Statements made in a simple contract, though strong evidence against the parties thereto, are not absolutely conclusive against them, and may be contradicted. Statements made in a deed, however, are absolutely conclusive against the parties to the deed or their privies in any legal proceedings between them taken upon the deed.42 "The principle is that, where a man has entered into a solemn engagement by and under his hand and seal as to certain facts, he shall not be permitted to deny any matter he has so asserted."43 Such a prohibition to deny facts is termed an "estoppel by deed." The statements, however, must not be of immaterial matters, or matters by way of general recital, and the deed must be valid.44 A recital of the amount or receipt of the consideration does not preclude evidence of the actual consideration or a recovery of the amount due;45 but in the absence of mistake, fraud, or illegality,46 such recital may not be contradicted for the purpose of avoiding the instrument.47

42 WATKINS v. ROBERTSON, 105 Va. 269, 54 S. E. 33, 5 L. R. A. (N. S.) 1194, 115 Am. St Rep. 8S0, Throckmorton Cas. Contracts, 43; Carver v. Jackson, 4 Pet. 1, at page 83, 7 L. Ed. 761; Jackson v. Parkhurst, 9 Wend. (N. Y.) 209; Smith v. Burnham, 9 Johns. (N. Y.) 306; Cutler v. Dickinson, 8 Pick. (Mass.) 386; Dobbins v. Cruger, 108 111. 188; City of Ottawa v. Bank, 105 U. S. 342, 26 L. Ed. 1127; Gerry v. Stimson, 60 Me. 186; Thompson v. Smith, 96 Mich. 258, 55 N. W. 886; Carson v. Cochran, 52 Minn. 67, 53 N. W. 1130; Moore v. Earl, 91 Cal. 632, 27 Pac. 1087; Chapman v. Persinger's Ex'x, 87 Va. 581, 13 S. E. 549; Billingsley v. Harris, 79 Wis. 103, 48 N. W. 108; Metropolitan Ins. Co. v. Bender, 124 N. Y. 47, 26 N. E. 345, 11 L. R. A. 708; Rogers v. Bollinger, 59 Ark. 12, 26 S. W. 12; Balue v. Taylor, 136 Ind. 368, 36 N. E. 269; Johnston v. Oliver, 51 Ohio St. 6, 36 N. E. 458; Willis v. Terry (Ky.) 24 S. W. 621. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 82; Cent. Dig. §§ 225-280; "Estoppel," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 14; Cent. Dig. §§ 18-25.

43 Bowman v. Taylor, 2 Adol. & E. 278. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 82; Cent. Dig. §§ 225-230; "Estoppel," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 14; Cent. Dig. §§ 18-25.

44 Wallace's Lessee v. Miner, 6 Ohio, 367; Zimmler v. Water Co., 57 Cal. 221 See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 82; Cent. Dig. §§ 225-230; "Estoppel," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 14; Cent. Dig. §§ 18-25.

45 Wilkinson v. Scott, 17 Mass. 249; Irvine v. McKeon, 23 Cal. 472; Wit-beck v. Waine, 16 N. Y. 532; White v. Miller, 22 Vt. 380; Thayer v. Viles, 23 Vt 494; McCrea v. Purmort, 16 Wend. (N. Y.) 460, 30 Am. Dec. 103;

Recitals in a deed are, of course, conclusive only against the parties thereto and their privies, or those claiming under or through them. They do not work an estoppel as between strangers, nor as between a stranger and a party to the deed.48 Merger

Where, after making a simple contract, the parties enter into an identical engagement under seal, the simple contract is merged in the deed, and becomes extinct; one cannot have, in respect of the same demand, a coexisting remedy, by proceeding both on covenant and on simple contract.48 This extinction is called "merger." The contracts, however, must be the same - that is, the subject-matter must be identical - and they must be between the same parties50