Adams, Cunningham & Co. v. Jones - 37 U.S. 207 (1838)
U.S. Supreme Court
Adams, Cunningham & Co. v. Jones, 37 U.S. 12 Pet. 207 207 (1838)
Adams, Cunningham & Co. v. Jones
37 U.S. (12 Pet.) 207
Where a case is certified from a circuit court of the United States, the judges of the circuit court having differed in opinion upon questions of law which arose on the trial of the cause, the Supreme Court cannot be called upon to express an opinion on the whole facts of the case instead of upon particular points of law, growing out of the case.
Upon a letter of guarantee addressed to a particular person or to persons generally for a future credit to be given to a party in whose favor the guarantee is drawn, to charge the guarantor, notice is necessarily to be given to him that the person giving the credit has accepted or acted upon the guarantee, and has given credit on the faith of it. This is not an open question in this Court after the decisions which have been made in Russell v. Clarke, 7 Cranch. 69, 2 Cond. 417; Edmondston v. Drake, 5 Pet. 624; Douglass v. Reynolds, 7 Pet. 113, and Lee v. Dick, 10 Pet. 482.
The defendant, Calvin Jones, was attached by a writ of capias ad respondendum issued on 22 May, 1835, to answer Adams, Cunningham & Company, they claiming from him the sum of fifteen hundred and twenty five dollars for goods furnished to Miss Betsey Miller under the following letter of guarantee.
"Mr. WILLIAM A. WILLIAMS: "
"SIR -- On this sheet you have the list of articles wanted for Miss Betsey Miller's millinery establishment, which you were so very good as to offer to purchase for her. I will be security for the payment, either to you, or the merchants in New York of whom you may purchase, and you may leave this in their hands or otherwise, as may be proper. I hope to your favor and view will be added all possible favor by the merchants to the young lady, in quality and prices of goods, as I have no doubt she merits as much, by her late knowledge of her business, industry, and pure conduct and principles, as any whatever."
Mr. Williams, the person named in the guarantee, purchased the articles, according to the list furnished, from the plaintiffs, who were
merchants of New York, on 28 October, 1832. The goods were furnished on the faith of the guarantee, which was left with the plaintiffs.
During the progress of the cause, and whilst the same was before the jury, it occurred as a question "whether the plaintiffs were bound to give notice to the defendant, that they had accepted or acted upon the guarantee, and given credit on the faith of it." Upon which question, the opinions of the judges were opposed, whereupon, on motion of the plaintiffs, by their attorney, that the point on which the disagreement hath happened, may be stated, under the direction of the judges, and certified under the seal of the court, to the Supreme Court, to be finally decided. It was ordered that a statement of the pleadings and a statement of facts, which was made under the direction of the judges, be certified, according to the request of the plaintiffs, and the law in that case made and provided.