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Colonial Cases

Estate of Cunningham, 1908


Estate of Cunningham

United States Consular Court, Shanghai
Source: San Francisco Call, 29 October 1908



Judge Wilfley's Order for Administration in Shanghai is Subject of Appeal.

Whether the United States consul general to China had the power to administer on the estates of American citizens dying in the orient was the question argued yesterday before the United States circuit court of appeals.  The appeal was made from the decision of Judge Wilfley of the United States circuit court at Shanghai in the case of Henry H. Cunningham, who died several months ago in the Shanghai hospital.

Attorneys for the heirs of Cunningham contended that the administration of estates was outside the jurisdiction of the consul general and consular court under the common law.  They argued that the procedure should be under the law of the state in this country where the decedent had last resided and under which laws his will was drawn.

Cunningham left an estate of large value.  James Linn Rogers, consul general of the United States, appointed the administrator.  It was alleged that the estate had been looted by excessive charges, amounting to $59,000.

Attorney General Clark made the argument for the government.  He contended that the appeal had been taken too late and that a demurrer could not be interposed to a plea.  The case was taken under advisement.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School