AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
FPOC Wheeler family, Washington & Fayette Co., PA
The following excerpt is from the web page cited below re: former slaves of Dr. Charles Wheeler of West Pike Run/Brownsville (Washington & Fayette counties), PA
In 1796, Dr. Charles Wheeler was one of three persons who purchased a town lot in Brownsville for the use of a Protestant Episcopal Church. In his history of Christ Church, of Brownsville, Rev. Samuel Cowell says of him, "Dr. Charles Wheeler, was an Englishman, and a surgeon by profession, who, after serving in Dunmore's War, settled on a farm about four miles west of Brownsville. He was warmly attached to the church, and when disposing of his worldly effects bequeathed to the same one hundred pounds, to be paid at the death of his wife. Mrs. Wheeler lived many years after her husband's death, having reached the advanced age of ninety-four years."
The wife of Dr. Wheeler was Miss Elizabeth Cresap, and she lived a quarter of a century after her husband had passed away. Her remains were interred in the Episcopalian churchyard at Brownsville. Dr. Wheeler was the owner of several slaves, all of whom he remembered in his will. Hannah Young was the last survivor of these slaves, she living until after 1870. As Dr. and Mrs. Wheeler had no children, he, after naming various minor bequests, gave the bulk of his property to Charles Wheeler, his nephew. The following are some of the clauses in the will, which was executed May 26, 1808, viz.: "After my debts are discharged, which are very trifling, it is my further wish and pleasure that the little I have which is of my own acquiring shall be disposed of in the following manner" [After naming several sums for other persons, he gave] L50 to black Samuel, L50 to black Benjamin, "50 to black Hannah, L25 to black Lydia, L50 to black Daniel, and L25 to black Rachel. The above named black people were raised under my roof. I therefore hope they will consider the intent of the small bounties bestowed them by an indulgent master and to apply the same discreetly to their interests...As it was not my lot to have issue by my wife, I did not embark in this world's speculation in search of more than what would enable me to live decently comfortable to my family and friends.