MCCLAY v. HANNA, 4 U.S. 160 (1799)

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U.S. Supreme Court

MCCLAY v. HANNA, 4 U.S. 160 (1799)

4 U.S. 160 (Dall.)

Hanna et al.

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

March Term, 1799

THIS was an appeal from the Orphan's Court of Dauphin county, under the following circumstances: John Harris, by his will dated the 25th of May 1790, proved 2d of August 1791, bequeathed all his personal estate to his sons David, Robert, and James, and his daughters Mary M'Clay and Mary Hanna, to be equally divided between them. He, also, ordered his executors to sell all his lands not otherwise disposed of by his will, and divide the proceeds as aforesaid. He directed his executors to settle their accounts, in the Orphan's Court, in one year after his decease, and continue to settle an account annually until the estate was finally settled.

In January 1795, a citation was issued at the request of William M'Clay, one of the executors of John Harris, against David Harris, Robert Harris, John Andrew Hanna, Joseph Work, and John M'Clay, the other executors, to appear at the next Orphan's Court for Dauphin county, to make a full disclosure of all effects and estate of the deceased, which have come to their hands, possession, or knowledge, and settle and abide the order and judgment of the Court on the premises. The cause came to a hearing in the Orphan's Court, in September 1795; when a motion was made by M'Clay's counsel that Robert Harris and John A. Hanna should answer, on oath, to a charge of having received money for the sale of sundry lots, which had been conveyed to them by the testator, by absolute deed, on a secret trust, to be accountable for the proceeds of the sales: and that they should bring the said proceeds into their administration account, and charge themselves therewith. The Court determined, 1st. That the said Harris and Hanna, should not be obliged to answer on their oath to the said charge: and, 2d. That the plaintiff

Page 4 U.S. 160, 161

should not be allowed to produce evidence, to substantiate the truth of his charge against the said John A. Hanna; but that the account of the said Harris and Hanna, as then exhibited to the Court, should be received and passed. The plaintiff appealed from this judgment; and the cause comes upon the appeal

After argument by W. Tilghman and Dallas, for the appellant; and by Ingersoll, for the appellees, the COURT dismissed the appeal, because it did not appeal, that the Orphan's Court had pronounced a definitive decree.

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