Washington Darden was born in Elbert, Georgia and moved to Mississippi, along with several family members, in the early 19th century. He died in March 1830 in Madison, Mississippi, and left the following will at his death,
Will of Washington Darden
Will Book A, page 2
In the Name of God amen.
I Washington Darden being weak in body but of sound mind and perfect memory knowing the uncertainty of life and the certainty of death do make and ordain and seal this as my last will and testament in the words and form following to wit:
Item 1st I assign my body to the grave and my soul to the care and protection of Almighty God who gave it.
Item 2nd I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Ann Darden our __ of my estate both real and personal to wit: seventy three acres of land lying in the counties of Madison and Hinds also one half of a town lot in the town of Fa__ Jefferson County in the possession of P. Williams together with twenty two negroes (To wit: Tom, Hanna, Ellen, Charlotte, Joseph, Nacy, Bill, Ratan, Andy, Allen, Zachary, Jim, Wilks, Carter, Leany, K__, Jane, Elly, David, Jack, Rob, Classey. I do furthermore give and bequeath to her two hundred and fifty dollars, money that I have now in my possession.
Item 3rd I do also give and bequeath to my children to wit: Evelina B. Reed, Martha A. Darden, Elizabeth Darden, John M. Darden, Allen S. Darden, George D. Darden, Mary Jane S. Darden, also my ___ Machall Walton son of P__ H. Walton ____ ____ ____ ____ Machall ________ ________ all the remaining ______ of my ________ ________ and tenements to be divided equally ___ among them by valuation as they may become of lawful age or marry and the property not to be ____ in any other
____ and the ___ or portions allotted to my daughters to wit: Evelina B. Reed, Martha Ann and Elizabeth M. J. Darden. I do also give and bequeath to them and their heirs or heirs of their bodies.
Item 4th The tracts or parcels of land containing the farm, outbuildings wherein I now reside is not to be divided until the youngest child becomes of lawful age or marries.
Item 5th I do also give and bequeath to Soaky and Elijah who not mentioned in with above list of slaves their freedom at the marriage, pleasure or death of my wife Ann Darden.
Item 6th I do also give and bequeath to the heirs of John B. Doat [?] of the County of Jefferson one negro man slave by the name of Jock together with all the stock and furniture belonging to ___ that they hold in their possession.
Item 8th I do appoint , constitute and ordain Caleb Reed and Joseph Vickers executors to my estate and my wife Ann Darden executrix clothed with full power and authority to all in this my last will and testament. Madison County State of Mississippi February 22nd 1830.
/s/ W. Darden
Witnesses- H. O. Russell, J.R. Kilborn, David Bailey
Ann Darden died three years later, in February 1833, and only directed that her estate be divided equally between her surviving children, without listing any slaves by name.