Important Events In The Life Of William Clark:
Born Halifax County, North Carolina 1782. Son of Thomas Clark and wife Priscilla Doyle Tucker Clark (whose 1st husband was William Willis Tucker), both who are buried in a family cemetery on the former William Clark plantation in Newton County, GA.
Married ca. 1802 to Judith Craddock of Laurens Dist., South Carolina.
Appointed Surveryor General of South Carolina 1810-1814.
Removed to Laurens District where he remained for 10 years.
United States Senator from Laurens County, South Carolina 1816-1817.
In 1824, he migrated to Newton County, Georgia and there owned a plantation consisting of 1,235 acres situated on the Yellow River.
In 1837, Newton and Butts counties entered into a contract with him to build a bridge across the South River, on the Covington to Macon Road.
Settled in Chambers County, Alabama 1843, coming from Newton County, Georgia, with nine of his adult children and their families. Owned a plantation of 923 acres west of Stroud in an area later known as Bloomingdale. Neighbors included the Buckelew, Higgins, Lee, Royston. Magbee and Parker families.
Postmaster at Mount Hickory, Chambers County, AL twice during the 1850s.
Died 1859 at his home near old Bloomingdale, buried in Bethel Cemetery.
The following letter was written by William Clark of Chambers County, Alabama to his son James Edwin Clark and wife Paralee B. Henry Clark, shortly after they migrated from Chambers County to Cherokee County, Texas. The letter was written in a small leather bound book approximately 4 ½" x 7" and contains 18 pages.
The first page reads:
The 9th October 1847
The fathers Advice
To his Children
James E. Clark & Parralee B. Clark
(In different handwriting is written: J. E. Clark & Paralee B. Henry was married on the 14th of August 1845.)
The remaining 17 pages are as follows:
Dearly beloved Son & Daughter,
I feel desirous to give you a word of advice and as this may be the last opportunity that I may ever have, I hope you may kindly receive it.
I first exhort you to be kind and affectionate to each other, as I have good reason to believe that you have been, be careful never to speak short, abrupt or hurtful to each others feelings, and if either of you see the other in an error reprove kindly and affectionately with all the tenderness that human heart can feel; & not let such a thing as passion enter your breast. Remember that you have solemnly covenanted to live together till death shall part you & that you are wholly dependent on the Lord for every breath you draw.
If you are blessed with a family of children be careful to impress on their tender minds the importance of truth from the time they are capable of understanding as long as you have any control over them. Truth and honesty is the highest trait in the character of man or woman, although it might appear to the human heart, that falsehood might answer the best purpose for the time being, it's a wrong impression, for strict veracity will arise in the estimation of mankind generally and their own conscience will be clear. Whereas falsehood is degrading, sinful & finally destructive to the human soul.
Again I admonish you to be cautious of the company you keep. Shun backbiters, tattlers & knews (news) carriers, but never shun any person on account of their poverty, if you believe him to be honest and upwright, be cautious of making confidential friends too hastily for it may be well said, Remember well and bear in mind a faithful friend is hard to find.
Again, I exhort you to be kind to your servants, keep them in strict subjection, never correct them while you are in a passion, and when they act faithfully speak kindly to them, and gain their esteem, we all have to answer at the day of Judgement for what we do here on earth & I believe its only acting out humanity to make these creatures as happy as we can, provided we can do so and make them profitable. I don't consider giving them a loose rein as any advantage to them but quite the reverse. Never allow them to curse or swear or to use bad language in any way.
Again, I desire you if you live in a section where there is religious worship attend those places as much as you can with prayerful hearts. Keep clear of rude company as it generally leads to some bad consequences. If you meet with adversity, never despond or repine as that is often the lot of mortals here below.
Again, I admonish you not to be passionate nor fret at trifles, think well before you speak or act as reflection will generally teach you the most prudent course. If you should be surrounded by bad society, wicked people, Sabbath breakers, etc., remember that you are none the less accountable to your God. Never join them in any evil practice but teach them by example that you have been raised in a Christian land. Never give offense to any person unnecessarily, it is better to have the good will of the vilest than the ill will.
Again, I exhort you to try to be a comfort to each other in sickness and in health, stay together as much as your worldly concerns will admit of and above all things if you settle in a country where it is dangerous for women and children to be left alone, don't leave them exposed to danger.
Again, I pray you never to use bad language, never habituate yourself to cursing or swearing let it ever be so common or fashionable in the country. In conclusion I pray kind Heaven to guard, protect, defend & smile upon you is the prayer of your affectionate father till death farewell.
Your father & mothers ages –
William Clark was born the 21st day of August 1782
Judith Clark was born the 1st day of August 1787
Their children's ages –
1st Thomas Craddock Clark was born the 14th day of March 1807
2nd Robert Archer Clark was born the 2nd day of April 1809
3rd John Robert Clark was born the 1st day of April 1811
4th William Thomas Clark was born the 12th day of February 1813
5th Adeline Craddock Clark was born the 22nd day of December 1815
6th Harriet Kilgore Clark was born the 11th day of November 1817
7th Mary Ann Clark was born the 23rd of August 1819
8th James Edwin Clark was born the 27th day of September 1821
9th Elizabeth Green Clark was born the 31st of August 1823
10th Judith Caroline Clark was born the 15th of October 1825
11th Martha Katharine Clark was born the 14th of April 1828
12th Charlotte Susan Clark was born the 15th of August 1830
I want you to practice spelling, reading & writing and write to your father & mother often, and don't neglect reading this little Book often & keep it as long as you live and you may always know the age of your father, mother, brothers and sisters.
(Included on the last two pages of the book)
To Make Cooks Pills:
One ounce Calomet
One ounce bitter Aloes
One ounce Rhubarb
Pound them well together in a mortar till they are fine and mixed together. Add water enough to make it stiff enough to make into pills. The above quantity of medicine will make from 240 to 300 pills. 5 pills is a common dose for a grown person.
(In another's handwriting is written)
William Clark my father departed this life on the 13th of April 1859
Judith Clark my mother departed this life on the 21st of November 1856
Last Will & Testament of William Clark
The State of Alabama
In the name of God Amen. I William Clark of the County and State aforesaid being of sound mind and memory considering the uncertainty of this frail body and transitory life do therefore make, ordain, publish and declare this to be my last Will and Testament that is to say first after all my lawful debts are paid and discharged the remainder of my Estate be equally divided among my children: John R. Clark; William T. Clark; Adeline Clark Higgins; Harriette Clark McIntosh; Mary A. Clark Magbee; James E. Clark; Elizabeth G. Clark Parker; Judith Clark Bowling; Martha Clark Jordan and Charlotte Clark Henry. In the following manner to wit.
Item 1. That my two eldest sons John R. Clark and William T. Clark whom I appoint my lawful Executors. In reasonable time after my decease, appoint either three or five free holders to lot off all my negroes, with the exception of old Dave and Cassey, unto ten equal shares as nearly as possible with an Eye Single to the comfort of the negroes so far as not to separate the mother and their youngest children and that each of my children have one share and all that the shares like of being equal in valuation, be made so in money arising from the sale of my other property.
Item 2. That the negroes and money allotted and given to my Daughters I give and devise the same to them their sole and separate use during their lives from the Debts, Constraints and Controle of their husband and at their death to their children.
Item 3. That all my stock of all description, household and kitchen furniture and all other things of value be advertised, put up and sold to the highest bidder on a credit of twelve months.
Item 4. That all my land improved and unimproved be sold to my Executors at private Sale if they can by that means obtain a fair price and credit of one, two and three years, but in case of failure to sell privately, they advertise and exchange to sale to the highest bidder on a credit of the same time.
Item 5. It is my will that my old Negro man Dave stay with some one of my children and that my Executors retain money on their hands sufficient to support him during his life and that Cassey be supported in the same way provided she become helpless and cannont maintain herself.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 27th day of November In the year of our Lord 1857.
In presence of –
Thomas B. Royston
John W. Magbee
Slave Inventory of William Clark, dated August 25, 1859.
Dave - No $ Value
Cassey - No $ Value
Simon, Age 51, $800
Toby, Age 45, $950
David, Age 35, $1250
Barney, Age 24, $1500
Henry, Age 22, $1500
Sanders, Age 17, $1250
John, Age 14, $1300
Peter, Age 13, $1260
George, Age 13, $1175
Alford, Age 9, $1025
Logan, Age 7, $800
Filmore, Age 5, $575
Quincy, Age 8, $775
Milly, Age 43, $550
Fillis, Age 41, $400
Frances, Age 20, $1100
Nancy, Age 13, $1200
Lucinda, Age 10, $1000
Siblings of William Clark:
Starling Tucker (1770-1834)
Elizabeth Doyle Clark Wallis (1774-1854)
John Clark (1780-1870)
Nancy Clark Burdett (1784-1864)
Judith Craddock Clark
Thomas Craddock Clark
1807 – unknown
Robert Archer Clark
1809 – unknown
John Robert Clark
William Thomas Clark
Adaline Craddock Clark Higgins
Harriette Kilgore Clark McIntosh
Mary Ann Clark Magbee
1819 – unknown
James Edwin Clark
Elizabeth Green Clark Parker
Judith Caroline Clark Phillips
Martha Katherine Clark Jordan
1828 – unknown
Charlotte Susan Clark Wise