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Parks v. Ross

362 Pennsylvania, State of, v. Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company et al. 528 Philadelphia and New Orleans, Cities of, v. United States

609 Phillips v. Preston

294 Place v. Spear

522 Power's Heirs v. United States

570 Preston v. Phillips

294 Ramsey et al. v. Bevins et al.

185 Randon v. Toby

493 Reeside v. Walker

272 Reid v. Webster

437 Rhodes et al. v. McCoy

131 Ross v. Hogan et al.

294 Ross v. Parks

362

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United States v. Boisdoré et al.
United States v. Callender et al.
United States v. Cotton
United States v. Girault et al.
United States v. Gruner
United States v. Guillem
United States v. Hughes et al.
United States v. Lecompte
United States v. Livingston et al.
United States v. Morgan et al.
United States v. Cities of Philadelphia and New Orleans
United States v. Power's Heirs
United States v. Turner et al.

.

47 552 115 602 154 609 570 663

Van Buren v. Digges.
Van Rensselaer v. Kearney et al.

461 297

Walker v. Reeside
Warner et al. v. Martin
Weatherhead's Lessee v. Baskerville et al.
Webster'v. Reid
Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company et al. v. State of Pennsylvania

272 209 329 437 528

NOTE.

The Reporter, being absent from Court during the whole month of December, 1850, requested the friendly aid of A. H. Lawrence, Esq.; and having obtained the sanction of the Court thereto, now takes pleasure in expressing bis obligations to that gentleman for his assistance in preparing the reports of the cases which were argued during that month.

THE DECISIONS

OF THE

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES,

AT

DECEMBER TERM, 1850.

Simon Gratz's EXECUTORS AND OTHERS, APPELLANTS, v. SAMUEL M.

COHEN AND ELEAZER L. COHEN.

Where a deed was executed by an aged woman, the sole surviving executrix of her

father, with power under the will to sell, with a vicw to put an end to a long family litigation in which some judgments had been obtained, and other suits were then existing, and who owned the whole or nearly the whole of the residuary interest of the estate ; and the settlement was made with deliberation, and under advice of business friends, and the consideration of the deed was a sum of money in hand, with a stipulation on the part of the grantee, that he would pay over any surplus which the lands might yield after paying all reasonable expeuses and legal claims,

- this deed cannot be set aside on the ground of fraud. The bill below must be dismissed, unless it be so amended as to include all the par.

ties interested, and be confined to a claim for the surplus of the proceeds of the lands, after paying reasonable expenses and legal claims.

This was an appeal from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, sitting as a court of equity.

It was a bill filed in 1839, by Samuel and Eleazer L. Cohen, citizens of the State of New Jersey, against Simon Gratz, Leah Phillips, and twelve other persons. It was a bill for a discovery against Leah Phillips, surviving executrix of Joseph Simon deceased, and Simon Gratz, and praying also that a certain agreement and deeds executed by and between said Leah and Simon might be annulled, and declared fraudulent and void, and that Simon Gratz be decreed to account, &c.

The bill involved the consideration of matters and accounts, commencing in 1769, and continuing down to the time when it was filed. It was a family dispute which had been carried on in the courts of Pennsylvania for a number of years, and reported as follows:- Gratz v. Phillips, 1 Binney, 588 (1809); Gratz v. Simon, 3 Binney, 474 (1811); Gratz v. Simon, 5

1

VOL. XI.

Gratz's Executors et al. v. Cohen et al.,

Binney, 564 (1813) ; Gratz v. Phillips, 14 Serg. & Rawle, 144 (1827); Gratz v. Phillips et al., 1 Pa. Rep. 333 (1831); Gratz v. Phillips, 2 Pa. Rep. 410 (1831); Simon's Executors v. Gratz, 2 Pa. Rep. 412 (1831); Cohen's Appeal, 2 Watts, 175 (1834).

This narrative need not go further back than 1804, when Joseph Simon, a merchant or trader, and resident of Lancaster, died. Besides other children, whose interests were not involved in this controversy, he had three daughters, Miriam, Beliah, and Leah. They were all married. Miriam was married to Michael Gratz, Beliah to Solomon M. Cohen, and Leah to Levi Phillips. Simon Gratz, whose executors were the appellants, was one of the phildren of Miriam and Michael Gratz. The complainants below and appellees here, were the children of Beliah Cohen. At the time of Mr. Simon's death, there were unsettled partnership transactions between him and his son-in-law Michael Gratz, and a large body of lands was held by them in common. Suits were then pending between them relative to these transactions.

By the will of Joseph Simon, 26th October, 1799, he disposed of the bulk of his estate as follows.

Art. 14. He ordered and directed that the whole residue of his estate (to be invested in certain stocks) should be divided into three equal shares, and one part of the proceeds thereof, that is the interest, should be paid to his daughter Miriam during her life ; one third part of the proceeds or interest thereof to his son-in-law Levi Phillips and Leah his wife, during their joint lives and the life of the survivor of them; and the remaining third part to his daughter Beliah during her life.

On the death of either daughter, her share of the principal to vest in her issue, to take as purchasers and tenants in common. On the death of either Miriam or Leah without issue, the share to be divided among the children of Beliah Cohen.

By Art. 16, Mr. Simon made the devise to Mrs. Gratz (Miriam) dependent on a release of certain lawsuits then pending, and in the event of no such release he gave her share to Mrs. Cohen and Mrs. Phillips. Of this will

, he made his son-in-law Levi Phillips, and his daughters Mrs. Phillips and Mrs. Cohen, executors, with full power to sell real as well as personal estate.

By a codicil in December, 1802, he expressly revoked the devise to Mrs. Gratz, and directed the devise to Mrs. Phillips to be absolutely one half of the principal of the residue; the legacy to Mrs. Cohen to be as before, the interest on her share.

By a second codicil, 9th February, 1803, he provided as follows:

Whereas, my son-in-law Levi Phillips has continually in

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