Bronson v. Rodes - 74 U.S. 229 (1868)


U.S. Supreme Court

Bronson v. Rodes, 74 U.S. 7 Wall. 229 229 (1868)

Bronson v. Rodes

74 U.S. (7 Wall.) 229

Syllabus

1. A bond, given in December, 1851, for payment of a certain sum, in gold and silver coin, lawful money of the United States, with interest also in coin, at a rate specified, until repayment, cannot be discharged by a tender of United States notes issued under the Loan and Currency Acts of 1862 and 1863, and by them declared to be lawful money and a legal tender for the payment of debts.

2. When obligations made payable in coin are sued upon, judgment may be entered for coined dollars and parts of dollars.

The facts shown by the record were these:

In December, 1851, one Christian Metz, having borrowed of Frederick Bronson, executor of Arthur Bronson, fourteen hundred dollars, executed his bond for the repayment to Bronson of the principal sum borrowed on the 18th day of January, 1857, in gold and silver coin, lawful money of the United States, with interest, also in coin, until such repayment, at the yearly rate of seven percent

To secure these payments, according to the bond, at such place as Bronson might appoint, or, in default of such appointment, at the Merchants' Bank of New York, Metz executed a mortgage upon certain real property, which was afterwards conveyed to Rodes, who assumed to pay the mortgage debt, and did, in fact, pay the interest until and including the 1st day of January, 1864.

Subsequently, in January, 1865, there having been no demand of payment, nor any appointment of a place of payment by Bronson, Rodes tendered to him United States notes to the amount of fifteen hundred and seven dollars, a sum nominally equal to the principal and interest due upon the bond and mortgage. These notes had been declared, by the acts under which they were issued, to be lawful money and a legal tender in payment of debts, public and private, except duties on imports, and interest on the public debt. [Footnote 1]

Page 74 U. S. 230

At the time of the tender by Rodes to Bronson, one dollar in coin was equivalent in market value to two dollars and a quarter in United States notes.

This tender was refused; whereupon Rodes deposited the United States notes in the Merchants' Bank to the credit of Bronson, and filed his bill in equity, praying that the mortgaged premises might be relieved from the lien of the mortgage, and that Bronson might be compelled to execute and deliver to him an acknowledgment of the full satisfaction and discharge of the mortgage debt.

The bill was dismissed by the supreme court sitting in Erie County; but, on appeal to the supreme court in general term, the decree of dismissal was reversed, and a decree was entered, adjudging that the mortgage had been satisfied by the tender, and directing Bronson to satisfy the same of record; and this decree was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. The case was now brought here by Bronson for review.

Page 74 U. S. 245



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