Supreme Court of Ohio
December Term 1843
Larry, by pure chance, I happened to find this morning two more Ohio Supreme Court reported cases involving our buddy Morris Seely. Its going to take some time to decipher exactly what all they are saying, but we knew that the General Assembly (while Seely was serving in the Ohio Senate!) had given Seely $5,000 and also instructed the courts to determine whether he was entitled to be paid anything else---all this arising out of his claim that he had had a deal with the state to take water from the canal feeder and run it through his canal, until the state left him in the lurch by making a deal with the Cooper estate. These cases are attempting to determine what, if anything, more he is entitled to.
It appears that the Supreme Court in the first case in late 1842 or early 1843 gave Seely $9,506 (but it may be that the $5,000 he already had received from the General Assembly would first be deducted from that amount). The state didn't like the result, and petitioned for a rehearing, which occurred in December of 1843, but the Court then upheld the earlier decision. The reports are a little confusing to read, because they first repeat the two lawyers' arguments before they state a decision.
A couple of interesting things are revealed---(i) Seely filed a petition in insolvency in Hamilton County in 1832 (there is much back and forth as to whether Seely is entitled to the money, or whether it's actually his creditors, who were not party to the suit), (ii) Seely was apparently still alive in December, 1844, when the rehearing occurred, (iii) we now know who supervised construction of the "ditch" (someone named William Mershon), and (iv) Seely had high powered legal counsel---Congressman Thomas Corwin (the "Ohio Wagon Boy") from Lebanon and prominent Dayton lawyer Peter Lowe (brother of John Lowe).
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