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Allegheny College v. National Chautauqua County Bank

Court of Appeals of New York
159 N.E. 173 (1927)



In 1921, Mary Yates Johnston promised to have $5,000 out of her estate given to Allegheny College (College) (plaintiff) 30 days after her death in order to establish the Mary Yates Johnston Memorial Fund, a scholarship in her memory. She wrote a letter instructing the executor of her estate to do so. In 1923, she gave $1,000 to the College to be set aside for that purpose. However, in 1924, she informed the College that she was revoking her promise. Then, 30 days after Johnston's death, the College sued the executor of her will, National Chautauqua County Bank (Bank) (defendant), to recover the remaining $4,000. The trial court found in favor of the Bank, and the appellate court affirmed. The College appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Cardozo, C.J.)

Dissent (Kellogg, J.)

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