Ford v. Williams - 62 U.S. 287 (1858)
U.S. Supreme Court
Ford v. Williams, 62 U.S. 21 How. 287 287 (1858)
Ford v. Williams
62 U.S. (21 How.) 287
Where a contract is made by an agent, the principal whom he represents may maintain an action upon it in his own name, although the name of the principal was not disclosed at the time of making the contract, and although the
contract be in writing, parol evidence is admissible to show that the agent was acting for his principal.
[MR. JUSTICE WAYNE DID NOT SIT IN THIS CAUSE.]
Ford lived in New York, and brought an action against John S. Williams & Brother upon the following contract:
"BALTIMORE, October 31, 1855"
"For and in consideration of the sum of one dollar, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, we have this day purchased from John W. Bell, and agree to receive from him in all the month of February next, at his opinion, two thousand barrels Howard Street super flour, we paying for the same at the rate of nine dollars per barrel on the day the said flour is ready for delivery."
"JOHN S. WILLIAMS & BRO."
Upon the trial in the court below, much evidence was given which it is not necessary to recite in the present aspect of the case. The court, on the application of the defendants' counsel, instructed the jury that upon the above contract Ford could not recover. The only question in the case was whether, assuming the contract to have been made for the benefit of the plaintiff without any disclosure to the defendants of his interest, he was competent to maintain a suit in his own name.