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Will of Rachel Bogardus, October 2, 1781

Will of Rachel Bogardus

Will of Rachel Bogardus

Other, NYSHA_SC_BB_BogardusWill
Document Description
Will of Rachel Bogardus, October 2, 1781.
In the Name of God Amen I Rachel
Bogardus of the Town of Kingston in the County of Ulster and
State of New York Widow being Weak, Infirm and Sick of
Body, but of Sound and disposing, Mind, Memory and
understanding (blefsed be God therefore) Do this second Day
of October in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred
and eighty one, make this my last will and Testament in
manner following (that is to say)
            First it is my Will that my Executors herein after named
pay and Discharge all my just Debts and funeral Charges
within a reasonable Time after my Decease.
            Secondly, I give and bequeath unto my Eldest Daughter
Helena and to her Heirs and Afsigns two hundred Pounds
of good and lawful Money of the State of New York to be
paid to her by my Executors herin after named after my
Decease; and I hereby make my Estate chargeable with the
payment of the said Sum. Also I give and bequeath unto my
said Daughter Helena and to her Heirs and Afsigns for ever
one Negro Boy Slave named Dick and one Negro Girl Slave
named Gin.
            Thirdly, I give and bequeath unto my Son Benjamin
and to his Heirs and Afsigns forever, one Negro Boy Slave
named Bob.
            Fourthly, I give and bequeath unto my GrandChild
Rachel Myndertse Daughter of my Daughter Elizabeth and
to her Heirs and Afsigns forever one Negro Girl Child named
            Fifthly, all the rest and residue of my Estate of what
kind or nature the same may be I give, Devise and bequeath
unto my three Sons named Nicholas, Everadus and Benjamin
and unto my two Daughters named Helena and Elizabeth the
the wife of Petrus Myndertse and to their Respective Heirs and
Afsigns forever to be equally divided amongst them Share and
Share alike.
            And lastly it is my Will and I do hereby constitute
nominate and appoint my Son Benjamin Bogardus and my
trusty Friend Joseph Gasherie Executors of this my last Will
and Testament. In Witnefs whereof I the said Rachel Bogar-
dus have to this my last Will and Testament set my Hand and
Seal, the Day and Year first above written.
Signed, Sealed and Delivered
By the said Rachel Bogardus as                       her
and for her last Will and Testa-          Rachel             Bogardus
ment, in the Presence of us,                              mark
            Annatje Tappen
            Pat. Wynhoop Jim
            Chris. Tappen
What type of document is this?
Who wrote this document?
When was this document written?
Where was this document written?
How did Rachel Bogardus view her slaves?
How do you think the slaves mentioned in this document would have viewed their fate at the time of Rachel Bogardus’ death?
Berlin, Ira and Leslie Harris. Slavery in New York.
            Johnson, Mat. The Great Negro Plot: A Tale of Conspiracy and Murder in Eighteenth
Century New York.
Singer, Alan J. New York and Slavery: Time to Teach the Truth.

About this Activity


Lesson Topic:


Historical Context
White New Yorkers were divided over slavery even after the close of the American Revolution.  They remained divided over the issue of equal rights for blacks far longer.  While gradual emancipation proceeded according to state laws passed in 1799 and 1817, other laws and the 1821 state constitution barred large numbers of free blacks from voting.  New York's black abolitionists had many allies in the fight to end slavery nationwide, but found fewer supporters in their quest for equal voting rights in their own state.  Following the Civil War, many white New Yorkers resisted the national movement for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing equal voting rights for all men.  As late as 1869, a majority of the state's voters cast ballots in favor of retaining property qualifications that kept New York's polls closed to many blacks.  African American men did not obtain equal voting rights in New York until ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870.
Essential Question
Was New York a perfect model for the best way to end slavery?
Check for Understanding
Explain the status of slavery in New York at the time this will was written?