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Plymouth in Wayne County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Rose of Aberlone

Michigan Legal Milestone

 
 
Michigan Legal Milestone - Rose of Aberlone Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., July 3, 2010
1. Michigan Legal Milestone - Rose of Aberlone Marker
Inscription. T.C. Sherwood, president of Plymouth National Bank, contracted in 1886 with Hiram Walker of Walkerville, Ontario for the purchase of a cow, Rose 2d of Aberlone. Both parties believed that Rose was barren and would not breed, and that mistake led to one of the most famous contract cases in U.S. history.

Mr. Sherwood tried to pay Hiram Walker the agreed-upon price, $80, but Mr. Walker refused it after discovering that Rose was pregnant. Her value was now about 10 times greater than that agreed to by the parties. Mr. Sherwood sued to take possession of Rose at the original price.

The Michigan Supreme Court in 1887 declared in Sherwood v. Walker that, because a mutual mistake affecting the substance of the transaction had been made, Hiram Walker had a right to rescind the contract, and keep the cow. Law students ever since have studied the case as a classic example of the contracts law doctrine of rescission based on mutual mistake.

Mr. Sherwood went on to distinction as Michigan's first banking commissioner, Hiram Walker & Sons is a worldwide leader in the production of alcohol beverages, and Rose achieved immortality in a poem by UCLA Professor Brainerd Currie, who concludes, "For students of law must still atone/For the shame of Rose of Aberlone."
 
Erected 1993
Rose of Aberlone Marker Rededication image. Click for full size.
By State Bar of Michigan, May 13, 2008
2. Rose of Aberlone Marker Rededication
A replacement marker was unveiled at Kellogg Park on May 13, 2008.
by State Bar of Michigan and the Suburban Bar Association of Western Wayne County. (Marker Number 18.)
 
Location. 42° 22.215′ N, 83° 28.139′ W. Marker is in Plymouth, Michigan, in Wayne County. Marker is at the intersection of South Main Street and West Ann Arbor Trail, on the right when traveling north on South Main Street. Click for map. Marker is in Kellogg Park. Marker is in this post office area: Plymouth MI 48170, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Wilcox House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Baker House (about 600 feet away); Plymouth (about 700 feet away); Newburg Methodist Church (approx. 3.4 miles away); Newburgh Cemetery (approx. 3.7 miles away); John Wesley Conant House (approx. 4.1 miles away); First Presbyterian Church of Northville (approx. 4.3 miles away); George A. Custer U.S. Army Reserve Center (approx. 4.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Plymouth.
 
More about this marker. The original plaque, which was dedicated and placed outside in Kellogg Park in Plymouth in September 1993, was stolen. A replacement was unveiled at Kellogg Park on May 13, 2008.
 
Regarding Rose of Aberlone. Michigan Legal Milestone recognizes significant legal cases and personalities in the state's history, and places bronze plaques at featured sites to document the historical significance.
 
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Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 1,147 times since then and 29 times this year. Last updated on , by Sandra Barger of Lansing, Michigan. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.   2. submitted on , by Sandra Barger of Lansing, Michigan. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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