Skip to Search

A Guide to the Joseph Barnes Will

Finding aid created by Gabriela Gasca.

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections

2018 November

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Barnes, Joseph, 1765-1829.
Title: Joseph Barnes Will
Dates: 1831
Abstract: This document is Joseph Barnes's testament; he was a slave-owner in Jamaica in the 1800s. He was born on the year 1765 and died on May 6th, 1829.
Extent: .01 Linear Feet. 1 Folder.
Identification: MSS 0459
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

Joseph Barnes was born around the year 1765 and died on May 6th, 1829. Barnes was a wealthy tenant in Kingston, Jamaica. Barnes lived in Jamaica by 1808 and owned slaves by 1809, when he acquired the Cumberland Pen estate. Barnes' brother, Thomas Barnes, Barthlomew Ibbott Williams, and Alexander Evans and John Lynch wrote this will in the year 1822. By this year, Barnes owned 321 slaves. Joseph Barnes was married to Hannah and had a daughter named Charlotte Hannah Barnes.

Scope and Content

This document contains Joseph Barnes' original will. In it, he left the largest estates with their slaves in the care of his brother. Among these estates was the Cumberland Pen estate of more than a thousand acres. He also made provisions for the care of his wife Hannah and their daughter, Charlotte Hannah Barnes. Barnes left the least part of his residential property near the town of Kingston. The collection contains an official transcript made in 1831 of a testament drawn up at St. Jago de la Vega, Jamaica on February 4th, 1822. The will includes the Doctor Commons' Form authorizing the will and attached with the large seal of the prerogative court of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the form printed letterpress on parchment, two embossed payment seals on a blue paper, and two engraved printed seals on the back. It was preserved in a black paperboard portfolio. The document may be of interest to researchers studying 19th century slavery in Jamaica, and the riches slave-owners had during the 19th century.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Joseph Barnes Will, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

The testament was purchased in 2017.

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Barnes, Joseph, 1765-1829.
Jamaica -- Kingston.

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

University of Florida Home Page