Isabel shall receive a full share, together with the aforesaid allowance of one hundred and fifty dollars my son James shall receive a full share. My son Thomas shall receive a full share, my son Agrippa shall receive a full share and my daughter Anne shall have a full share. I direct my personal Estate shall be sold at public vendue at the discretion of my Executors. If any of my said children or heirs should commence any lawsuit about or concerning the legacies so bequeathed to them they or any of them shall be forever barred from receiving any of the said legacies bequeathed to them and their share or shares shall be equally divided among the other heirs. hereby revokeing all other wills by me at any time heretofore made. I do nominate and appoint my two sons William Geddes and James Geddes to be my Executors of this my last will and Testament - In testimony Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 13th day of June 1832.

Robert Geddis (LS)

Signed sealed published and declared by the above named Robert Geddis as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who at his request and in his presence have subscribed our names as witnefses here to

Abraham Philips

John Witmer

William Clandennen

I wish you would let me know what you think ought to be done about the affairs of Isabel McClure who has been living here for three or four years without doing any good for herself or any body else; but the contrary. She has been and still continues to be very troublesome endeavouring to disturb and waste all she can. Father has never charged her any thing for her

keeping nor do I know whether he ever intended to do so. There never has been a Guardian appointed for her yet of course there could be no settlement made and thereby I am left in the dark how father intended to act. I would be willing to let her go without paying if the heirs were all willing of which I shall make myself sure. We are well. Farewell

To John Geddes William Geddes

[In pencil, probably by Charlotte Randal, John Geddes’ granddaughter: “Copy of Will Great Grandfather”]