Wednesday, 16th May, 1866

Windy, disagreeable weather, but not so cold as it has been. The boys replanted watermelons before breakfast. – – Zac attends singing school today. I wrote to Nan, who will attend the singing with Lu and Jennie, to meet him at Ju’s tomorrow and walk home from there in the evening after spending the day with Mag. – – He rode Fannie today in order to go to see Dr. Jack Braxton on business. Carried a letter from Bill. – – Col. McLaughlin sent a hog for two pieces bacon. I sent a ham weighing 12 ½ lbs. and a middling weighing 14 lbs. – – I’ve been looking over some papers in the desk today, but I can learn very little from them. It is something so little suited to the capacity of a lady.1Reading over the legal papers associated with the 1833 Will of Reuben Dugar would challenge a seasoned attorney. Collected today at the Library of Virginia in the Chancery Causes file for King William County as “Ann King, etc. v. Administrator of John Meredith, etc.” (1868-001) what is certainly only a partial collection numbers 188 pages. As the Library has recently digitized these papers, they are available for viewing online, or download. Briefly told, the 5th clause of Dugar’s Will lent itself to interpretation as to his wishes for the distribution of his property. This eventually precipitated lawsuits among his heirs. With the marriage, birth of children, and death of some of the original Dugar heirs, the court appointed local “non-interested” administrators to oversee portions of the estate and represent the minor heirs while the legal questions were being settled. Representing one group of heirs and named as “Administrator of John Meredith, etc.” was Lewis Littlepage. The suits, countersuits, judgements, and appeals continued into the Civil War years and the death of Lewis Littlepage in 1863. Now the final disposition of Dugar’s will is at hand and has been dropped into Caroline’s lap. Unfortunately for those included under “John Meredith, etc.” the judgement of the court went against them. It is now time to settle up. The estate of Lewis Littlepage must provide an accounting of the portion of the Dugar estate entrusted to him and transfer appropriate monies to the other heirs. It is clear from her journal that Caroline, and her family, were kept only marginally abreast of the details of Lewis’ role as Administrator. It is also possible that the funds necessary to resolve this matter are not readily at hand. Would that it had been averted, but it was the Lord’s will and my destiny. I will try and exercise a spirit of endurance and do the best I am capable of doing and commit my ways at all times to Him whom I continually pray to, to guiding and direct, instruct and admonish me in all my undertakings and that the cross is a perplexities of the few transitory years which may be allotted to me on earth. May not “engross” with time things to the exclusion of the more important ones of eternity.

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