March 1826

At Norfolk, Va., Wilmington Del. and some other places, plans have been adopted to obtain subscriptions for the pecuniary relief of the venerable author of the Declaration of Independence, and who that is able would not administer to his wants ?  But this is not what he has asked, and that which he will not accept, if we are correctly informed on the subject.  Let the lottery be drawn --but the scheme so arranged, through the interference of his friends, that the property may all remain with him just exactly as it now is, (except in the right to sell it), until he shall be gathered to the sages and heroes who have gone before him.  He must not be permitted to retire from Monticello, at any rate, even if he contemplates it.

In the course of the remarks, while the subject was under discussion in the legislature of Virginia, it was stated that he annually received 1600 letters, on matters not personally interesting to him.  This shows the estimation in which he is held;  and every person who happens to pass near his residence, feels as if he ought to call upon him.  Such compliments are pleasant --they are honorable to human nature, but severely oppressive to one who is 83 years old.

Whereas it is made known to the general assembly [of Virginia] that Thomas Jefferson, after more than sixty years of public service, during which his attention has been necessarily withdrawn, in a great degree, from the care of his private estate, hath found himself indebted to a large amount, insomuch that the sale of a great proportion of his valuable property will be necessary to pay his debts;  and whereas there is good reason to believe that if so large and valuable an estate is forced into the market, in the present depressed state of prices, it will be greatly sacrificed;  and it hath been suggested, that if the said Thomas Jefferson were allowed to dispose of his property by lottery, he could obtain for it all that he desires, a fair price;  could thereby pay his debts, and have remaining a competency for his family;  and the general assembly deeming it proper to allow a lottery for so desirable an object, Therefore,

Be it enacted, That the aforesaid Thomas Jefferson shall be, and he is hereby authorized to dispose of any part of his real estate by lottery,




extracts from last Will and Testament of Thomas Jefferson (1743--1826)---

I give to my friend James Madison, of Montpelier, my gold-mounted walking staff of animal horn, as a token of the cordial and affectionate friendship, which for nearly now an half century, has united us in the same principles and pursuits of what we have deemed for the greatest good of our country.

I give to the university of Virginia, my library, except such particular books only, and of the same edition as it may already possess;  when this legacy shall take effect, the rest of my said library remaining, after those given to the university shall have been taken out, I give to my two grandsons-in law, Nicholas P. Trist, and Joseph Coolidge.

To my grand-son Thomas Jefferson Randolph, I give my silver watch, in preference to the golden one, because of its superior excellence.  My papers of business going of course to him as my exerutor, all others of a literary or other character, I give to him as of his own property.

I give a gold watch to each of my grand-children, who shall not have already received one from me, to be purchased and delivered by my executor, to my grand-sons at the age of twenty-one, and grand-daughters at that of sixteen.

I give to my good, affectionate and faithful servant Burwell, his freedom and the sum of three hundred dollars, to buy necessaries to commence his trade of painter and glazier, or to use otherwise as he pleases.  I give also to my good servants John Hemings and Joe Fosset, their freedom at the end of one year after my death: and to each of them respectively, all the tools of their respective shops or callings;  and it is my will that a comfortable log-house be built for each of the three servants so emancipated, on some parts of my lands convenient to them, with respect to the residence of their wives, and to Charlottesville and the university, where they will be mostly employed, and reasonably convenient also to the interests of the proprietor of the lands;  of which houses I give the use of one, with the curtilage of an acre to each, during his life or personal occupation thereof.

I give also to John Hemings the service of his two apprentices, Madison and Easton Hemings, until their respective ages of 21 years, at which period respectively, I give them their freedom.  And I humbly and earnestly request of the legislature of Virginia a confirmation of the bequest of these servants, with permission to remain in this state, where their families and connexions are, as an additional instance of the favor, of which I have received so many other manifestations, in the course of my life, and for which I now give them my last solemn, and dutiful thanks.

Extracts from last Will and Testament of Stephen Girard (1750--1831) ---the largest american shareholders of the Bank of US and one of its directors
To the Pennsylvania hospital, subject to the payment of an annuity of $200 to a female slave, whom he sets free $30,000
To the asylum for the deaf and dumb ............. 20,000
To the orphans' asylum .......................... 10,000
To the controllers of the public schools ........ 10,000
To the city corporation, to be invested, and the interest to be applied, annually, in the purchase of wood for the poor ........................... 10,000
To the society of ship masters ................... 10,000
To the free masons' lodge ........................ 20,000
For a school to be erected in the township of Passayunk, for poor white children ............ 6,000
Sundry legacies to individuals amounting to ...... 120,000
Several annuities amounting to about ............... 4,000
To the city of New Orleans 1,000 acres of improved land in the territory of Mississippi, and one-third of 207,000 acres of unimproved land in the same territory,
To the city of Philadelphia the remaining two-thirds of the said unimproved lands.
To the city of Philadelphia, stock in the Schuylkill navigation company ........ 110,000
For a college for poor white male children and its proper endowments, the sum of .... 2,000,000
To the city of Philadelphia, for certain city improvements, to be invested, and the interest to be annually applied ......... 500,000
All his remaining estate, real and personal (no part of the real estate to be sold) is to be applied as follows:--- in further aid of the said college, improvements of the city, and in the relief of the taxes.
To the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to be applied to internal improvements by canals, provided the legislature shall, within one year from Stephen Girard's decease, pass laws authorising the city of Philadelphia to make the intended improvements, otherwise to the United States for the same object ................ 300,000

The whole amount given to his relations, appears to be involved in the 120,000 dollars above stated -- but he had made partial provisions for some of them heretofore.  It has been said that he gave an annuity of 1,500 to each of his sea-captains: and the sum of $500,000 to the city of New York, where he first landed in America.  The value of the estate of Mr. Girard is variously stated, the accounts run from six to eleven millions of dollars.

It is computed that twenty thousand people attended the funeral of Mr. Girard, in their variously associated or individual character;  and the flags of the shipping in the harbor were at half-mast for three days.  These marks of respect were well deserved.  Mr. Girard was a blessing to working-men, of all descriptions;  and his example had a powerful effect on the conduct of other capitalists, to circulate their money.

Mr. Girard has prohibited the entry of any ecclesiastic, missionary or minister, of any sect whatever, even as a visiter, on the premises of the college which he has endowed.

In relation to the organization of the college and its appendages, I leave, necessarily, many details to the mayor, aldermen and citizens of Philadelphia, and their successors;  and I do so, with the more confidence, as from the nature of my bequests and the benefit to result from them, I trust that my fellow citizens of Philadelphia, will observe and evince especial care and anxiety in selecting members for their city councils and other agents.

There are, however, some restrictions, which I consider it my duty to prescribe, and to be, amongst others, conditions on which my bequest for said college is made and to be enjoyed, namely:  first, I enjoin and require, that, if at the close of any year, the income of the fund devoted to the purposes of the said college shall be more than sufficient for the maintenance of the institution during that year, then the balance of the said income, after defraying such maintenance, shall be forthwith invested in good securities, thereafter to be and remain a part of the capital;  but, in no event, shall any part of the said capital be sold, disposed of, or pledged, to meet the current expenses of the said institution, to which I devote the interest, income, and dividends thereof, exclusively:  Secondly, I enjoin and require that ecclesiastic, missionary, or minister of any sect whatsoever, shall ever hold or exercise any station or duty whatever in the said college;  nor shall any such person ever be admitted for any purpose, or as a visitor, within the premises appropriated to the purposes of the said college.

In making this restriction, I do not mean to cast any reflection upon any sect or person whatsoever;  but, as there is such multitude of sects, and such a diversity of opinion amongst them, I desire to keep the tender minds of the orphans, who are to derive advantage from this bequest, free from the excitement which clashing doctrines and sectarian controversy are so apt to produce;  my desire is, that all the instructors and teachers in the college shall take pains to instill into the minds of the scholars, the purest principles of morality, so that, on their entrance into active life, they may, from inclination and habit, evince benevolence towards their fellow creutures and a love of truth, sobriety and industry, adopting at the same time such religious tenets as their matured reason may enable them to prefer.

If the income, arising from that part of the said sum of two millions of dollars, remaining after the construction and furnishing of the college and out-buildings, shall, owing to the increase of the number of orphans applying for admission, or other cause, be inadequate to the construction of new buildings, or the maintenance and education of as many orphans as may apply for admission, then such further sum as may be necenary for the construction of new buildings and the maintenance and education of such further number of orphans as can be maintained and instructed within such buildings as the said square of ground shall be adequate to, shall be taken from the fiscal residuary fund hereinafter expressly referred to for the purpose, comprehending the income of my real estate in the city and county of Philadelphia, and the dividends of my stock in the Schuylkill Navigation company-- my design and desire being that the benefits of said institution shall be extended to as great a number of orphans as the limits of the said square and buildings therein can accommodate.