APPENDIX 4

THOMAS CALVIT: A LAW SUIT AND A WILL

http://users.ju.edu/jclarke/josephcalvitapp4.htm

 

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Thomas Calvit was born on September 21, 1748, probably North Carolina.  After renderingdistinguished services in the North West Campaign with George Rogers Clarke against the British, Indians and Tories,”[1] Thomas Calvit went to Mississippi in 1785 and located on Cole’s creek about fifteen miles from Natchez in what is now Jefferson County.  His home was known as “Calviton.”[2]  His wife, Zelpha, whom he had married before immigrating to Mississippi, died on October 8, 1807.[3]  Thomas eventually married the twice-widowed Hulda Covington on November 7, 1819.

 

 

A Horse and a Slave

 

Thomas Calvit versus Arthur Cobb.

 

Thomas Calvit, as exor. of the will of his deceased brother, Frederick Calvit, represents that, during the lifetime of his said brother, Arthur Cobb applied to him to let the said Cobb have in his care and keeping a horse belonging to the said Calvit valued at $800 for the purpose of knowing if he could run and with no other view whatever, promising to restore the said hose in the same condition and to pay any damages that said Calvit might suffer in the value of the said hose in his possession.  They said Calvit lent him the horse on the conditions proposed.  Sometime after, the horse being in bad condition, the said Cobb proposed to return him to Calvit, who, on being informed of his condition, refused to receive the horse, replying that Cobb should restore the horse in good condition, as he was when he received, to which Cobb replied that if the horse died he would pay for him, that if the said Calvit received he would hold himself responsible.  On those terms, Calvit received the horse back from Cobb and in the course of a month the horse died.  Calvit demand payment from Cobb who proposed to compromise the matter and give a negro in payment which he valued at $600.  Some difficulties took place and the matter remained unsettled and Cobb, to the knowledge of your petitioner, amused Frederick with almost daily proposition respecting the payment and confiding in his promises.  Calvit took no legal steps and, on the promises of Cobb not being realized, Calvit died and his heirs remain unpaid; asks that Cobb be made to pay the aforesaid sum of $600, and default to compel him thereto by the rigor of the law.  John Boles, John Smith, Grover Morris can testify to the above.  Thomas (X) Calvit. Natchez, 23 Sept. 1791. // Same date. 

 

Let the person named in the foregoing petition appear before me. //  Personally appeared John Boles, who, being duly sworn, declared that on a certain day, at the landing of this Post, he met Arthur Cobb and asked him the condition of the horse he had in his possession belonging to Calvit, which horse he had heard was sick, to which Cobb replied that the horse was very sick and he expected he would die in which case he would have to pay for him.  Boles is 46 years old. Sig: John Boles. //  I do certify that I was at the house of Mr. Frederick Calvit at the time Cobb brought and delivered to the said Calvit a stud horse, the property of said Calvit, which horse was dangerously hurt while in the possession of said Cobb and upon Cobb saying he was sure the horse would die the said Cobb said he would agree to pay the whole price of the said horse or a part, which of the two I am no at all clear but believe that he did agree to pay for the said horse.  Signed: George W. Morris.[4]

 

 

WILL OF THOMAS CALVIT

October 2, 1818

 

STATE OF MISSISSIPPI)

JEFFERSON COUNTY )

 

In the name of God Amen I Thomas Calvit of the State and County aforesaid being in my ordinary health of body and strength of mind knowing that it is appointed for all men to die and further knowing the uncertainty when death may happen do hereby deem it necessary to arrange my worldly affairs as well as the nature of things will permit do make and ordain the following my last will and testament.

 

First and principally I recommend my soul to the Almighty God and my body to the Earth to be buried in a decent though not expensive manner.  Secondly all my just debts to be paid out of such estate as I may have.  Thirdly I give conditionally to Mrs. Hulda Covington the annual sum of Two Hundred Dollars until her youngest child Elizabeth Covington shall arrive at the age of six years at which time the said annuity of two hundred dollars shall cease and be no longer paid.

 

I likewise lend to the said Mrs. Hulda Covington during her natural life a negro girl Maria with her increase to return to my estate to be disposed of as hereinafter expressed.  Fourthly upon the aforesaid Elizabeth Covington (daughter of Mrs. Hulda Covington) attaining legal age I give and bequeath the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars payable at the discretion of my Executors but he or they may not be compelled to make such payment before the said Elizabeth Covington arrives at lawful age  On her arriving at lawful age I further give and bequeath to the said Elizabeth the aforesaid Maria and her issue.  Fifthly I further give and bequeath to the said Elizabeth Covington so much of my estate as may be necessary for the education and accomplishing her in the best manner that the Mississippi State may afford, and it is further my will and desire that my executor hereafter named take the charge of said Elizabeth Covington on her arriving at the age of six years for the purpose of her education and that he then commence and continue until completed.  Sixthly I give and bequeath all the residue of my estate real and personal and mixed to my only son Samuel Calvit.  Seventhly and lastly I do hereby nominate my aforesaid son Samuel Calvit my sole Executor of this my last will and Testament hereby revoking and setting aside all other wills and Testaments and acknowledging this and no other my last will and testament.  In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and fixed my seal this second day of October in the year one thousand eight hundred and eighteen.

Thomas Calvit.

 

Witnesses

Philip Dixon

Saml Bullen

Elisha Breazeale[5]

 

 

WILL OF THOMAS CALVIT

(April 11, 1821)

 

STATE OF MISSISSIPPI)

JEFFERSON COUNTY)

 

In the name of God Amen. I, Thomas Calvit of the County of Jefferson and State of Mississippi being at present of perfect mind and memory do make and ordain this as my Last Will and Testament.

 

Im primis I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Hulda Calvit for and during her natural life the following named negro slaves that is to say Maria, and her brother Jacob and a boy called Ruben and a boy called Tony.

 

Item I leave in the hands of my executors here after named, to be disposed of for the use and benefit of my daughter Eliza Lucretia Calvit and the lawful heirs of her body the following property to be delivered to my said daughter whenever my said executors think proper that is to say Bill Juba and his wife Charity with their increase and Fanny the daughter of Kitty and also Maria and her brother Jacob after the decease of my said wife and also the sum of ten thousand dollars to be paid by my said executors out of my estate also it is also my will and desire that my said daughter shall live in the family of Felix Hughes until she be old enough to be sent to boarding school, or in some other family that my executors may choose and that the expenses arising from her schooling boarding and clothing shall be paid out of my estate by my executors whose I wish my daughter to be.

 

Item I do hereby appoint Col. James G. Wood of Jefferson Co. Joshua G. Clarke of Claiborne County, David Hunt of Jefferson County and my son Samuel Calvit the executors of this my Last Will and Testament wishing at the same time that my son would give as little trouble to the other executors as possible.

 

And lastly I do hereby revoke and disannul all other wills heretofore made or executed and declaring this to be my last will and testament.

In Testimony of which I have set my hand and seal this eleventh day of April in the year of our Lord Eighteen Hundred and Twenty One.

 

Thos. Calvit.

 

Signed published and acknowledged in presence of: Thos Hinds William Allen Daniel James.[6]



[1] Stanfill, Colvett Family Chronicles, 276.

[2] Ibid., 277.  For an account of Calviton and its history, see Taylor, “Aaron Burr,” Times-Democrat, Feb. 24, 1901.  Taylor mistakenly calls the home “Calvitston.”

[3] Stanfill, Colvett Family Chronicles, 276-77.

[4] Book F, Natchez Court Records, 1781-1798, 169, in McBee, comp., Natchez Court Records, 260-61.

[5] Mary Louise Flowers Hendrix, Mississippi Court Records from the Files of the High Court of Errors and Appeals, 1799-1859 (Greenville, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1999), 276-77.

[6] Ibid., 278-79.