1854 Will of Maxwell Chambers
This will was transcribed by Karen Cannon, June 30, 2001
with every attempt made to correctly spell all names. The will was recorded in Rowan County, N.C.WB/K-191.
Posted by Myrtle Bridges July 4, 2001
In the name of God Amen, I, Maxwell Chambers of the Town of Salisbury, County of Rowan and State of North
Carolina, being of sound mind disposing and memory and calling to mind the uncertainty of this life, having
passed my three score and fourteenth year feel admonished that my probation here must terminate ere long.
I commit my soul to God who gave it, trusting in the merits, atonement, and intercession, of my blessed
savior for salvation by grace and grace alone.
I now commit to writing the disposition I wish made of the worldly estate it both pleases almighty
God to permit me to acquire in this life and that I may possess at my death.
First: I desire that my body be decently interred in the family burying ground at the First
Presbyterian church in Salisbury by the side of my dear departed wife and a stone similar to
hers erected over my grave.
#2. I desire all my just debts be paid.
#3. I desire my executors hereinafter named and appointed to deposit in the Branch of the Bank of
Cape Fear in Salisbury for safe keeping all my certificates of bank stocks. My Wilmington bonds,
also a bond I now hold on the President and Director of the Wilmington and Manchester Rail Road
Company or such other bond, or bonds as may be substituted for it in accordance with an agreement
now existing between them and myself, also one North Carolina State Bond of $1,000.00 and dispose
of them or any part of them as I may hereinafter direct.
#4. I leave in trust in the hands of my executors hereinafter named one hundred and thirty shares
of stock I own in the Bank of the State of North Carolina, also seventy shares of stock I own in
the Bank of Cape Fear, the interest or dividends of which as they become due the said executors is
to pay over to my beloved and affectionate sister Rebecca M. Caldwell in person during her natural
lifetime, and in the event of either of the charters of the aforesaid banks expiring during my said
sisters lifetime and not reissued or extended my executors is hereby authorized and directed to vest
the proceeds of said bank stocks and any bonus that may accrue on them in such funds or on interest
well secure as they may think most advisable for her interest and at her death the aforesaid bank
stocks of the proceeds of them together with any unpaid interest or dividends shall pay over and inure
to the Trustees of Davidson College and their successors forever for the use and benefit of said institution,
I also leave to my beloved sister the use of the small tract of land I purchased of Robert P. Side and
wife being about two miles south west of Salisbury, also the Lands and Lots I own that I purchased from
C. L. Torrene and D. A. Davis lying in the south west part of the Town of Salisbury during her natural
lifetime with the conditions that no timber is to be cut on either of the places, and at her death the
aforesaid land and lots is to pass over and go to the Trustee of Davidson College and their successors
forever for the use of said institution, subject to such conditions as I may hereinafter require.
I also give to my beloved sister in her own right and subject to her own disposal in such way as she
may desire my velvet cushion rocking chair, one dozen fancy sitting mahogany chairs, my set of dining
tables, two fancy folding mahogany tables, and if she should not be supplied, I also add to the foregoing
my marble top center table and my plated branch candlesticks and snuffers. I also leave to her the portrait
of my dear departed wife and myself that is now in my house to be possessed by her during her life and
then or previously if she desires they are to be given to the Trustees of Davidson College and by them
placed in said institution in such situation as they may think proper. I also wish my sister to distribute
my wearing apparel amongst my relations and servants in such way as she may desire.
#5. I give to my two friends James E. Caldwell and Maxwell C. Caldwell each, the interest as it becomes
due annually on four thousand dollars of my Wilmington Bonds redeemable in 1866 and if either or both of
them should be living or bear lawful issue and at the maturity of the bonds, then either of them or their
issue to be entitled to and receive the $4,000.00 each, but in the event of the death of either or both of
them without leaving lawful issue then the devise to them that may be deceased to go the Trustees of
Davidson College and their successors for the use and benefit of said institution.
#6. I give to my friend Pinkney B. Chambers in trust the interest as it becomes due annually on fifteen
hundred dollars of my Wilmington bonds that is redeemable in 1870 for the support of Arthur Curtis and
Ebenezer Chambers dwarf sons of Mary Chambers, during their lifetimes equally and to the survivor and at
their deaths to their brothers and sisters equally together with the proceeds of the bond or $1,500.00.
I also give to my friend Pinkney B. Chambers in trust the interest as it becomes due annually on one
thousand dollars of my Wilmington bonds redeemable in 1870 to be paid over to my afflicted cousin Sarah
Bream and at her death to go to her dutiful son Stokes Bream together with the $1,000.00 when the bond
#7. I give to my worthy young friend Stokes Bream son of Sarah Bream, as a testimony of my regard for him
on account of his dutiful attention to his afflicted mother the interest as it becomes due annually on
fifteen hundred dollars of my Wilmington bond, redeemable in 1870, and the $1,500.00 when the bond matures.
#8. I give to Thomas S. Chambers in trust for the use and benefit of his children in common (names unknown
to me) the interest as it becomes due annually on four thousand dollars of my Wilmington bonds redeemable
in 1871 and the principal $4,000.00 when due to be equally divided amongst his children then living.
#9. I give to my friend Pinkney B. Chambers in trust the interest as it becomes due annually on four thousand
dollars of my Wilmington bonds redeemable in 1871 to be applied equally to the education and support of the
four children of my cousin Robert V. Cowan, dec. (names not known to me) and to the survivors of them in the
event of death and the principal $4,000.00 when due to be equally divided amongst those living.
#10. I give to my friend Pinkney B. Chambers in trust for the education and support of the children of my
cousin Nathan Cowan, dec. the interest of one thousand dollars for each of said children as it becomes due
annually on my Wilmington bonds redeemable in 1868 and the one thousand dollars of principal to each to be
paid them or the survivors of them equally when the bond matures, I believe there is five children.
#11. I give in trust to Joseph F. Chambers the interest as it becomes due annually on twenty five
hundred dollars of my Wilmington bonds redeemable in 1868 for the support and education of the
children of his sister Laura Torrence in common, and the principal when due to be equally divided
amongst those living.
#12. I give to Joseph F. Chambers in trust the interest as it becomes due annually on twenty
five hundred dollars of my Wilmington bonds redeemable in 1868 for the use and benefit of his sister
Terissa (?) Chambers, and the principal $2,500.00 to be paid to her if living, but if not then to her
children if she should leave any and if none, to go to the children of his sister Laura Torrence then living.
#13. I give to my friend Robert White of Iredell County, N.C. my Negro woman Caroline now in his
possession together with all her increase that she may have at my death, also one thousand dollars,
as a testimony of my gratitude to him for his disinterested kindness to my afflicted cousin Sarah Bream.
#14. I give to my cousin Rebecca M. Cowan, Relict of Aaron V. Cowan dec. the interest as it
becomes due annually on two thousand dollars of my Wilmington bonds redeemable in 1871 and the principal
$2,000.00 to her when due if living or to her children surviving her.
#15. I give to my cousin Elizabeth M. Brown of Canon County, Tennessee all my right and title to a
tract of land I purchased of the Bells, lying on Stones River or its tributary streams it being the
place whereon her and her husband resides, I also give her one thousand dollars.
#16. I give to three sons of my deceased Uncle Adlai Campbell, names not recollected, living near
Paoli, Orange County, Indiana two thousand dollars each.
#17. I give to my two cousins, Nesbit and John Orten sons of my deceased Aunt Rebecca Orten living
in St. Francis County, Missouri two thousand dollars each.
#18. I give to my cousin Ruth Chambers, daughter of my Uncle Arthur Chambers, dec, the interest as it
becomes due annually on one thousand dollars of my Wilmington bonds redeemable in 1869 and if living at
the maturity of the bond I give her the principal $1,000.00.
#19. I give in trust to Joseph F. Chambers the interest as it becomes due annually on fifteen hundred
dollars of my Wilmington bonds redeemable in 1867 for the support and education of his brother Henry's son
and the principal $1,500.00 to go to him when due if he is living but if not then to the children of Thomas
S. Chambers then living.
#20. I give to my cousins Cyress Campbell, Rufus E. Campbell and two other brothers, names not
recollected, sons of my dec. Uncle Joseph Campbell late of Texas each one thousand dollars. I also give
to the said Cyress and Rufus E. Campbell in trust two thousand dollars, the interest only of which is to be
applied to the support and education of their dec. brother Hiels children until the youngest comes of age
and then to be equally divided between those living.
#21. I give in trust to Samuel Taylor of Charlotte, N.C. during his remaining a widower, all the Negroes
that I own that is and has been in his possession for several years together with their future increase also
such other property as he may have in his possession belonging to me, for the use and benefit of his daughter
Mrs. Allison during her lifetime, and without accountability for hire for Leah and her children, on
condition said Taylor pays a debt forthwith to Thomas S. Chambers which said Thomas paid as security
for him some years ago on said Taylors failing or refusing to pay said debt within thirty days after
notice from my executors they are directed to take into their possession the said Negroes and other
property and dispose of the same for the benefit of my estate and at the death of his daughter Mrs.
Allison the Negroes and their increase to go to her children, if she should leave no children said
Negroes and increase to go to the children of Thomas S. Chambers then living, equally.
#22. I give to my friend Joseph F. Chambers fifty shares of stock I own in the Bank of Cape Fear,
together with such other devises as I may hereinafter make to him on conditions he will with any other
executors carry out faithfully all the trust and provisions herein confided to them free of any charge.
#23. I give to my respected friend D. A. Davis fifteen hundred dollars on conditions he has the
provisions of my will carried into effect without making any other charge.
#24. I give to the Trustees of Davidson College and their successors in office forever in trust
for the use and benefit of said institution twenty thousand dollars for the purpose of endowing a
professorship and to be paid by a transfer to them of two hundred shares of the stock I own in the
Bank of Cape Fear at its par value, reserving the first dividends after my death to my estate.
#25. If I should make no other disposition of my man Carlos Blacksmith and his wife and children,
and the children of Lucinda dec. during my lifetime I give them together with all their future increase
to my much esteemed friend Pinkney B. Chambers.
#26. I give to my respected friends William E. Troy of Wadesboro and his sister Rachel Troy the
dividends as they become due on forth shares to each, of the stock I own in the Bank of Wadesboro to
terminate at their deaths or expiration of the present charter and the respective shares then to go to
the Trustees of Davidson College and the successors for the use of said college.
#27. I give to Mrs. Ann James, mother of the dec Mrs. Sarah Baker during her life the dividends as
they fall due on forthope these names are spelled right.y shares of stock I own in the Bank of Wadesboro,
this I hope will be accepted by her as a testimony of my gratitude for her continued kindness and friendship
to my dear departed wife during her long privations and sufferings previous to her death, and at her death,
the 40 shares of Bank stock to go to the Trustees of Davidson College and their successors for the use and
benefit of that institution.
#28. I give to Thomas L. Cowan, Michael Brown, Dolphin A. Davis, Doc. Alexander Long and J. J. Bruner,
Elders of the First Presbyterian Church in the Town of Salisbury, N.C. and their successors in office in
trust all those four lots in the great west square of said town and known and distinguished in said square
as No. 33, 34, 41 and 42 together with all the improvements thereon, (they being the same I purchased from
the Rev Thomas Davis), for a parsonage for the First Presbyterian Church in Salisbury and to be occupied by
the Rev. A. Baker as long as he remains the Pastor of said church free of rent, I also give to the aforesaid
Elders of the First Presbyterian Church in Salisbury and their successors in office in trust for the use and
benefit of said church seven thousand dollars of my Wilmington bonds redeemable in 1864, ten thousand dollars
of my Wilmington bonds redeemable in 1865, and $3,000 of my Wilmington bonds redeemable in 1867, in all $20,000,
the interest of said bonds or of the proceeds of them only as it be used as it becomes due and payable and to be
applied first to the keeping in a good state of repair, the enclosure or building that is or may be erected around
or over our family burying ground at the First Presbyterian Church in Salisbury, N.C., and secondly to keeping in
a good state of repair the property I have devised to them in trust for a parsonage for said church, thirdly they
are to keep in a good state of repair the said church and enclosure around it, and the surplus, if any, $100 of
which shall be applied to the payment of the parsons salary annually, and the residue or balance to be applied to
the erecting buildings on the Lots adjoining the church as hereinafter directed. I further give to Thomas L. Cowan,
Michael Brown, Dolphin A. Davis, Doc. Alexander Long and J. J. Bruner, Elders of the First Presbyterian Church in
Salisbury, N.C. and their successors in office in trust for the use of said church all those Lots or parcels of
ground I own adjoining the First Presbyterian Church and the do (?) Female Academy being the same I purchased of
the Hon. Davis F. Caldwell & wife, and to be an appendage to said church, reserving and withholding from them the
right of selling the same or any part of them, but it is my desire that they the (elders of) shall so partition said
lots off and have them so improved with buildings as will by their rent produce a revenue for said church. And should
it ever so happen that the congregation of the aforesaid First Presbyterian Church should become entirely dissolved
(which I pray God may never be the case) if the Elders fail or neglect to execute the trust and conditions herein
required of them, then and not until then, the parsonage, the Wilmington bonds or their proceeds and any other property
or funds that I have or do hereinafter devise to the said Elders in trust for the use and benefit of said church shall
pass over and become vested in the Trustees of Davidson College and their successors in trust for the use and benefit
of said institution on condition they keep the enclosure or building around and over our family burying ground and the
church property in a good state of repair.
#29. I give to our beloved Pastor, the Rev. Archibald Baker in trust the interest as it becomes due
on six thousand dollars of the bonds I now hold on the President and Directors of the Wilmington and
Manchester Rail Road Company or any bond or bonds I may hereafter receive from said Wilmington and
Manchester Rail Road Company in substitution of the bonds I now hold to be applied by him to the
education and support of his three children Catherine, Lauren and Archibald. I also give him the
principal $6,000 when it becomes due to be equally divided between them or the survivors of them.
I also give to said Archibald Baker in trust for his son Archibald those two lots in the great west
square of the Town of Salisbury known as No. 45 & 46.
#30. It is my desire that my two sofas, three gilt framed looking glasses, twelve rush bottom
sitting chairs, and if my sister Rebecca M. Caldwell should be supplied with a center table, I wish
the one I have also with the above mentioned furniture remove to the parlor of the house occupied by
the Rev A. Baker and remain there as a part of the parsonage subject to the same condition I have
made respecting the other church property.
#31. In grateful remembrance of the kindness and attention of that worth lady Mrs. Polly Holland to
my dear departed wife I give to her during her life the interest as it becomes due annually on one
thousand dollars of my Wilmington bonds redeemable in 1867 the principal $1,000.00 at her death to
go to the Trustees of Davidson College and their successors in trust for the use of that institution.
#32. Being desirous to emancipate some of my slaves during the ensuing spring and having concluded to
send them to the State of Ohio, I hereby request and direct my executors in case of my death before
effecting it, to liberate and release from slavery or involuntary servitude my woman Adeline and all
her children, Marget and all her children and Garrison her husband, also Edwin, Isliam, Hugh and Chesly,
brother of Adeline and Marget, and to furnish them with a complete and plentiful outfit of good clothing
and a full supply of provisions for the journey (say three or four weeks) also to hire a sober steady
person with a wagon and team to take them comfortably to their place of destination, and furnish all
those over twelve years old with sixty dollars each, and those under that age with forty dollars each
in such money as will be current in Ohio, the childrens money to be given to their parents, all those
means to be furnished out of my estate.
#33. In order to aid the proprietors of the Rowan factory in carrying it on until they can have time
to procure other suitable hands, in the place of those I have in their employment I hereby authorize and
direct my executors to hire the following men to them for two years in succession namely Augustius Stephen,
Albert, Arthur and Peter at fair reasonable prices, and to have them well provided for in lodging,
clothing, provisions and in case of sickness well attended to, and to pay each of them monthly out
of their wages two dollars, my executors will reserve the residue of their wages as common stock,
and at the expiration of the time any or all of those above named except Peter, shall be at liberty
to claim their freedom and emigrate to a free state or Liberia if they desire it, and in case they or
either of them conclude to go, my executors shall divide the net proceeds of their wages amongst them
equally and if it should not make them two hundred dollars each it is to be made equal to that amount
out of my estate, I enjoin it on my executors to give those men at least six months notice of this offer
and provision, and if they or either of them accept it then they are to be furnished with all the
necessary papers and facilities for their departure and uninterrupted journey, but should they decline
the offer, they shall be at liberty to select a master to purchase them at a reasonable price.
#34. I feel desirous to make ample provisions for my poor old friendless woman Lucy as well as for
my old man Peter, therefore rely on the humanity and tender feelings of my executors to have them well
taken care of and kindly treated during the short time they will probably want it, I leave in the hands
of my executors the annual interest as it becomes due on fifteen hundred dollars of my Wilmington bonds
redeemable in 1866 or as much of it as my be necessary including Peters distributive share of the hire
at the factory to support them during their lives, the surplus if any including the principal $1,500.00
to go to the Trustees of Davidson College and their successors for the use of said institution after
#35. I leave to my dear sister Rebecca M. Caldwell the use and services of my excellent man Scissio
as a carriage driver, waiting man and gardener, but not a farm hand, as long as she may desire his
service, and at her death or previously if she should not desire him he shall have the offer of his
freedom, to go to a free state or Liberia and my executors in case he accepts the offer shall furnish
him with the necessary papers and comfortable clothing and one hundred dollars in money that will be
current where he may desire to go, I also request my sister to permit him to visit his family near
Davidson College and his mother in Charlotte occasionally should he decline his freedom then he shall
be at liberty to select a master to purchase him at a reasonable price.
#36. If I should make no other disposition of the remainder of my slaves not hereinbefore provided
for, they shall all have the offer of their freedom to go to a free state or Liberia, giving them the
same outfit in money, clothing, transportation of as Adeline and her party is to have, to be supplied
from my estate giving to my good servant Sucky one hundred dollars, should they or any of them decline
their freedom, after say six months notice from my executors then it is my wish and desire that they may
select their masters to purchase them at a fair and reasonable price, and as much in family as practical
and my executors may effect the sale privately, and it is my direction that any crop I may have arranged
or commission in my plantation shall be made and gathered before the Negroes is disposed of.
#37. Having had it in contemplation for some time to erect a brick building over our family burying
ground, and having purchased some of the materials for effecting it, should I not live to carry it out,
it is my desire that my executors shall have it done, at the expense of my estate, by having the
foundation of the size of the present wall and at least one foot high at the highest of the ground
and to use any of the rock in the present wall for the purpose, also for the foundation of a set of
rock steps, the lower story to be full six feet high in the clear for a vault to the burying ground,
with the present iron gate for the shelter to a door to enter into it, the upper story to be of suitable
height to answer for a session room, Sunday school room, prayer meeting, lecture room and such other
purposes as may be necessary in connection with the church and to be an appendage to it, an agreement
has been entered into for the carpenters work and the plan therein described and so fully understood
by my executors that I think it unnecessary to go into the particulars, I wish it covered within
which article I have on hand for it, I also wish the walls of the upper story plaster and have
the lime and plaster of Paris on hand for that purpose also, and the pulpit, pews and all the
wooden parts exposed to the weather to be well and neatly painted and finished. I also direct
my executors in the event of my death before I effect it to have a good strong iron railing fence
on a rock foundation made around the yard of the First Presbyterian Church in Salisbury, N.C. with
two suitable gates where the present ones are, and to retain in their hands a sufficient amount of
my estate to pay for the same and compensate them for their trouble.
#38. I give to the Trustees of Davidson College and their successors in trust for the use of said
institution, and to Pinkney B. Chambers and Joseph F. Chambers in three equal shares all of that tract
of land known as the Frazer Lands I purchased of the Hon Davis F. Caldwell and wife containing about
760 acres. Also the tract of land I purchased of Charles Savage containing about 204 acres both tracts
lying from about two to four miles south west of Salisbury and bordering on the Charlotte & Rail Roads.
I also give to the three parties in equal shares the principal of a note I hold on them of fifteen
#39. I leave in the care of my dear sister the find gold watch and appendages also a gold pencil
case of my dear departed wife to be by her conveyed to Aless (?) Mary Tacy daughter of Alexander Troy,
dec. if I should not do so while I live.
#40. I leave to my beloved sister Rebecca M. Caldwell the disposition of my household furniture
(not already disposed of) among our friends, after reserving to herself such articles as she may
desire, hoping she will be liberal to that most excellent lady Mrs. Sarah Baker and her two lovely
daughters Catherine and Laura, I also give to my beloved sister such of my books as she may desire and
the residue of my library I give to my much esteemed friend the Rev. A. Baker and the Trustees of
Davidson College and their successors for said institution to be divided between them as they may agree on.
#40. ((There are 2 # 40s) I give to my much respected friend the Hon David F. Caldwell two thousand
dollars, as a testimony of my regard for him, and if he was not in such affluent circumstances as not to
need pecuniary aid it would have been a pleasure to me to have noticed him more liberally.
#41. I give to my friend Pinkney B. Chambers my five double barrel and shot gun I keep at my plantation,
and I give to the Rev. A. Baker for his son Hinton the small double barrel shot gun I keep in town.
#42. I give to my young friend George A. Cairns (?) my gold watch and appendages as a testimony of
my favorable opinion of his excellent character.
#43. I request and direct my executors to employ my much esteemed and worthy friend A. H. Caldwell
as council and assistant in setting my estate and arranging the trust funds, and as a compensation fee
they pay him three hundred dollars.
#44. I give to the Trustees of Davidson College and their successors for the use and benefit of said
institution, all the remainder of my estate not hereinbefore disposed of, that I may possess at my death
as well real and personal as mixed of every kind and description whatever, together with any legacy or
devises that may lapse to my estate, and in consequences of the devises I have made to the Trustees of
Davidson College and their successors for the use and benefit of said institution, I ask and desire of
them to give to the following named and referred to boys as full a collegiate education as that institution
can give and the parents or guardians of said boys may desire free of any charge either for board or
tuition, namely Stephen the son of Rev. Stephen Frontis, Hinton and Archibald, sons of the Rev.
Archibald Baker, William and John sons of my friend I. G. Cairns, also three sons of my deceased
cousin Robert V. Cowan, two of then named Maxwell and Robert, the other name not known to me, I
trust and pray that God in his kind providence will build up said college and make it an ornament to
the State of North Carolina and a blessing to the country.
#45. All the erasures or interlineations was made by myself in the foregoing Will before executing it.
#46. It is my desire that my executors retain out of the devise to the Trustees of Davidson
College and their successors in section 44 one thousand dollars in the following items, viz, five
hundred dollars of my Wilmington bonds redeemable in 1866 and five hundred dollars of my Wilmington
bonds redeemable in 1867 making one thousand dollars the interest of which as it becomes due annually
they are to pay over to my much esteemed friend the Rev. Archibald Baker and to his most excellent
lady Mrs. Sarah Baker and the principals as they become due to go to them or the survivor of them if living.
#47. It is my wish and intention that the Trustees of Davidson College and their future
successors shall not use inappropriately any part of the principal of any devises I have hereinbefore
given to them in trust for said institution but confine their expenditures exclusively to the interest
or income of the same.
#48. In the event of the extension of the capital of any of the banks in which I hold stock and the
same should be distributed amongst the old stockholders I leave it discretionary with my executors to
take it or not for my estate or for the benefit of those concerned.
#49. I hereby constitute and appoint my much respected and esteemed friend Joseph F. Chambers and
Dolphin O. Davis of the Town of Salisbury, and my highly esteemed friend Pinkney B. Chambers of the
County of Iredell, N.C. my executors of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking and declaring
null and void all others heretofore made, and it is my desire and intention that my executors execute
the same with all its provisions and trusts confided to them free of any change in consideration of
the devises made to them.
In witness whereof I the said Maxwell Chambers hath hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this the
eighteenth day of January, One thousand eight hundred and fifty four (1854).
Max Chambers (Seal)
(Signature looks like Max rather than Maxwell)
Acknowledged in the presence of us
John N. Poni
I, Maxwell Chambers for reasons known to myself do hereby revoke and declare null and void
the devise made to Maxwell B. Caldwell in the fifth section of my foregoing Will.
It is my desire that my executors named in my foregoing will shall appropriate two hundred
fifty dollars annually of the income of my estate for three years from this date to be applied
to the support and education of my young relative Mary E. Cowan now in school at the Rev. Isaac
Rankins to qualify her for a tutores in a respectable female academy, this ?? be inclusive of
the devise in my foregoing will to the children of Robert V. Cowan, dec. this I declare to be
a codicil of my foregoing Last Will in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal
this 15th day of November 1854.
Max Chambers (Seal)
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