She was a good girl.

by Lisa Y. Henderson

Richard Arnolds, Will

In the name of God, Amen, I Richard Arnold of Caswell County, North Carolina being of sound and perfect memory (blessed be God) do this nineteenth day of April in the year of Our Lord Eighteen hundred and thirty, make and publish this my last will and Testament in manner following, that is to say –

1st first, I give to my well beloved wife Mary Arnold, my bed and furniture, my chest and gold-ring; also my desire is that my wife Shall Live with my family as She has always done as long as She lives –

2nd. My will is that all my personal property Should be equally divided, between my three daughters (to wit) Elizabeth, Rachiel & Mary White Arnold –

3d. My desire is that when Ann Patterfoot shall be of age Shall have her freedom recorded in Caswell County at the Expense of my estate –

Now I, Richard Arnold do to this my last will and Testament leave my trusty friends the Rev. John Stadler and Thomas Prendergast my Sole Executors to this my last will and Testament. In Witness Whereof I have set my hand and affixed my Seal the date above written.  /s/ Richard Arnold {seal}

Signed Sealed and delivered by the said Richard Arnold as his last will and Testament in the presence of us   Tho Prendergast, Isham X Turner, James X Turner.

Proved October Court 1830. Will Book L, page 567. 


Evidence of the Freedom of Ann Paterfude, a free Woman of Colour –

Caswell County, North Carolina, January 4th, 1837 –

The following is a description of a free Woman of Colour named Ann Paterfude, Who Served Richard Arnold Decd a term of years, the said Decd, in making his last Will and Testament, requested that the Said Ann’s freedom should be Recorded at the expense of his Estate, saying that she was a good Girl, which will more appear, reference being had to the Will She is about Twenty-four years old, five feet, seven Inches and a half high, of dark complexion, black Eyes, Tolerable Slender made, remarkable thick lips, Nose flat, speaks fluently, hands & fingers remarkably long — a scar on her left hand between the Wrist and Thumb. Taken by Thomas Prendergast Executor to the last Will and Testament of the said decd.   /s/ Tho Prendergast, Exc’r.

Returned April Court 1837.

Will Book M, page 51.

North Carolina Probate Records 1735-1970. https://familysearch,org. Original, North Carolina State Archives.