May v. Sloan,
101 U.S. 231 (1879)

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U.S. Supreme Court

May v. Sloan, 101 U.S. 231 (1879)

May v. Sloan

101 U.S. 231


1. The word "trade," in its broadest signification, includes not only the business of exchanging commodities by barter, but that of buying and selling for money, or commerce and traffic generally.

2. Where, to effect a settlement of all his indebtedness to B. and C., who each held a mortgage upon his lands and personal property, A. entered into an agreement in writing with them containing sundry provisions, by one of which C. stipulated

"not to interfere with any bona fide trades made by A. so far as any of the mortgaged property is concerned, provided the trades have been carried out in good faith and completed."

Held that a sale by A. to B. of a portion of the lands, which was known to C. and evidenced by an instrument under seal, was a trade within the meaning of the agreement.

3. Where an agreement for the sale of lands, alleged in a bill in equity praying for specific performance, is denied by the answer, the defendant, where there is no written evidence of such agreement, may, at the hearing, insist on the statute of frauds as effectually as if it had been pleaded.

4. Where the record shows that the appellee, who raises the objection that the lands which are the matter in controversy are not of sufficient value to give this Court jurisdiction, bought them for $21,000, and by virtue of that purchase claims them here, and the prayer for appeal, which is verified by the affidavit of the appellant, shows that they are worth more than $5,000. Held that this Court has jurisdiction.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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