Parish v. Cirode

William Cirode of the Cirode Family was sued by Henry Parish in the Commercial Court of New Orleans for “falsely representing his son and son-in-law, composing the firm of Cirode & White, of Mobile, as solvent and worthy of credit,” when in fact they were surviving only on their father’s advances and had gone bankrupt.

A “Henry Parrish” advertises shipments to Mobile in the Daily Picayune, June 12, 1841, with an address listed as “19 Poydras street,” one of the same addresses associated with Cirode.

The extensive case file has been digitized.1

See also Merritt M. Robinson, Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Louisiana, vol. 8 (New Orleans: For the Reporter, 1847), 117-119, available on Google Books. The prominent lawyer Gustavus Schmidt was his counsel before the Supreme Court.

The facts in the case showed that Cirode and White were now practically bankrupt and had been insolvent for some time, event thought Cirode “represented them to the plaintiff’s clerk as dealing altogether for cash, and as having no bills due, while, at the same time, he had claims against them for a large amount for advances, to secure which, he soon after levied an attachment which broke up their establishment.”

It looks like Cirode may have purchased the tobacco Parish gave to Cirode & White from them on April 16, according to one of the ledgers in the case. Parish urged this point in particular during the Supreme Court appeal: “Defendant converted to his own use and profit the very merchandise which was sold to Cirode & White on the faith of his false representations.”

There was also a suit in December 1842 in Mobile County, in which Cirode and White’s creditors there alleged that the firm had gone bankrupt on April 19 and had then fradulently allowed their goods to be attached by Cirode the next day, which meant their creditors had no recourse. But after a jury trial, the court found that Cirode and White “are not Bankrupts within the meaning of said law.”


Year Month/Day Event Sources
1840 November WC gives funds to C&W A
1842 March WC goes to Mobile; remains there while DWC goes to NO to order goods; Samuel Bell also in Mobile, hears WC speak well of C&W A
1842 April 1 WC tells Parish C&W doing well (acc. to Parish’s petition) A
1842 April 1 Bell sells C&W bagging & rope A
1842 April 2 Parish sells tobacco to C&W, accepting promissory note A
1842 April 3/4 DWC sells entire stock of the tobacco “at a sacrifice” A
1842 April 16 WC purchases tobacco from C&W A
1842 April 18 WC tells Mobile County Circuit Court that C&W are indebted to him for $11,495, are about to remove; requests attach A
1842 April 20 WC “attaches” C&W goods; tells N.O. merchants the firm has failed A
1842 May 10 WC wins suit against C&W for $10,605 in Mobile County A
1842 December 20 Parish files suit against WC A
1842 December 26 DWC declared bankrupt by US District Court in Mobile A
1843 January 14 Sheriff leaves summons at 243 Dauphin with Jane Cirode A
1843 February 9 WC files his answer to Parish A
1843 April 29 Court finds in favor of Parish A
1843 May 10 WC appeals judgment for Parish with Pierre Roy as surety A
1844 January 22 Supreme Court upholds Parish A
1844 January 29 WC’s lawyer applies for SC to rehear case, granted A
1844 May Parish’s lawyer files brief in re-hearing, as does WC’s lawyer; SC upholds Parish A

  1. Christina made a rough transcription of the file as part of RA Assignments.