GEORGIA, MORGAN COUNTY:
WILLIAM BROWNING of county afsd. being in a low state of health but of sound mind & memory & being sensible of the certainty of my approaching dissolution have thought it fit & proper to make & establish the following as my last will & testament.
First, It is my will & desire my executors should as speedily as practical adjust & settle all my unsettled business by discharging all just demands which may come against my estate which are but few & small in amount & collecting all that may be due me either by liquidated or open accounts which is considerable in amount I suppose at least $3000.
2nd. It is my will & desire the whole of my estate both real and personal in whatsoever it may consist should be equally divided among my wife Isabella Browning & my eight children (to wit) John K. Browning, Robert M. Browning, Mary C. Browning, Joshua R. Browning, Geo. W. Browning, Sarah S. Browning, William A. Browning & James A. Browning for each one to have 1/9 part subject to exceptions, regulations, management & distribution herein after pointed out to them their heirs & assigns forever.
It is my wish & desire that as soon after my decease as the interest of my heirs shall dictate to be best my executors should be at liberty to dispose of at public sale for the equal & joint benefit of my heirs much the largest & principal part of my livestock consisting of cattle, horses mules *c with such other articles & property as my executors may consider unnecessary to the comfort & interest of my family to retain all of which is to be sold on credit a my executors may deem expedient & the money arising from the sale when collected & added to outstanding debts now due me, I would advise it should be carefully kep (kept) at interest either by loans to private individuals of undoubted credit or vested in some profitable bank or other stock.
It is my wish the whole of my negroes should be hired out annually at a public hiring securing the hire money by bond & good security & providing in the terms of hiring for the negroes being well fed & clothed & their taxes paid except a reserve of two or three of the negroes which may be thought most suitable to be kept for the use and benefit of my wife & children as waiters &c.
My wish is the whole of my children should be kept at respectable & good schools until they obtain what may be termed a good English education at least equal to the education which my eldest son John K. Browning has already acquired & further I wish my son William A. Browning provided he takes or receives learning to advantage to be continually at school over & above what I have pointed out for my children generally until $500 is expended on him in that behalf which I give to him out of my undivided estate over & above his equal share with the rest & if he does not receive sum in procuring education it is my wish he should receive it in money over & above his equal share.
It is my wish that any tract of land & plantation where I now reside should remain as an undivided home for the joint use & benefit of my wife & children until my youngest child arrives at a lawful age or marries or until the death or marriage of my wife in the event of which case the land or proceeds of it is to be held & enjoyed equally & entirely by my children my wife inheriting no part of share thereof any longer than her widowhood. Should anyone or more of my children die before they arrive at lawful age or marry it is my will their portion of my estate should be equally inherited & divided among those who survive. As my children arrive at lawful age or marry it is my wish they should draw from my estate their entire portion in whatever it may consist according to the foregoing distribution as soon as it can reasonably be done except their portion of the land where I now live which is reserved for the purposes above.
After any child or children may have drawn their parts I then wish the balance to return to a join stock & so continue to divide to each one of their respective shares as they arrive of age or marry. I nominate & appoint my wife Isabella Browning & my two sons John K. Browning & Robert M. Browning executrix & executors to this my last will & testament with this exception to wit that should my wife intermarry again then she or the person with whom she units is to have no control or management of my children or estate but the whole shall devolve on my two sons named as executors, 12 May 1820.
Witnesses: Wilson Lumpkin, Thomas Talley, Arthur Slaton.
Proved by Wilson Lumpkin, Thomas Talley, Arthur Slaton.