Estate Debate


Before Cornelius died in Paris in 1870, his nephew Romain Camille (Emma’s father) faithfully promised to execute his will which left the estate equally among his heirs in the old world and the new. The de Laurencels of France felt their share should be half, according to the laws of France, since Cornelius had died there. Both the  Napa Daily Register of August 27, 1885 and the  Napa Register of August 28, 1885  covered the story.

Finally the California Supreme Court judged that Cornelius’ wishes should be honored. The 1885 case is written up in The California Supreme Court published by the Bancroft and Whitney Co. in 1875. You can read pages 581 – 586 for their synopsis. (Thanks to Google Books for digitizing the Harvard University Library’s copy.)

Emma also saved two documents from 1883, either related to this case or another regarding one of RC’s investments.. One notarized was by the Belgian Consul in San Francisco verifying the signature for a M.A.E. Brucell Griffier (?) before appearing before the Napa Superior Court. The other, for a Mr. P (or B) Rond (or Pond), who appeared before the County Clerk and the Clerk of the Napa Supreme Court.  Signature_verification_1883  and  Signature_verification_1883.