Valley of the Shadow
The Eve of War
Fall 1859–Spring 1861

Letters & Diaries

Augusta County Court Will Book #37 page 235
Mary M. Burton

Know all men by these present that I Mary M. Burton of Holley Springs, Mississippi for and in consideration of the natural love and affection which I have and bear for my daughter Louisa W. Kayser wife of A. S. Kayser of the town of Staunton and State of Virginia and for the further consideration of one dollar lawful money to me in hand paid by the said A. S. Kayser the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged have granted gives aliened and sold and by these presents do give grant a lien and sell unto the said A. S. Kayser by executors or administrators a certain female slave George Anna aged about 15 years. Upon trust nevertheless that the said A. S. Kayser is to hold in the character of trustee the above described female slave and her future increase for the sole and separate use of my said daughter. L. W. Kayser during her natural life and at the death of my said daughter the said L. W. Kayser the said slave with her increase shall go in fee to the children of my said daughter then living, but should my said daughter L. W. Kayser be without children being at the time of her death, then and in that event the said L. W. Kayser shall have full power and authority to dispose of said Slave with her increase by last will and testament. And the said A. S. Kayser trustee as aforesaid upon the death of my said daughter leaving a child or children then living or his Executor or Administrator should he be dead, convey and set over to the said child or children in remainder the said Slave George Anna and her increase. And the title hereby vested in him shall then be absolutely divested and with drawn, and I the said M. M. Burton will forever warrant and defend the title to the said slave and her increase against the claims of all persons whatsoever. Witness my hand and seal this 20th day of August 1859.

Mary M. Burton (signed)