WILL OF JAMES KNOWLES 11 January 1805
In the name of God Amen. I John Knowles, Senior of Long Island, planter, being weak in body but sound of mind and memory considering the uncertainty of this frail life do hereby make this my last will and Testament in this manner and form following. First it is my desire that all my just debts and funeral expences be fully paid and discharged after which I dispose of all the rest of my Estate both real and personal as following viz: First I give and bequeath to my loving wife Hannah Knowles her heirs and assigns one third part of my slaves and the house and lands on Long Island, New Providence and Cat Island to continue in her possession during her natural life. My will also is that the cattle with their increase are to be hers and at her own disposal. I also desire that if my younger children viz: Charles, Joseph, Mary, George, William, Abraham and Susanna should wish to build or cultivate my lands in Long Island or Cat Island that they may have free leave to do so and to their own profit. My will is that if any of my children should wish to settle in New Providence that they may build on my eastern lot. My will is that the lands on Cat Island and Long Island after my wife's decease are to fall to the aforesaid children and each to have an equal share for to settle on, or for cultivation and my desire is that the said lands may never be sold but to continue to the above named children and their heirs forever. My will is that the two thirds of my slaves may be equally divided amongst my children and their heirs forever. My will is that the two thirds of my slaves may be equally divided amongst my children viz: James, Samuel, Alexander, Thomas, Charles, Joseph, Mary, George, William, Abraham, and Susannah Knowles. My will is that Mary and Susannah possess their part of the property in the following manner viz: I bequeath it to them and their future issue and if either of them should die without issue the property is to revert to the family and to be equally divided amongst the survivors. And last I do hereby nominate and appoint Abraham Eve, Esquire and John Wells, Esq. to this my last will and Testament and Guardians of the persons and estate of my said children hereby revoking and declaring void all previous wills by me heretofore made and earnestly request my said Executors to see what is herein mentioned done and performed according to the true intent and meaning of this my said will. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this eleventh day of January and in the year of our Lord 1805.
James Knowles, senior
Witnessed by John C. Rahming
My will is that the girl Maria daughter to Patience may have her freedom after her mistress' decease and the Schooner also to be for my wife's possession until her death.