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BUTLER V. GORELEY, 146 U. S. 303 (1892)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Butler v. Goreley, 146 U.S. 303 (1892)

Butler v. Goreley

No. 20

Argued November 21-22, 1892

Decided December 5, 1892

146 U.S. 303




One T., of Boston, went into insolvency in Massachusetts in June, 1882, and a deed of assignment was made to his assignee in July, 1883. In June, T. was on board an American vessel which was captured and burned by the Georgia, a tender of the Confederate cruiser Alabama, and thereby lost his personal effects and sustained other losses. Under the Act of Congress of June 5, 1882, c. 195, 22 Stat. 98, T., in January, 1883, filed a claim in the Court of Commissioners of Alabama Claims claiming compensation for his losses, and the court gave a judgment in his favor. In February, 1885, a draft for the amount was issued by the Treasury payable to the order of T. and was sent to and received at Boston. T. died at Boston four days later, intestate. In March, 1885, T.'s widow was appointed his administratrix by the Probate Court of the District of Columbia. In April, 1885, she gave a power of attorney to one B. to endorse the draft. He did so and collected the amount, which he retained. The assignee in insolvency sued B. in a state court of Massachusetts to recover the amount, and had judgment. On a writ of error from this Court, held,

(1) The decision and award of the Court of Commissioners of Alabama Claims was conclusive as to the amount to be paid on the claim, but not as to the party entitled to receive it, and the claim was property which passed to the assignee in insolvency under the assignment to him, although it was made prior to the decision of the Court of Commissioners.

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