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United States Supreme Court

88 U.S. 17

George Jerome  v.  Thomas N. McCarter

No. 655.  Argued: December 11, 1874 --- Decided: December 21, 1874

ON motion of Mr. G. F. Edmunds, to increase the amount of a bond given on appeal and for additional security. The case was thus:

McCarter, the holder of a third mortgage, given by the Lake Superior Ship Canal, Railroad, and Iron Company, on about 400,000 acres of lands-pine lands, hard-wood lands, iron lands, copper lands, and farming lands-in Michigan, filed a bill in the Circuit Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, to foreclose his mortgage. Subsequently to this the company was decreed bankrupt, and one Jerome and another having been appointed its assignees, they were brought in by supplemental bill. On the 15th of June, 1874, the complainant got a decree of foreclosure.

The decree directed the sale of the canal, corporate franchises, and two land grants, to pay $1,057,686, and also what might be due to one hundred and twenty bondholders whose debts were not included in the above amount.

The sale was to be made subject to prior liens of $1,500,000 and upwards (apparently about $2,000,000), so that with the decree of $1,057,686, the property, if sold, would, in order to pay all charges against it, have to produce $3,057,686, or at least $2,500,000. The prior incumbrances were carrying interest at the rate of 10 per cent. a year.

An appeal was soon afterwards applied for to Swayne, J., to operate as a supersedeas. A body of affidavits was produced on the side of the defendant, from men of business, men of science, and men of wealth, to show an immense value in the mortgaged property, that its value far exceeded the amount of the decree and all prior liens, taking these at their principal sums and adding all the interest that had already accrued or would accrue during the litigation, and moreover that the property, from the anticipation of finding new mines on it, was rising in value. A body of affidavits, nearly or quite as large and from a similar class of persons, was produced to show the contrary; the highest value given to the lands by any of these being $2,500,000. After hearing and considering these affidavits, an appeal was allowed by Swayne, J., to operate as a supersedeas, and the security fixed at $10,000, with two persons, named Wells and Crosby, as sureties. An appeal bond was given accordingly.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).