to Mr. Bayard.
The Hague, February 23, 1887. (Received March 8.)
Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith, for the information of those whom it may concern, and especially for the archives of the Department of State,” three volumes containing the legislative history, as well as the proceedings, of the commission of liquidation established in this country in April, 1852, to settle claims against the estate of deceased persons, as well as against the Government of the Netherlands.
Prior to the year 1809 the care of the estates of deceased persons was by statutory authority delegated to orphans’ courts, which were from time to time established throughout the country.
The introduction of the French civil law throughout the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1809 abolished the orphans’ courts.[Page 891]
The funds under the care of the various orphans’ courts or other officials, and undisposed of in March, 1852, passed into the custody of the above-mentioned commission of liquidation.
The preface in Volume No. 1 contains a full and explicit statement, showing the circumstance and legislation which led to the creation of this commission of liquidation. (Pages I–XXXVIII.)
A list of the orphans’ chambers and chambers of guardianship, established in the country, with reference to the dates of the statutes delegating the authority to establish such chambers, will be found on page XLI–L, same volume.
On page 1–3 will be found the decree of April 1, 1835, concerning the liquidation of the property and inheritance, formerly under the charge of the orphans’ and guardians’ chambers.
On pages 4–10, marked t, will be found the project or rough draught of the law for the regulation of the affairs of the former orphans’ and guardians’ chambers, presented by the Government to the second chambers of the States-General during the session of 1850–’51, and read on the 1st day of July, 1851, marked II.
On pages 10–30 will be found the report of the committee of the second chamber of the States-General respecting the project of law presented by the Government for the regulation of the affairs of the former orphans’ and guardians’ chambers made on the 15th day of February, 1852 to the second chamber of the States-General during the session of 1851–’52, marked III.
On pages 31–30 will be found the law of March 5, 1852, proclaimed April 8, 1852, providing for the liquidation of the affairs of the former orphans’and guardians’chambers, marked No. IV.
On page 37 will be found the names of the members of the commission of liquidation, appointed by virtue of the law of March 5, 1852, and named by royal decree of July 29, 1852, proclaimed July 4, 1852, marked No. V.
On pages 37–44 will be found the royal decree of August 25, 1852, proclaimed September 4, 1852, containing instructions for the general commission of liquidation, marked No. VI.
On pages 45, 46 will be found the royal decree of 14th September, 1852, fixing the date of the dissolution of the commission established by the law of March 5, 1852, marked No. VII.
On pages 46–59 will be found the report of the general commission of liquidation, marked VIII.
On pages 60–63 will be found document marked A, which shows the total amount of funds found by the several subcommissions to be subject to liquidation under the law of March 5, 1852, then in the hands of the Government, as well as the manner of its investment and, the names and localities of the orphans’ and guardians’ chambers from which the several sums were originally received.
On page 64 will be found document B, a rough declaration of the nominal amount originally invested, as well as the title of the securities.
These volumes contain a complete history of the legislation respecting the organization of this commission of liquidation, as well as the proceedings of the commission.
This commission, it will be remembered, disposed of all unclaimed estates of deceased persons which were held by the orphans’ courts or the Government prior to 1852.
I have been to no little trouble and no little personal expense to obtain the copies inclosed herewith, and I trust they may be of service to [Page 892] the Department in answering inquiries in the future with regard to unclaimed estates in Holland.
As they contain a full and authentic history of the liquidation of this country upon the subject of unclaimed estates originating prior to 1852, the data contained therein may be used in formulating replies to future inquiries.
I have, etc.,