Response or Comment
The CY-Pres Doctrine.-The court of chancery of New Jersey in the recent case of Brow et al. v. Condit et al. (Sept. 30, 1905), 61 Atl. Rep. 1055, refused to apply this doctrine under the following circumstances: The will of one Susan M. Corson, bearing date July 7, 1897, disposed of her residuary estate "to the Hospital Fund for Sick Seamen at Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, care of Mr. John M. Wood, chaplain." It appears that neither at the time of the making of the will nor at any time thereafter was there a fund in existence at or in any way connected with the Brooklyn, New York, Navy Yard that could properly be designated as a "fund for sick seamen." Nor was the said John M. Wood, at the time of the making the will or thereafter a chaplain at said navy yard in any proper sense of the term. He was, however, for several years previous to his death, which took place about a year after the date of the will and about the same time prior to the death of the testatrix, engaged more or less in missionary work at the said navy yard under the auspices of the American Seamen's Friend Society. His duties consisted chiefly in holding religious meetings, and although he had no official connection with the government hospital located at the said navy yard, he had, as stated in the opinion of the court, "the privilege of ministering to the sick sailors in the hospital, presumably to such extent as his services were acceptable to them." Similar privileges were given to the representatives of other benevolent societies. On several occasions, whether before or after the making of her will does not appear, Mrs. Corson sent to Mr. Wood small sums of money with directions, in each instance, that he should with the money get delicacies and flowers for the sick sailors. The court found nothing in the evidence to show that the testatrix was ever interested in any charitable work at the said navy yard except as it was connected with Mr. Wood. After the death of the latter the American Seamen's Friend Society continued its work at the navy yard through other lay missionaries. It appeared, also, that the International Committee of Young Men's Christian Associations, one of the defendants in the case, in March, 1899, established a branch for charitable work among the sailors in the Brooklyn, New York, Navy Yard, their work being of the same kind as that carried on by the American Seamen's Friend Society, but apparently somewhat wider in its scope.
Hutchins, Harry B. "The Cy-Pres Doctrine." Mich. L. Rev. 4 (1906): 287-92.