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John Stites - New Jersey Chancery Court

Mentioned in Ketchum v. Ryerss - 1799


Chancery Court of New Jersey 

Daniel Ketchum
v.s
Gozen Ryerss 

To his Excellency Richard Howell Esquire Governor Captain General & Commander in Chief of the State of New Jersey, Chancellor and Ordinary of the same 

The answer of Gozen Ryerss of Staten Island in the State of New York to the Bill of Complaint of David Ketchum of the County of Monmouth and State of New Jersey Complainant 

The said defendant saving and reserving to himself now and at all times hereafter all and all manner of benefit and advantage of exception to the many uncertainties and imperfections in the complainants said bill contained, for answer thereunto so much thereof as materially concerns this defendant (damaged - missing words) unto, he answereth and saith, 

that it may be true that sometime in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and (damaged - missing words) John T. Holmes of the said County of Monmouth entered into an agreement with the complainant to sell to the (damaged - missing words) Farm or plantation then belonging to the said John T. Holmes in the said County of Monmouth for the price of five thousand (damaged - missing words) that the complainant satisfied the said John T. Holmes to about the sum of two thousand pounds. 

And that the said John T. Holmes was indebted to one John Stites in about the sum of one thousand pounds for goods sent by the said John Stites to the said John T. Holmes from New York in the late war between the United States of America and Great Britain. 

And that it was agreed between the said Holmes, Stites and the complainant, that the complainant should satisfy the said Stites for seven hundred and sixty pounds on account of the said Holmes which was to be allowed by the said Holmes in part payment of the said Farm or plantation. 

And that the said complainant not being able to pay the said seven hundred and sixty pounds persuaded one Joseph Stilwell of the County of Monmouth to be security for him and to join in a Bond to the said John Stites for that sum, but as this defendant doth not know the same to be true, he neither admits or denies the same but leaves the complainant to make due proof thereof if the same is any way material or can be of any advantage to the complainant. 

And this defendant admits it to be true that the said complainant and Joseph Stillwell did duly execute to the said John Stites a Bond in the final sum of one thousand five hundred and twenty pounds current money of the State of New York to be paid to the said John Stites or his assigns with a condition there under written? that if the said complainant and the said Joseph Stillwell their heirs executors or administrators or any of them should well and truly pay or cause to be paid unto the said John Stites or to his certain attorney executors, administrators or assigns the just and full sum of seven hundred and sixty pounds current money of the State of New York on or before the seventh day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty four with interest at six per cent per annum and that without fraud? or any other delay, then the said Obligation should be void or else remain in full force and virtue, as by the said Bond or Obligation now in this defendants custody, and ready to be produced as this Honorable Court may direct may now fully and at large appear. 

And the defendant admits that the said John Stites was indebted unto this defendant on the seventh day of December in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty three and not in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty four as is alleged in the complainantís bill and by his indorsement on the said obligation did in due form of law assign and transfer unto this defendant the bond as aforesaid executed to the said John Stites by the complainant and Joseph Stillwell, by which the said bond and all the money due and that might become due thereon from the said complainant and the said Joseph Stillwell became the property of and payable by them to this defendant. 

And this defendant further answering says that he doth not know or admit it to be true that the said John T. Holmes refused to compleat the said contact of sale of the said plantation to the complainant and obliged himself to refund and repay to the complainant all the payments and satisfactions he had received thereon and gave bonds to the complainant therefor and that amongst the rest to repay the contents of the bond given to the said John Stites and assigned to this defendant as this defendant was not consulted by the said parties or had any interest or concern in the same and this defendant admits it to be true that the said John T. Holmes afterwards became much embarrassed in his affairs and was unable to satisfy the demands against him. 

And this defendant further says he received a message from the complainant and the said John T. Holmes requesting him to meet them at the farm of the said Holmes in the County of Monmouth and that the defendant met them accordingly and found at the same time the said complainant and several other creditors of the said Holmes there assembled when the said Holmes represented that he was at that time unable to pay and satisfy all his creditors but that if they would not push him but give him time he made us doubt but he should be able to pay them all honestly and that in the conversation it was recommended and proposed that the creditors of the said John T. Holmes should give him a letter of licence for six years, but whether this was first mentioned by the said Holmes or this defendant or some other person this defendant does not now recollect and is unable to tell. 

And the said Daniel Ketchum remarked that he would not sign the said letter of licence for the said Holmes unless this defendant would agree to give him the same indulgence in the payment of the said bond, to which this defendant consented upon the promise of the said complainant that the interest due on the said bond should be fully paid up in a short time and that the said bond should draw seven per cent per annum from that time and should be punctually paid off at the end of the time. 

And this defendant admits that after the time agreed upon as aforesaid had expired he again called for his money due on the said bond assigned to him as aforesaid and that the said John T. Holmes told him to have a little patience and he would endeavor to pay him the money which he owed to the complainant and this defendant in the most full p??? and unequivocal manner denies that this defendant at any time whatever agreed to look to the said Holmes for the payment of the said bond and to discharge the said complainant. 

And this defendant admits that having frequently called upon the complainant and the said Joseph Stillwell for payment of the said bond without success, put the said bond into the hands of Samuel McHoutey??? Esq. to prosecute sued out a writ of Copius ad respondendum against the said complainant returnable before the Judges of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas at Freehold in the County of Monmouth in the term of July in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety four as he supposes. 

And this defendant also fully and positively  denies that in the said term of July or at any other time whatever that he entered into an agreement with the complainant and the said John T. Holmes that if on a settlement between the said complainant and the said John T. Holmes there should be as much money due to the complainant from the said Holmes as should amount to the sum on the bond aforesaid, that in such case this defendant would look to the said Holmes and discharge the complainant or any other agreement to that purpose or effect. 

And this defendant admits that in the beginning of the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety six the principal sum of the said bond and a large arrear of interest thereon remaining unpaid and being of opinion that he should recover his money more speedily and with less trouble by prosecuting both the complainant and the said Joseph Stillwell in the Supreme Court, this defendant gave directions to the said Samuel M Rontrey?? to discontinue the suit aforesaid in the said Court of Common Pleas and sued out of the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey a writ of Copius ad respondendum on the same bond in the name of the said John Stites against the said complainant and the said Joseph Stillwell returnable to the term of April in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety six, which was served on both defendants by the Sheriff of the said County. 

And that soon afterwards the said John T. Holmes applied to this defendant and did propose and offer to sell him a certain tract of land which he owned in the County of Monmouth at a low price (as he said) and that he would accept the bond before mentioned as payment as he was indebted to the said complainant and this complainant told him as he was not acquainted with the said land, he the said Holmes must get him some judicious and reputable men to value it and that then this defendant would go and see it and if they should agree, that this defendant would take a deed for it and give him the said bond in payment and that the said John T. Holmes soon afterwards without obtaining any valuation of the said Farm, that came to the knowledge of this defendant departed this life. 

And this defendant denies that he made any agreement with the said John T. Holmes for the price of the said land and to take a deed for the said land in satisfaction of the said bond, or that this defendant was to attend at Freehold for the purpose of receiving the deed and taking possession of the said land in pursuance of the said agreement as is untruly charges in the said complainantís bill. 

And this defendant in answering further says in the month of October one thousand seven hundred and ninety six the said complainant did apply to him which was after the death of the said John T. Holmes and did entreat this defendant to take an assignment of two certain bonds which he had against the said John T. Holmes and endeavor to obtain the money due on the said bonds from the administrators of the estate of the said John T. Holmes who was alleged had left property enough to pay his debts and if the defendant should recover the money due on the said bonds he this defendant might apply it in discharge of the said bond of the complainant and Joseph Stillwell and in the mean time to delay all further proceedings on the said bonds And that this defendant at the entreaty of the said complainant and merely to oblige him and the said Joseph Stillwell did take an assignment of the said bonds of the said Holmes upon the terms before mentioned and did agree to delay all further proceedings against the said complainant and the said Joseph Stillwell until it should be known whether the said money could be obtained out of the estate of the said deceased and this defendant gave the said complainant a receipt accordingly and that a short time afterwards it appearing that the estate of the said John T. Holmes was insufficient to pay his debts this defendant returned the said bonds of the said Holmes to the said complainant and his receipt therefore was delivered also to him by the said complainant. 

And this complainant soon afterwards proceeded in his suit in the Supreme Court and the said complainant and the said Joseph Stillwell having filed their plea, the said cause was noticed for trial at the Circuit Court held at New Brunswick in and for the County of Middlesex in the month of June in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety eight when the trial thereof was put off on the affidavit of the said Joseph Stillwell. 

And the said cause being again noticed for trial in the month of June last the said complainant caused to be served on the attorney of this defendant a writ of injunction issuing out of and under the seal of this Honorable Court having filed his bill of complaint. 

And this defendant further says that a certain bond executed by one Robert Imock?? to the complainant for the sum of one thousand three hundred pounds or thereabouts was deposited by the complainant in the hands of the said Joseph Stillwell on or about the month of July in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety six for the more effectual securing and indemnifying this defendant and the said Joseph Stillwell on account of the said bond assigned to this defendant as aforesaid by the said John Stites in order to induce this defendant to give a further delay and time for payment of the said bond. 

And this defendant denies all manner of combination and confederacy wherewith he stands charged in and by the said bill of complaint without that that there is any other matter or thing for this defendant to make answer unto and not herein and truly well and sufficiently answered unto confessed or avoided, traversed or denied is true all which matter and things this defendant is ready to aver and prove as this Honorable Court shall direct and award and humbly prays he may be hence dismissed with his (damaged - missing word/s) costs and charges in this behalf most wrongly ordained
Matthias Williamson
Solciírí. & Counsel for the defendít.
 

Filed Nov 15th 1799


Acknowledgments to the New Jersey State Archives :-
Record Group : Chancery Court
Series : Case files, 1743-1824
Accession # : 1975.004
Series # : SCH00001
Guide date : 5/2000 (SC)
Volume : 60 c.f. [148 boxes]
Box 60


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