Download Full Text (31.7 MB)


The occasion which has arisen for publishing a new edition of Walker's Chancery Reports, renders it proper to accompany it with some notice of the Court, and of the changes which have taken place since the decision of the C'ases reported in this volume. The Court of Chancery, which was organized immediately on the formation of the State government, was presided over by a Chancellor, who held his courts at regular terms in, at first, three, and afterwards four different places, but with general jurisdiction over the entire State. The first Chancellor was Elon Farnsworth, a gentleman of singularly excellent qualities to become the founder of an Equity system, from his thorough training and his fairness and breadth of mind. He at once proceeded, with the aid of faithful assistants, to complete a system of Rules which were to a grt•at extent moclified or copie"d from the New York Rules in Chancery, which had been shaped by the experience of Chancellor Kent and his sncce;;sors, under a body of Statutes very closely resembling those of Michigan. Chancellor Farnsworth succeeded in simplifying the practice, and in providing for a much speedier disposition of causes than had before been reached in either England or New York. The rules of admission to the Chancery Bar were so framed as to prevent the danger of incompetent practitioners, by requiring a previous admission after a three years' novitiate to the Common Law Courts, and a special examination of the Attorney after his common law admission by a committee of Equity Lawyers. With well trained practitioners it was not difficult to secure the orderly transaction of business; and at the same time our Chancellors were always careful never to allow any substantial equity to be lost by the misprision of officers or counsel. The system, as applied, was a very good one, and the jurisdiction was useful.

Chancellor Farnsworth's decisions, previous to his resignation in 1842. are reported in Ihrrington's Chancery Ueports-a second edition of which was not long since published under the careful revision of Judge Cooley. The few 1leP.isions rendered by thnt Chancellor during his brief resumption of the office in 1846 and 1847 have not been collected.

Publication Date







Michigan, Michigan Court of Chancery, State courts, Trials, Case reporters, Court reporters


Courts | Legal Profession | State and Local Government Law

Annotations...Walker's Chancery Reports