In my recent post entitled "The Leflore Family of Mississippi, Part I," I included details of Louis Leflore's life as a young man. But much can be learned about Leflore and his family from the simple reading of his Last Will and Testament. Because Leflore was involved in the settlement and development of Holmes County, Mississippi, it seems appropriate that his will is recorded in Holmes County Record Book 1, page 1.
Leflore's will, dated October 28, 1833, states the following:
"Considering the uncertainty of this mortal life being of sound mind; memory (blessed by almighty God for the same), do make and publish this my last will and Testament in manner and form following that is to say, First I will to direct that all my land debts be paid out of monies to be raised by the sale of such personal property as I may leave at my death exclusion of Negroes provided the same shall be sufficiently for that purpose but if not sufficient then I direct that so much of my real estate shall be sold as may be necessary to complete the amount required for the payment of my said debts. Secondly, I give and bequeath to my son Forbis Leflore the sum of seven hundred dollars, to my two nephews Stephen Crevat; Placid Crevat each three hundred dollars to my niece Maruyayu (?) Crevat,three hundred dollars to be paid by my executioners within one year of my after my decease out of monies to be raised by the sale of such personal property, Negroes excepted as I may leave at my death if the same shall be sufficient for the purpose after the payment thereout (sic) of my just debts but if not sufficient there I direct that so much of my real Estate shall be sold as may be necessary to complete the amount requisite for the payment of my said debts the (illegible) above bequeathed. Thirdly I direct that if at the time of my decease a crop of cotton shall be growing on my plantation then my Executioners shall keep my Negroes necessary stock imployed (sic) upon the plantation until the crop shall be gathered prepared for market before any part of my personal or real estate is disposed of or until the month of February next after my decease provided the said crop shall not be soon gathered that during the said month of February my real estate shall be sold a public salevendue (sic) to the highest bidder the terms of sale to be one third part of purchase money to be paid within twenty days after said sale, one third part on the first day of January following the last payment two payments, to be secured by mortgage upon the premeses (sic) two months notice of such sale to be given by publication in two (illegible) public newspapers. Forthly (sic) , I will and direct that my executioners divide all my Negro slaves for life of which I may die prepossessed or leave at my decease unto eleven lots as parcels of (illegible) of nearly as equal a value as may be required being had to family connections. The said divisions to be made at the time of the sale of my real estate as before directed & that upon the decision of said slaves unto eleven equal parcels as aforesaid. The names of my eleven children Greenwood, Benjamin, William, Basila, Jackson, Louisa Haskins, Felicity Long wife of Samuel Long Winnia McGahy Silva Harris. Shall be writing upon separate slips of paper placed in one box then the numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11, shall be written upon separate slips of paper place in another box whereupon one of my said executioners shall commence and draw from the box containing the names (illegible) said children one slip or name at a time same person to be used by my said child shall at the same time draw from the box containing the said numbers on slips as often as often as a name is drawn from the other box until all the names numbers shall be drawn when my said eleven children shall commence in the order of the numbers drawn the second names make choices of the parcels of the said Negroes sukcessfully (sic) it being my will to give the said Negroes to my said eleven children to be divided among them as nearly as possible in equal shears. Fifthly with respect to all the rest residue of my estate property of whatever kind (illegible) give bequeath the same to my said eleven children Viz. Greenwood Leflore, Jackson Leflore, Lousia Haskins, Felicity Long wife of Samuel Long, William McGaley ; Silva Harris, Clarissa Wilson, Isabel Brashers, wife of Vaughn Brashers them theirs alike to be paid over to them by my Executioners or as soon as can be done consisting with the directions herein before after paying all my just debts, funeral charges Exequines (?)of Executing this my last will and testament lastly, I appoint my Son in law Samuel Long and my friend Abraham A. Halsey my Executioners of this my last will an (sic) testament. In testimony (illegible) whereof I have herewith set my hand and seal this 11th day of April one thousand Eight hundred and thirty there.
Signed Sealed published and declared by the same above named Lewis Leflore to be his last will and testament in the presence of the person of us who have hereunto subscribed our names as witness in the presence of the Testator.
J. M Chisum