Description[John Coffee] Joshua Coffee's Will Leaving His Son, John Coffee, Five Slaves (1797), with document (1839) related to John Coffee's estate after his death. Joshua Coffee's will is irregularly toned and slightly fragile; near very good condition. John Coffee's estate document (signed by his wife, Mary Coffee) is in fine condition. Ex. The Papers of John Coffee.
Retained Copy of Joshua Coffee's Will, originally dated September 1, 1797. One page, 7.5" x 12.5", March 26, 1797, "State of North Carolina/ Guilford County". Joshua Coffee moved his family, including his son John, from Virginia to North Carolina in 1775, where the tobacco planter served in the Revolutionary War. Upon his death in September 1797, Joshua willed to his "loving son John Coffee the first Choice of five Slaves to be disposed of for the purpose of procuring Land that my Loving wife Elizabeth shall Enjoy the Land . . . and after the Decease of my wife the Land procured as aforesaid shall be vested in my Son John and his heirs for Ever."
Mary Coffee Estate Document Signed. One page, 8" x 10.5", February 16, 1839. Mary Coffee, as "Executrix . . . of the Estate of John Coffee" sells 42 acres "for the sum of five hundred and fifty dollars" to James Setsinger. Coffee's signature has been struck through with vertical marks.
One year after the death of his father, John Coffee (1772-1833) left North Carolina and settled near Nashville, Tennessee. He soon met Andrew Jackson, who had arrived in the state ten years earlier. Coffee quickly became Jackson's business partner, military associate, confidant, adviser, and fearless friend. Coffee, Jackson, and John Hutchings (a nephew of Rachel Donelson Jackson) formed a business partnership in 1804, which lasted several years. The partners operated a tavern and store four miles from the Hermitage, which sold dry goods. They also bought land in Alabama. When the War of 1812 started, Coffee served under Jackson in the Creek War and at the Battle of New Orleans. (During the Creek War, Coffee was promoted to brigadier general.) After the war, Coffee served as surveyor general of public lands in Alabama from 1817 until his death in 1833. In 1819, he purchased land in Lauderdale and Limestone Counties in northern Alabama. He soon moved his family to Lauderdale County, near modern day Florence, from Tennessee. Coffee, a tall man (6'2" and near 200 pounds, according to his granddaughter), married Rachel Donelson Jackson's niece, Mary Donelson (1793-1871), in 1809. Together, they had ten children.
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