Petition #20885039


The State of Louisiana, represented by Attorney General Isaac Johnson, seeks to nullify the 1838 will of the recently deceased John McDonogh. In his will, McDonogh directed that the bulk of his very considerable estate be bequeathed to the Mayor, Aldermen, and Inhabitants of the Cities of New Orleans and Baltimore. The property was to be divided “in equal proportions” between the two cities. Should either of the two cities decline or be unable to accept the legacies, the property would go the state of Louisiana or Maryland, whose legislatures would be entrusted to carry the intent of the will as would seem “most proper” to them. The State of Louisiana contends, however, that such bequest to the cities is illegal on several grounds, and seeks nullification.

Result: Granted; appealed.

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Citation information

Repository: University of New Orleans