|The Last Will and Testament of Prince Van Patter|
Members may be interested in a document I found at the National Archives, the will of Prince Van Patter (some people say Patten) the black servant of Chief Joseph Brant. Although it may have been true that Prince was considered a slave when he first came to Upper Canada, by 1834 he was a landowner who could freely transfer it to whom he wished. The following is a copy of his will.
“The Last Will and Testament of Prince Van Patter
Of the Township of the Indian Lands in the Gore District of the Province of Upper Canada, Husbandman, being of sound and disposing memory and understanding. First in consideration of my long services and attachment to the late Captain Joseph Brant Principal Chief of the Six Nations Indians, and wishing to manifest my sense of the kindness and benefits I have received since his death from the survivors of the family, bequeath – Land on the Grand River Margaret Powless wife of Powless Powless and Katherine John widow of the late Peter John fifty acres west side of the river near the Town of Brantford save four acres leased to Silsy H. Prior and two acres to Frederick Davis. To Walter Kerr the son of William Kerr by his wife Elizabeth Kerr all lands adjoining Joseph Thomas. Elizabeth Fraser widow of Samuel Frazer and Sarah Hill both daughters of the late Seth Hill eight acres on the Grand River Flats below the Mohawk Village. And lastly I do recommend my dear wife if she should survive me to the special care and protection of the said Margaret Powless, Katherine John and Elizabeth Kerr.
Signed sealed etc. William Holme Frederick Davis William Parker In witness thereof I the said Prince Van Patter have placed my hand on seal November the twelfth 1834 Prince Van Patter”
Source: National Archives of Canada, MG19, Vol. F19, # R2912-0-5-E, The Brown Collection, ‘Prince Van Patter’s Will,’
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