Scholefield v. Eichelberger
32 U.S. 586

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U.S. Supreme Court

Scholefield v. Eichelberger, 32 U.S. 7 Pet. 586 586 (1833)

Scholefield v. Eichelberger

32 U.S. (7 Pet.) 586




Action of assumpsit to recover the balance of an account current for merchandise purchased in England by order of the defendants. The defense was that the contract was made during the war, and therefore void. By the Court:

"The doctrine is not to be questioned at this day that during a state of hostility, the citizens of the hostile states are incapable of contracting with each other."

To say that this rule is without exception, would be assuming too great latitude. The question has never yet been examined whether a contract for necessaries, or even for money to enable the individual to get home, could not be enforced, and analogies familiar to the law, as well as the influence of the general rule in international law that the severities of war are to be diminished by all safe and practical means, might be appealed to in support of such an exception. But at present it may be safely affirmed that there is no recognized exception but permission of a state to its own citizens, which is also implied in any treaty stipulation to that effect entered into with a belligerent.

There is no doubt that the liability of a deceased co-partner, as well as his interest in the profits of a concern, may, by contract, be extended beyond his death; but without such a stipulation, even in the case of a co-partnership for a term of years, it is clear that death dissolves the concern.

In the circuit court, an action of assumpsit was brought by the plaintiffs in error for the recovery of

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