The Will of Thomas Paine
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, BY THE GRACE OF GOD, FREE
AND INDEPENDENT, TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME, OR
MAY CONCERN, SEND GREETING :
KNOW YE, That the annexed is a true copy of the will of THOMAS PAINE, deceased, as recorded in the office of the surrogate, in and for the city and county of New York. In testimony whereof, we have caused the seal of office of our said surrogate to be hereunto affixed. Witness, Silvanus Miller, Esq., surrogate of said county, at the city of New York, the twelfth day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and nine, and of our independence the thirty-fourth.
The last Will and Testament of me, the subscriber, Thomas Paine, reposing confidence in my Creator, God, and in no other being, for I know of no other, nor believe in any other. I, Thomas Paine, of the State of New York, author of the work entitled “Common Sense,” written in Philadelphia, in 1775, and published in that city the beginning of January, 1776, which awaked America to a declaration of independence on the fourth of July following, which was as fast as the work could spread through such an extensive country; author also of the several numbers of the “American Crisis,” thirteen in all; published occasionally during the progress of the Revolutionary War-the last is on the peace; author also of “Rights of Man,” parts the first and second, written and published in London, in 1791 and 1792; author also of a work on religion, “Age of Reason,” parts the first and second-N. B. I have a third part by me in manuscript, and an answer to the Bishop of Llandaff; author also of a work, lately published, entitled “Examination of the Passages in the New Testament, Quoted from the Old, and called Prophecies concerning Jesus Christ, and showing there are no Prophecies of any such Person”; author also of several other works not here enumerated, “Dissertations on First Principles of Government-Decline and Fall of the English System of Finance-Agrarian Justice, etc., etc., make this my last will and testament, that is to say:
I give and bequeath to my executors hereinafter appointed, Walter Morton
and Thomas Addis Emmet, thirty shares I hold in the New York Phoenix Insurance Company, which cost me fourteen hundred and seventy dollars, they are worth now upwards of fifteen hundred dollars, and all my movable effects, and also the money that may be in my trunk or elsewhere at the time of my decease, paying thereout the expenses of my funeral, IN TRUST as to the said shares, movables, and money, for Margaret Brazier Bonneville, wife of Nicholas Bonneville, of Paris, for her own sole and separate use, and at her own disposal, notwithstanding her coverture.
As to my farm in New Rochelle, I give, devise, and bequeath the same to
my said executors, Walter Morton and Thomas Addis Emmet, and to the survivor of them, his heirs and assigns forever, IN TRUST nevertheless, to sell and dispose of the north side thereof, now in the occupation of Andrew A. Dean, beginning at the west end of the orchard, arid running in a line with the land sold to Coles, to the end of the farm, and to apply the money arising from such sale as hereinafter directed.
I give to my friends Walter Morton, of the New York Phoenix Insurance
Company, and Thomas Addis Emmet, counselor at law, late of Ireland, two hundred dollars each, and one hundred dollars to Mrs. Palmer, widow of Elihu Palmer, late of New York, to be paid out of the money arising from said sale; and I give the remainder of the money arising from that sale, one-half thereof to Clio Rickman, of High or Upper Mary-le-Bone Street, London, and the other half to Nicholas Bonneville, of Paris, husband of Margaret B. Bonneville, aforesaid: and as to the South part of the said farm, containing upwards of one hundred acres, in trust to rent out the same, or otherwise put it to profit, as shall be found most advisable, and to pay the rents and profits thereof to the said Margaret B. Bonneville, in trust for her children, Benjamin Bonneville, and Thomas Bonneville, their education and maintenance, until they come to the age of twenty-one years, in order that she may bring them well up, give them good and useful learning, and instruct them in their duty to God, and the practise of morality; the rent of the land, or the interest of the money for which it may be sold, as hereinafter mentioned, to be employed in their education.
And after the youngest of the said children shall have arrived at the age
of twenty-one years, in further trust to convey the same to the said children, share and share alike, in fee simple. But if it shall be thought advisable by my executors and executrix, or the survivors of them, at any time before the youngest of the said children shall come of age, to sell and dispose of the said south side of the said farm, in that case I hereby authorize and empower my said executors to sell and dispose of the same, and I direct that the money arising from such sale be put into stock, either in the United States Bank stock, or New York Phoenix Insurance Company stock, the interest or dividends thereof to be applied as is already directed for the education and maintenance of the said children, and the principal to be transferred to the said children, or the survivor of them, on his or their coming of age.
I know not if the Society of people called Quakers, admit a person to be buried in their burying ground, who does not belong to their Society, but if they do, or will admit me, I would prefer being buried there; my father belonged to that profession, and I was partly brought up in it. But if it is not consistent with their rules to do this, I desire to be buried on my own farm at New Rochelle.
The place where I am to be buried, to be a square of twelve feet, to be enclosed with rows of trees, and a stone or post and rail fence, with a headstone with my name and age engraved upon it, author of “Common Sense.” I nominate, constitute, and appoint Walter Morton, of the New York Phoenix Insurance Company, and Thomas Addis Emmet, counselor at law, late of Ireland, and Margaret B. Bonneville, executors and executrix to this my last will and testament, requesting the said Walter Morton and Thomas Addis Emmet, that they will give what assistance they conveniently can to Mrs. Bonneville, and see that the children be well brought up. Thus placing confidence in their friendship, I herewith take my final leave of them and of the world.
I have lived an honest and useful life to mankind; my time has been spent
in doing good, and I die in perfect composure and resignation to the will of my Creator, God. Dated the eighteenth day of January, in the year one thousand eight hundred and nine; and I have also signed my name to the other sheet of this will, in testimony of its being a part thereof.
Signed, sealed, published, and declared by the testator, in our presence, who, at his request, and in the presence of each other, have set our names as witnesses thereto, the words “published and declared” first interlined.
W M . KEESE, JAMES ANGEVINE, CORNELIUS RYDER.