Last Will & Testament of Martin Van Buren, July 24, 1862

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I, Martin Van Buren of the Town of Kinderhook County of Columbia, and State of

New York, heretofore Governor of the State and more recently President of the

United States, but for the last and happiest years of my life, a Farmer in my

native Town, do make & declare the following to be my last will & testament.

First.

I direct my Executors hereinafter named to pay without delay, my

funeral expenses & all outstanding bills. Debts in the ordinary acceptation of

that term I owe now & hope to leave none.

Secondly.

I direct that no account shall be taken of advances by me heretofore made to

either of my sons and that they shall be considered as settled – with the

exceptions of a bond I hold against my son Abraham for two thousand Dollars.

And also a note against my son John for Four Thousand Eight hundred and

fifteen dollars which were agreed to be considered as business transactions

strict the amount due on each at my death (the interest having been punctually

paid to the present year) is to be charged to them respectively and deducted

from their shares of my estate. The like charge and reduction shall be made in

respect to any future payments by me or by my Estate in cases where I have

made myself liable as surety for either of my sons, but in which nothing has

yet been paid by me.

Thirdly.

In consideration of advances which I have made to my sons Abraham & John

whilst now have been made to my son Smith Thompson, I bequeath to the latter

all my personal chattels & effects, excepting therefrom all the debts that may

be due to me and stocks that I may own at my death, and also my wine & stock

on my farm, my miscellaneous library is intended to be included in this

bequest, but not my law library which I bequeath to my son John.

Fourthly.

I give to my grandson Singleton Van Buren a gold snuff Box presented to me

with the Freedom of the City by the Corporation of the City of New York, and

to my grandson Martin son of Abraham, the marble bust made of me by Powers

which I had previously presented to his mother, I now transfer to the son by

her direction I give to my grandson Martin Van Buren son of my son Smith

Thompson, a silver pitcher, presented to me, some years since by my old &

always sincere friend Benjamin F. Butler.

Fifthly.

I direct my Executors to expend four hundred dollars, or so much thereof as

may be necessary, in obtaining a copy of the bust of me by Powers, which copy

I give to my grandson Edward Livingston Van Buren.

Sixthly.

I direct my Executors to lay out five hundred Dollars for Keepsakes for my

grandson Travis Van Buren, and for my granddaughters, Anna, Ellen, Catherine &

Eliza Van Buren.

Seventhly.

I request my Executors to regard themselves as standing toward my best of

sisters Dirike Van Buren if she shall survive me, in the relation I occupied

when living, & to omit nothing in the way of pecuniary advances that may

contribute to her comfort out of my Estate.

Eightly.

I direct my Executors to pay to my niece Christina Cantine two hundred dollars

& to each of my nieces Lucretia Van Buren & Jane Ann Van Buren the sum of one

hundred dollars; and I give and devise to my nephew Martin Van Buren, son of

my brother Lawrence, & to his heirs and assigns forever all my interest in a

small dwelling with the Lot on which it stands adjoining his father’s house,

conveyed to me by the latter as security for money lent, but the latter devise

is upon condition that his father relieves me or my estate from my remaining

security ship to the State of New York.

Ninthly.

I hereby appoint my three sons Abraham, John & Smith Thompson, Executors of my

last & only will; and I do hereby authorize & empower them or such of them as

shall take upon themselves the execution thereof, and the survivors or

survivor of them, to fulfill by the Execution of conveyances & otherwise as

may be proper, any contracts for the sale of lands, made by me, which shall be

outstanding at the time of my death.

Lastly.

I hereby give devise & bequeath to my three sons, Abraham, John & Smith

Thompson all the remainder & residue of my personal Estate not required ro the

purposes of my will under the provisions above made, & all my real estate

wheresoever situated, to be equally divided between them To Have and to hold

their respective shares thereof to them, their heirs & assigns forever,

subject to the following conditions & reservations viz –

First – that out of the avails of the sale of Lindenwald there shall be

reserved & paid over to my son Smith Thompson, his heirs or assigns the sum of

Seven Thousand five hundred dollars in full satisfaction for his advance

towards the expenses incurred by the additions to and improvements upon the

dwelling House & out buildings with the expectation that the Place would be

devised to him upon terms that would be equitable in the respect to his

brothers, the payment to be without interest during my lifetime.

Secondly – that upon the sale of Lindenwald the preference shall be offered in

succession to my sons, beginning for the reason above assigned & no other,

with the youngest if the son accepting the same as willing to pay therefor as

much as the place can be sold for on the market.

The three pieces of plate last presented to me for by deceased friend,

Benjamin F. Butler, I bequest to my three sons Abraham, John & Smith Thompson,

to be equally divided between them.

In witness whereof I have to this Instrument set my hand & seal this

eighteenth day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred

and sixty.

Van Buren (seal)

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