1802.026: Appeal of John Hook in Chancery Case of Ross v. Hook.

Published: 1802

Full Title: In the Court of Appeals: the case of John Hook, appellant, vs. David Ross, appellee: on an appeal from the High Court of Chancery

Author: Hook, John (1746-1808).

Place Issued: Richmond

Issuing Press: Augustine Davis

Description: 7 pgs.; 23 cm. (8vo).


A published report of an appeal filed after the High Court of Chancery for Richmond District had found against Hook in March 1802 in a lengthy suit with his former partner, David Ross. The case concerned the dissolution of their mercantile firm in 1793; Ross filed suit against Hook in 1799 to force Hook to abide by the conditions of a settlement negotiated in March 1795; in March 1800, Ross induced the court to inventory of Hook's property as of that date (5 years after the agreement) and freeze those assets –a sequestration – to guarantee that Hook could pay what he owed Ross; in March 1802, the court held Hook in contempt for not complying with orders resulting from this 1799 suit, which had peremptorily voided the 1795 agreement between the two men, and ordered Hook to pay Ross based on the court-ordered inventory. Herein, Hook argued that the 1800 inventory laid claim to assets he had acquired after the 1793 dissolution, so not rightfully a part of the suit, and that the court order seizing those assets was illegal as it did not address the facts in the suit over the 1795 settlement. In June 1807, Hook was partially vindicated when the Supreme Court of Appeals ordered the case back to the Chancery Court to force a decision based on the value of the firm's assets in 1795 and not on the 1800 inventory; this order was still being adjudicated when Hook died in 1808, leaving his executors to deal with Ross's lawyers for another 9 years (through 1817). Only known copy, held by the Virginia Historical Society, lacks title page, so carries a caption title alone and no identifying imprint; the Society assigned date from the text, and suggested Davis as the printer responsible for its publication, as reported here.

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