Selden v. Myers, 61 U.S. 506 (1857)
U.S. Supreme CourtSelden v. Myers, 61 U.S. 20 How. 506 506 (1857)
Selden v. Myers
61 U.S. (20 How.) 506
A person dealing with an unlettered man who can neither read nor write, and taking from him a promissory note for the payment of money and a deed for property in trust to secure the payment, is bound to show, when he seeks to enforce them, that they, or the material parts of them, were read and fully explained to the party before they were executed, and that he fully understood their meaning and effect.
If this fact is established by positive and unimpeached testimony, parol evidence cannot be received, to show that the contract was different from that expressed in the writings or that nothing was at that time due from the party who executed the instruments.
This was a bill filled by Selden under the circumstances particularly stated in the opinion of the Court. The circuit court dismissed the bill, and Selden appealed to this Court.