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Limitation Act, and the Intestate Act, claimants admitted to our minister at any attempt to recover real estate from the Hague that if ordinary interest were the Crown or individuals after a lapse added to the principal of this claim all the of twelve years, which may be extended European governments together would to thirty under certain circumstances, be unable to pay it, but that she was and personal property after a lapse of willing to wait for the interest. Being twenty years after the time at which the discouraged by her reception at the legaright to bring an action or suit for the tion, she presented her claim — which recovery thereof shall have first accrued had been beguilingly drawn up by a to the person making the claim, however French attorney in the shape of a large valid the claim to the property may have pamphlet -- in person to the king, at the been originally, is certain to end in fail- door of his palace. In due time she reure.

ceived a reply from the finance minister Holland is another country where it is that the whole matter had been several supposed by many Americans that vast times examined by the courts, and decided estates, from the value of twelve mil. adversely to the claimants. In most of lion dollars down, have been lying un- the Dutch claims the family name alone claimed for the last two hundred years, of the testator is given, but neither the and that nothing is necessary but to de- name, the place of death, nor the location mand them at some probate office. For of the estate is supplied to assist in trackthe last seventeen years the American ing it. No official notice of unclaimed legation at the Hague has notified claim- . Dutch estates is ever inserted in foreign ants, either directly or through the De- newspapers, and therefore the lists of partment of State, that there are no unclaimed estates published by agents probate courts in Holland, and that wills are not from official sources, as asserted are generally deposited in the care of the by them. notary who draws them up. He makes Our embassy in Paris does not give a duplicate copy, and enters the title and the names of any claimants of estates, subject matter under a number in his but says that the number of inquiries register, which is examined and verified is large, and that in no case has the by the registrar once a month. It is evi- existence of the supposed estate or of dent, where names, dates, and localities the unclaimed fortune been verified. are lacking, as is generally the case in The legislation of France is such as to the communications of claimants, that, dispose effectually, and without appeal, after the lapse of one or two generations, of all claims, even if inherently just estates can be found only, if at all, by ex- and founded on an actual and known tensive advertising. In 1852 the Dutch heritage, which were not presented and Parliament established a state commis- proven within the period prescribed by sion for the settlement of claims on the the French statute of limitations. Unestates of deceased persons, as well as der French law, the liquidation of estates those against the government. This com- is ordinarily in the hands of a notary, mission gave notice that all claims to pro- and in searching for an estate the usual perty then in their hands must be sent in method is to address a circular letter to within five years and six months, after every notary in the city and department which time such estates would escheat where the estate is likely to be, giving to the state. The great estate sought for the name and date of death of the oriin Holland is that of a General Metzgar, ginal owner. When there is no landed who died about two hundred years ago, estate, the heirs -at-law can divide the leaving, as is currently supposed, some property among themselves without legal twelve millions of dollars. One of the proceedings. If nobody claims an estate,


the state takes it in trust, and the De- in the official gazette ; and should this partment of Justice inserts notices of the receive no response, the state regards fact in the official journal. The period the property as derelict, and takes posof proscription as regards unclaimed session of it. Even then, if a rightestates is thirty years from the date of ful heir appears within thirty years, his decease, after which all claims are barred, title is acknowledged under certain re unless some irregularity in the liquida. strictions. Continued possession by the tion can be proven.

state for these thirty years gives a valid In Germany there is likewise a statute title, if not disputed in the mean time, in of limitations, and there too not a case which case it is temporarily in the cusis known to our embassy where the ex- tody of a special official. As there are istence of an unclaimed estate has been several hundred courts thus holding esverified. As a rule, the data furnished tates, it is essential that claimants should by claimants are insufficient to substanti- ascertain accurately which court holds ate any claim, or to identify the locality the estate in trust. As far as can be of a single estate, even when the statute learned by the embassy, after careful inof limitations does not apply to great quiry, there is not at present any large periods of time elapsing since the tes- estate that for more than thirty years tator's death. One great drawback for has been awaiting distribution, and every the claimants is the absence of all pro- effort to discover alleged unclaimed esbate machinery, and the fact that estates tates has been fruitless. The consuls are usually divided amicably among the have permission to investigate claims to heirs without resort to any court, trans- estates when their official duties permit, fers of landed estate being made on the and if remuneration for their services be land register of the locality, in the pre- guaranteed. sence of the grantor and grantee. Wills The above gives the history of unhave to be deposited in a court during claimed estates in Europe; there are the lifetime of the testator, except in the no large or important ones; and yet, Rhine provinces, where a will entirely in spite of the wide circulation of the holographic is valid. Wills are opened facts by our Department of State, and by the court for interested parties when by our embassies and legations abroad, they produce a certificate of death, or for the past fifty years, and of the deat any rate six weeks after the testa- tection, conviction, and punishment of tor's known death. After fifty-six years several claim agents, the imposture, as it have elapsed since deposit of the will offers such large returns, still goes on, and without information of the testator's as many moths as ever singe themselves death, the supposed heirs are summoned in the flame of alluring advertisements by advertisement to appear. If in six and circulars of unscrupulous agents. months no one comes forward, the will is One of the most daring and successful opened, to ascertain whether charitable of these swindlers was William Lord institutions are mentioned in it. If this Moore, of 5 Ingersol Road, London, Engbe the case, such beneficiaries are called land, with a connection in New York upon to prove the death of the testator. styled the European Claims Agency, The will is then closed again. When E. Ross, Manager. Moore's real name the fact of death is established, the will was Howard, and as his trial is the first is opened once more, and published. A one of the kind that has occurred in this certificate of heirship is issued by the country, it may be interesting to know court on adequate proof. If the proof the history of the man, and his system is inadequate, or no heirs come forward, of procedure as developed at his trial. a further notice of three months is given That this is the only instance of one of


this class of swindlers being brought to ing the correspondence, and stating that, bay and convicted in this country is not with the assistance of the London police, owing to there being no other persons he had found Moore, who had confessed equally guilty, but to the fact that in

his swindles, and promised to discontinue frauds of this kind, extending as they do them, but that letters were being conall over the United States, and relating stantly received at the legation which into estates situated in foreign countries, dicated that the business was being still it is difficult for any one victim to bring successfully carried on, in spite of warna suit, or for the numerous dupes to com- ‘ings sent out to America through the bine against the swindlers. It was not Associated Press. Mr. Lincoln also until the numerous complaints to the called the Secretary's attention to the act police in New York and other cities, of Congress of September 19, 1890, aland to our embassy in London, against lowing the Postmaster-General, on suffiHoward, obliged the United States gov- cient evidence of fraud, to stop registered ernment to take some steps for the pro- letters and return them to the writers. tection of its citizens that anything was This correspondence was printed by the done to check these systematic frauds. Department of State as a circular to be In May, 1892, letters inquiring about sent in answer to letters of inquiry from Moore in London and Howard in the victims, and the prosecution of Howard United States having poured in to the shows that Mr. Lincoln's suggestions embassy, Mr. Lincoln, our minister at were adopted. that time, wrote to the British Post- At the time of his arrest, in 1893, at master-General, calling his attention to Jackson, Tennessee, George Frederic Moore's correspondence, and suggesting Burgoyne Howard had been known for that the British post-office should stop some years as a preacher and prominent the delivery to Moore of letters coming member of the Central Fairview Associfrom the United States, and return to ation of the Baptist Church, whence he the writers any valuable inclosures found derived the prefix “ Rev.” or “Dr.” He therein. Otherwise it seemed impossible also edited a religious periodical in New to put a stop to the scheme in England, York, entitled The Fairview Advocate, as the persons imposed upon in the United previously The True Baptist, in which States were not of a class that could af- he advertised the fraudulent foreign-esford a journey to England to give the tate scheme of which he was convicted. necessary testimony in an ordinary crimi. But he appears first to have come into nal prosecution. The Postmaster-Gen prominence by a suit for fifty thousand eral, in reply, regretted that he could not dollars damages brought by him against meet the minister's wishes in regard to well-known citizens and newspapers of the detention of Moore's letters, as he the city of Jackson and the State of Tendid not consider the facts in the case nessee for defamation of character. This sufficient to warrant him in intercepting suit, lasting for months, during which his letters, but suggested that if it seemed history was traced through more than necessary for the protection of its citi- one of the States and to Europe, rezens, the American government should sulted in a verdict of one cent damages detain at New York registered letters ad- for the plaintiff. The doctor bad then, dressed to Moore in England. He would and still has, a host of faithful friends, send to the legation, however, any letters convinced of his honesty and innocence. of inquiry in regard to Moore which After the termination of the damage might come from the United States. suit, which practically amounted to a deMr. Lincoln at once wrote to the De- feat, he returned to his pastoral duties partment of State at Washington, inclos- for a while, and then, in 1890, moved



to New York, nominally to practice law ; to effect his release, and left for Canada. returning to Jackson from time to time But the government offered a considerto pay up the expenses of his lawsuit. able reward for his capture, and soon In New York he opened an office at he returned to Jackson, gave himself up, 227 Grand Street, under the name of and was placed under heavy bonds. A E. Ross, as a' European claims agent. true bill was found against him by the Here he succeeded in deceiving hun- grand jury, and his trial was begun in dreds of simple-minded persons and in the federal court in Jackson on the 4th avoiding legal proceedings. When offi-' of November, 1893, he having the privicers went to arrest him, he had left for lege of conducting his own defense with foreign parts. In 1891 he appeared at 5 the aid of other counsel. There were Ingersol Road, Shepherds Bush, London, eight indictments against him, which, afas William Lord Moore, and continued ter much argument and opposition on the his dishonest career by correspondence part of his counsel, Mr. L. T. M. Canada, with persons in the United States, in were ordered by the court to be recordmuch the same manner as the above- ed for trial under one heading as a conmentioned Jacquess in his Townley es- solidated case. A plea in abatement, on tate fraud, but does not seem to have the ground of irregular proceedings on confined his deceptions to any particular the part of the attorney-general, was then estate. The American embassy in Lon- argued for a whole day, and decided by don having, with the aid of the police, the jury in favor of the government. found Howard, alias Ross, alias Moore, The defendant took part in his own and obliged him to confess his guilt, he defense, and is described as presenting returned to New York, and recommenced, his usual nonchalant appearance, and as or rather continued, operations under even being eloquent. He compared the

. the name of Joseph Ledger, “ American attorney-general to “ a sleuth-hound from agent for the Supreme Court of Chan- whom there was no escape, whether upon cery, London ;” going so far as to furnish the rugged mountain side, in the valley mock documents and false seals purport- beneath, or upon the bosom of the ocean," ing to emanate from the High Court of and himself to “a pursued man and a Chancery. Then, when he found it was victim, who would, however, be protectbecoming too dangerous for him in New ed, from having found the thread of gold, York, he returned to Jackson, Tennes- the truth, that would serve him.” After see, called himself the president of the the verdict, the attorney-general asked to Gulf and Tennessee Railroad, a purely have Howard sentenced, but the court imaginary corporation, and announced decided to let the trial go on, and a new that he made a specialty of collecting jury was impaneled. The attorney-genclaims in all parts of the United States eral stated in his argument that Howard's and Europe, and that he visited Europe scheme was, by making people believe

, once a year for that purpose. After a that they were heirs to vast estates in while complaints and evidences of How- Europe, to lead them to pay him small ard's fraudulent practices poured in to sums of money for expenses incurred in the postal and police authorities so abun- getting the information. Thousands of dantly that a warrant was issued for his his letters had been sent out for the arrest, and his office was searched and purpose of opening up a correspondence his desk broken open for incriminating with credulous persons. He proposed to documents. Howard had fled from Jack- show that letters had been sent from New son when the warrant was issued, but York by E. Ross and Joseph Ledger, and was arrested by telegram in Chicago. from London by William Lord Moore, By satisfactory explanations he managed all of whom were one and the same Dr. G. B. Howard. Subsequently to the op- Hodson, the messenger of the legation, erations of Moore in London and Ledger who had interviewed Howard in London in New York, postal cards were sent in company with the police inspector. out by Howard, as the president of the The inspector's identity and statements Gulf and Tennessee Railroad in Jack- were fully vouched for, and the cross-exson, to the same persons addressed from amination of Hodson by the doctor was the other agencies. Upon Dr. Howard's very damaging to the defendant. Mr. office being

searched, letters and accounts Hodson testified that in the archives of were found, already prepared and only the legation was the deposition of one awaiting his signature, for the amounts Julian Howlett that the defendant, Howcollected from his correspondents, and a ard, was his son, and that his name was number of clerks were busy sending out Frederick Howlett, thus adding one more circulars to his dupes. Numbers of wit- to his numerous aliases. The defendant nesses from all parts of the United States made a sorry argument in his own bewere called, who testified to the receipt half, almost entirely of a sentimental, of letters from Moore, Ross, Ledger, and even of a blasphemous tone when and Howard, asking for remittances, to he compared his treatment to that of his be used in looking up estates. Postmen Lord and Master. The attorney-general from New York testified to the identity easily shattered the slight attempt that of Howard, Ross, and Ledger, to whom Howard had made to disprove his identhey had delivered letters in New York tity with Moore, Ross, and Ledger, which at an average rate of two hundred a day, was what the first jury had disagreed on, and also to the fact that Howard had and also the flimsy fabric of the Gulf and opened a Dominion employment bureau Tennessee Railroad, which no one but the in New York, under the name of G. W. doctor himself had ever heard of. The Harris. He was fully identified as hav- judge, in his charge to the jury, simpliing been in New York under all these fied the case very much by telling them different names, by lodging-house keep- that it was immaterial how many

aliases ers, elevator men, and others. The Lon- or how many places of business the dedon police inspector who, at the request fendant had, it being sufficient to prove of the American legation, had found his fraudulent intentions and acts in one Moore in London came over to testify only. On the first ballot, the jury found to his identity with the defendant. This a unanimous verdict of guilty, and the officer stated that there was no Supreme court, after having overruled the moCourt of Chancery or tax assessor, as tion for a new trial, and refuted the arappeared on Howard's fraudulent cer- guments against a continuous sentence, tificates. Experts in chirography tes- passed sentence of fine and imprisonment tified to the handwriting of the letters on each of the eight counts ; making in from Moore, Howard, Ross, and Ledger all nine years and one month imprisonbeing one and the same. Strange to say, ment and twelve hundred dollars fine, the trial resulted in a disagreement of besides the costs of the suit, amounting the jury, which was therefore discharged, to about twenty-three thousand dollars, and a new one was impaneled.

which were taxed to the defendant. HowOn the 6th of December the case was ard's name was stricken from the rolls as tried all over again. The government a practicing attorney in the district court now had the additional advantage of the and the circuit federal court. Four of testimony of Mr. New, who had been con- the witnesses for the defense were then sul-general at London when Howard was arrested for perjury, and sent to jail to there, and of Mr. Lincoln, who was min- await their trial before the grand jury. ister at the same time, as well as of Mr So ended this tedious case, in which

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