Brotherton & Weekping Indian Communities of NJ

The Will of Charles Moolis & Legal Action to Stop It

Tennent's Account of Move from Cranbury (Bethel) to Brotherton
1759 Map of Proposed Layout of Brotherton
Pictures of Brotherton
Primary Documents Related to Brotherton Indians
Native Men in the French & Indian War
Brotherton in 1761 & 1795
Message from the Brothertons to the Ohio Indians, 1767
Removal to New York, 1793 - 1803
Robert Skikkit - And Indian Soldiers of the Revolution
Weekping or Coaxen
Pictures of Weekping/Coaxen
Indian Rules of Descent of Lands
The Will of Charles Moolis & Legal Action to Stop It
The Court Battle over Moolis's Will
Court Action in Trenton
Confused Tenants & Powers of Attorney
State Control of Weekping
Efforts at Compromise at Weekping
Petition of the Indians, 1817
1819 Letter to the President
Federal Court Action
The Loss of Weekping
Miscellaneous Documents
Occum, Quakers, Moravian Texts & More
Books for sale
Guest Book

This will is among the court papers related to the Weekping/Coaxen controversy.  It is not filed with the other wills from the time in the NJ State Archives.

I Charles Mooless of the Township of Northampton in the County of Burlington and State of New Jersey being at this time Week of Body but Sound and Disposing of Mind and Memory for which I am thankful to God, and Knowing that it is appointed to all men once to Die, and being Desirous that such temporal Estate as it hath Pleased God to Intrust me with in this Life shall after my Deceas come into Such Hands and Disposed of in such a manner as I shall herein Order and Direct to wit-

Impremis My Desire is that my funeral charges and Just Debt be paid as soon as they conveniently can by my Executor him after mentioned and Named out of my movable Estate -

Item I Give and bequeath to my Housekeeper Barshabee Pombeliss my Young Horse and one Horse Cart with my bed and other Household Goods to be at her Disposell as full Compensation for her Services, I also Give her the said Bershabe the Privilidge of my house where I now Live and one acre of Land for a Garden adjoining there to During her Natural Life also One third of the Grain yearly and Every Year of her Life that may or might be Raised on my farm for her support with Pasture for one Horse and Cow as Long as she may want the same

Item for the Services Rendered me by my friend Henery Armstrong my Will is that he should have ten acres of Land Laid of [f] for him During his Natural Life in some Convenient place by my Executor

Item and for the Services Rendered me by my Brother in law John Hayce as well as for the good will I bare unto him, my will is he have five acres of Land Laid of for him at the Souther Corner of my Land During his Natural Life

Item I Give and Devis all of my farm with the Rest and Residue of my Estate both Real and Personall to my faithful and beloved friend Josiah Foster Esquire and to his Heirs and assigns forever together with the Lots of Land herein before bequeathed to others for Life after their Deceas

And Lastly I Constitute and appoint my Said friend Josiah Foster Esqr my whole and Sole Executor of this my Last Will and testament

And I hereby make null and Void all other or former Will and testaments by my Hand before made and this Only to be taken for the same

I Do therefore Ratify and Confirm this to be my Last Will and Testament -

In Witness Whereof I have here unto set my hand and Seale the Ninth Day of September One thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety Seven

Signed Sealed Published and Declared by the testator to be his Last Will and testament in the presence of ---

Phineas Kirkbride Charles Mooliss his mark

Daniel Joyce

William Joyce

Josiah Foster Esqr sole Executor in the written Testament named being duly affirmed, doth declare and say, that the written Instrument contains the true last will and testament of Charles Mooliss the Testator therein named, so far as he knows and verily believes; that he will well and truly perform the same, by paying first the debts of the said deceased, and then the Legacies in the said testament specified, so far as the goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased can there unto extend; and that he will make and exhibit unto the prerogative office at Trenton, a true and perfect Inventory of all and singular the goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased, that have or should come to his knowledge or possession, or to the possession of any other person or persons for his use, and render a just and true account when there unto lawfully required.

Affirmed the 29: April 1802 Josiah Foster Before Joseph Bloomfield Surrogate General

[on cover] Burlington Orph Court

Charles Moolis will or Caveat

Filed by order of Court August Term 1798

Wm. Griffiths Reg:

Caveat of Indians Opposed to the Will

To Mr. Daniel Smith in Burlington

Surrogates Office

Charles Mullis Will

Caveat of Indians Filed by order of Court Augt Term 1798

Wm Griffith Register

Weekping Feby 12th 1798


This is to inform you that the poor Indians of Weekping as well as Brotherton are desirous that this said Weekping Tract (as we think with propriety an Justice it ought) to fall into the hands of Indians in general as it is really Indian property -

We understand that some time back when our poor decea(d)  Brother lay very ill that a Will wrote contrary to his real intentions as he acknowledged afterwards to have done when beside himself-

We therefore humbly implore your aid and assistance in advising and directing our Brother John Kekalah to accomplish that Business

John Haise his mark

Elias Ashtaina his mark

Bashaba Molas her mark

Mary Calvin her mark

Barthw Calvin

etc, etc.

For and on behalf of the above persons and for myself and all others interested I do Caveat agt. the Probate of any last will or writing in the Nature of it which may be offered for probate at the Surrogates as being the act or last will of Charles Mullis or any other person relative to the Lands above mentioned or other Estate real or personal

Dated 12th feby. 1798

John Kekalah

Indians to the State of New Jersey, April 28, 1798


These are to inform you that we the poor Indians some of a remnant tribe called Delawares being convened together in a general council, at Brotherton on Saturday the 28th day of April 1798:  for the purpose of taking into serious consideration the cause / for reason there can be none / why our commissioner Josiah Foster, would wish to take one of the two remaining crumbs of bread out of our mouths, for we look upon those two small tracts of lands to be no more than small, very fragments, of bread compared to the land we were possessed of when you first arrived in this part of the Universe. When we come to recollect and think upon the days past, we look upon it, that we have fed and nursed you upon this bread from an infant, untill you have arrived, to the years of a very great and powerfull man; and we poor Indians on the other hand very small and weak, We should therefore humbly request you to consider this matter seriously and candidly; whether you dont imagine that you have had a sufficient share of this bread. We think you have, and that we have divided with you in a generous manner: and thought that you were so far satisfied with the division, that you had secured those two remaining fragments in such a manner that no person would endeavour to take them from us. But alas, we see how mistaken we are, for the very person we estem'd our particular friend and thought was appointed to take care of us and our property, is endeavouring to deprive us of them. Altho' we cannot see nor conceive with what propriety, or that he can we the least shadow of justice. - We are confident and well assured of this agreeable to our Indian rules and maxims there are Heirs sufficient to hold that plantation, and you may reasonably expect we will be governed by them, unless by force you compell us otherwise, which we are very sensible you can easily do if you are so inclined as we have already observ'd we are nothing in a manner compared to you.

But we are too sensible of your understandings, your Virtue, your reason, and your feelings of moral rectitude than to have such thoughts. - And as far as the pretended will which is said was made by our deceased Friend we cannot pay much attention to, being a little fearfull that it was made more agreeable to the persons mind who wrote it, than to the person it was wrote for, being inform'd by substantial evidence of his disapprobation of the said pretended will. -

From what we have heard Jacob Moolis say and observed of our acqaintance with him, we are well assured that it was not his intention for that land ever to fall into the hands of the white people: -

We therefore esteem it a dangerous matter for any person to presume to alter that property, as the law says, cursed is he that removeth the antient land mark.

Certainly than it must be acknowledged by all that unjust Judges, Jurimen, and arbitrators, who determine amiss of land and properties are capital removers of land marks. - We hope therefore you will pause awhile, consider and examine well the important proposition before you, considering with all what indigent creatures we are, having nothing in store for those who are helpless and infirm among us - Whether you cannot join with us in thinking that you had better add than diminish our little remains; especially when you come to consider in how superior a manner you have been bless'd by providence with the good things of this life always having an ample sufficiency within yourselves for your Family's and those who are objects of charity among you. But perhaps we are tireing your patience with our broken remarks, which probably are very familiar to your reflections and conclude by letting you know the great satisfaction we receive in having the affair left to the determination of those who we are led to believe will administer justice, with that impartiality as becometh conscientious, enlightened gentlemen, which is the earnest prayer.

Signed by thirteen Indians and drawn up by them.

American Indian Research