Lumber Company v. Buchtel - 101 U.S. 633 (1879)
U.S. Supreme Court
Lumber Company v. Buchtel, 101 U.S. 633 (1879)
Lumber Company v. Buchtel
101 U.S. 633
1. A. contracted to sell B. a tract of pine land at a stipulated sum, payable in future installments, a conveyance to be made only upon payment of the several sums as they became due, the cutting or removal of the timber being in the mean time prohibited without the written permission of A. Two days afterwards, B. assigned the contract to C. A. assented to the assignment, and gave C. permission to enter the lands and cut and remove the timber, in consideration whereof the latter guaranteed the payments stipulated in the contract. The first installment due not having been paid, A. brought suit against C. upon the guaranty. The latter set up the defense that he was induced to enter into the undertaking by the false and fraudulent representation of A. as to the quantity of good merchantable timber contained in the tract. The case was, by stipulation of the parties, tried before a referee, who reported that the representations were made by an agent of B., and that he did "not find" that A. participated therein. Held: 1. That A.'s grant of permission to C. to cut and remove the timber was the release of an important security to him against possible loss if payments were not made on the contract, and that the guaranty was a reasonable exaction from C. therefor. 2. That said representations not coming from A., nor relating to the permission to cut and remove the timber, did not release C. from liability on the guaranty.
2. The objection cannot be made for the first time in this Court that the report of the referee finds certain facts inferentially, and not directly.
3. Semble that the finding of a referee should have the precision of a special verdict, specifying with distinctness the facts, and not leaving them to be inferred.