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A Death at Crooked CreekThe Case of the Cowboy, the Cigarmaker, and the Love Letter$
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Marianne Wesson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814784563

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814784563.001.0001

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The Supreme Court Hears a Case of “Graveyard Insurance”

The Supreme Court Hears a Case of “Graveyard Insurance”


(p.168) 5 The Supreme Court Hears a Case of “Graveyard Insurance”
A Death at Crooked Creek

Marianne Wesson

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on the Supreme Court's hearing of the John Wesley Hillmon case in1892. Four years after the third trial in the Hillmon case, the Supreme Court rendered its decision on the insurance companies' appeal. During this interval, Kansas witnessed remarkable political events that both reflected and created the tides of sentiment on which Sallie Quinn Hillmon's lawsuit rode, including the rise of the People's Party. The chapter first provides a background on Horace Gray, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and his law secretary, Ezra Ripley Thayer. It then analyzes Gray's opinion in Hillmon v. Mutual Life Insurance Company et al. and how he addressed the question of the admissibility of the letters written by Frederick Adolph Walters and of hearsay evidence more generally.

Keywords:   hearsay evidence, Supreme Court, John Wesley Hillmon, Sallie Quinn Hillmon, Horace Gray, Ezra Ripley Thayer, Hillmon v. Mutual Life Insurance Company et al., admissibility, letters, Frederick Adolph Walters

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