Freeland v. Heron, Lenox & Company
11 U.S. 147 (1812)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Freeland v. Heron, Lenox & Company, 11 U.S. 7 Cranch 147 147 (1812)

Freeland v. Heron, Lenox & Company

11 U.S. (7 Cranch) 147

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT

FOR THE DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA

Syllabus

An account current sent by a foreign merchant to a merchant in this country, and not objected to for two years, is deemed an account stated, and throws the burden of proof upon him who received and kept it without objection.

DUVALL, JUSTICE, delivered the opinion of the Court as follows:

Page 11 U. S. 148

The record presents the following state of facts:

A bill in equity was filed by Heron, Lenox & Company against Archibald Freeland, the appellant, in the circuit court in the month of December, 1798. It states that the company consisted of Nathaniel Heron, a subject of Great Britain, Samuel Lenox, also a subject of Great Britain, and James Freeland and William Gillin. That articles of co-partnership between the said company and Archibald Freeland, of Virginia, were entered into on 15 February, 1789, to commence on the first day of April following and to continue for five years unless sooner dissolved by mutual consent. It is stipulated by the articles that the business of the co-partnership should be managed and carried on in the Town of Manchester, in Virginia, by Archibald Freeland under the firm of James Freeland. That there should be no advance put on the goods furnished, but the charges and commission in Britain, and that all bounties, discounts and abatements which might be received should be credited. The complainants in their bill further state that Archibald Freeland had the sole management of the affairs of the company and the care and custody of the books and funds.

That during the existence of the co-partnership, Heron, Lenox & Company remitted to James and A. Freeland goods, wares, and merchandise to the amount of several thousand pounds sterling, and had received some payments, but that a considerable balance remained due to them on account of those remittances; that J. & A. Freeland had been frequently called on to account and pay the balance due. That the firm of J. & A. Freeland had been long since dissolved by mutual consent, and that A. Freeland, retaining all the books and effects of the company, had refused to account and pay the balance due, and they pray relief.

To this bill A. Freeland filed his answer admitting the co-partnership, as stated and that the business of the concern had been conducted by him at Manchester until 10 April, 1795, when by contract the whole of the property of the co-partnery was vested in

Page 11 U. S. 149

him for his own use and benefit upon the conditions therein expressed, and he insists that upon a fair settlement of the accounts between the complainants and him agreeably to the custom of merchants in London, as stipulated by the said contract, he owes nothing.

It further appears that shipments of merchandise by Heron, Lenox & Company were made from time to time during the first four years of the concern amounting in the whole to more than

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