THIS was an appeal from a decree of the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Columbia, holden in and for the county of Alexandria, sitting as a court of equity.
In July, 1836, Joseph Mandeville and Daniel Cawood, both of the town of Alexandria, entered into articles of co-partnership, under the firm of Daniel Cawood and Company, which was to continue until the 1st of September, 1838. Numerous stipulations were made, which it is not necessary to mention.
In June, 1837, Mandeville made his will, which began thus:
'I, Joseph Mandeville, of Alexandria, in the District of Columbia, thankful to Divine Providence, which has ever rewarded my industry and blessed me with a fair portion of health, do hereby direct the disposal which I desire of my earthly remains, after my decease, and of such real and personal property as I may possess when called hence to a future state.'
After sundry legacies, he said: 'If my personal property should not cover the entire amount of legacies I have or may give, my executors will dispose of so much of my real estate as will fully pay them,' and then added:
'John West, formerly of Alexandria, now of Mobile, I hereby make my residuary legatee, recommending him to consult with, and follow the advice of, my executors in all concerning what I leave to him.' Robert J. Taylor and William C. Gardner were appointed executors.
In July, 1837, the following codicil was added:
Codicil to the preceding will, made this eleventh day of July, 1837.
It is my will that my interest in the co-partnership subsisting between Daniel Cawood and myself, under the firm of Daniel Cawood and Company, shall be continued therein until the expiration of the term limited by the articles between us; the business to be conducted by the said Daniel Cawood, and the profit or loss to be distributed in the manner the said articles provide.
In witness whereof I have hereto subscribed my name.
Shortly after adding the above codicil, Mandeville died, in July, 1837. Taylor renounced the executorship, and Gardner obtained letters testamentary upon the estate.
Cawood and Company continued to carry on the business as before.
In July, 1838, the following note was given and draft drawn:
Alexandria, 28th July, 1838.
Thirty days after date, we promise to pay to the order of Mr. N. Burwell, eight hundred dollars for value received, negotiable and payable at the Bank of Potomac.
Alexandria, 28th July, 1838.
On the 31st inst. pay to the order of Mr. William H. Mount one thousand dollars for value received, and charge to account of yours.
To Daniel Cawood and Co., Alexandria, D. C.
Neither the note or draft was paid at maturity, and both were protested.
In December, 1838, Burwell, the appellant in the present case, filed a bill on the equity side of the Circuit Court against Cawood and Gardner, reciting the above facts and praying relief.
In June, 1839, Gardner answered. He admitted those facts, but denied that the assets in his hands as executor were liable to the payment of the debts of the firm of Daniel Cawood and Company, and required the complainant to make proof of it. He further alleged a deficiency of personal assets.
In October, 1839, Cawood filed his answer, admitting, in substance, the facts set forth in the bill, but neither admitted nor denied the insolvency of the firm.
The case was referred to a commissioner with instructions to adjust the accounts of the executor and also of the firm of Cawood and Company.
In May, 1841, the commissioner made an elaborate report, the particulars of which it is not necessary to state.
In November, 1841, on the motion of John West, claiming to be interested in the subject-matter of the suit, it was ordered by the court that the complainant have leave to amend his bill and make John West a defendant. The case was again referred to a commissioner with instructions to state, settle, and report to the court the account of William C. Gardner as executor of Joseph Mandeville, deceased, stating the personal estate of the said Mandeville left by him at his death, and how much thereof has come to the hands of the executor, the value of it, and how the same have been disposed of; particularly whether any of the legacies have been paid out of the personal executor: and that he report also the value of the personal assets still in the hands of the the executor: and that he report any special matter that he may deem pertinent, or either party may require.
In December, 1841, the complainant, under the above order, filed his amended bill, making West a party.
In April, 1842, West demurred to the bill, because the other legatees of Mandeville were not made defendants, and because the complainant had not, by his bill, shown a case in which he was entitled to relief.
In May, 1842, the commissioner made a report, under the above reference, stating that Gardner, as executor, had then in his hands, assets, amounting to $1,036.70.
In June, 1842, the demurrer was argued, and the court being of opinion that the general assets of the estate of the said Joseph Mandeville, deceased, in the hands of his executor, William C. Gardner, one of the said defendants, are not chargeable with any debt contracted by the defendant Cawood, in the name of the firm of Daniel Cawood and Co., after the death of the former partner of the firm, the said Joseph Mandeville; and being of opinion that the defendant's said demurrer is well taken and fully sustained in argument, and that the complainant's bill contains no matter, allegation, or charge laying any foundation for equitable relief in the premises, dismissed the bill with costs.
The complainant, Burwell, appealed from this decree.
Neale and Coxe, for the appellant.
Smith and Jones, for the ...