It is also essential that the acceptance shall be made in the manner, at the place, and within the time expressly or impliedly designated in the offer. The proposer has the right to dictate terms in respect to the time, place, and manner of acceptance; and when he does so, like all other terms, they must be complied with. In a leading case on this point the defendant offered to buy flour from the plaintiffs, stating in his offer that the answer should be sent by return of the wagon which brought the offer. The plaintiffs, instead of sending their acceptance by the wagon, mailed it to the defendant at a place other than the destination of the wagon, where it was duly received by him. It was held, however, that he was not bound by the acceptance, as it was not sent to the place prescribed.77 If an offer asks that the answer be sent by the messenger who brings the offer, or by mail, or by telegraph, it must be so sent, to be effective.73 An answer by mail is insufficient if the telegraph is the mode prescribed.78 An offer by mail, which says nothing as to the mode of sending the answer,'impliedly requires an answer by mail, or possibly authorizes one by telegraph,80 though an acceptance sent by any other mode, and reaching the proposer within a reasonable time, might be held sufficient.81 An offer by telegraph impliedly requires an answer by telegraph, and an answer by mail will not be sufficient.

73Thomas v. Greenwood, 69 Mich. 215, 37 N. W. 195. See "Sales," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 22, 23; Cent. Dig. §§ 39-48; "Contracts," Cent. Dig. §§ 71, 75.

74Bruce v. Pearson, 3 Johns. (N. Y.) 534. As to implied contract from retaining and using or consuming the goods so sent, see ante, p. 19, and note 7. See "Sales," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 22, 28; Cent. Dig. §§ 89-J,8; "Contracts," Cent. Dig. §§ 71, 75.

75 Hyde v. Wrench, 3 Beav. 336. And see post, p. 20, and cases cited. Bee "Vendor and Purchaser," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 16, 17; Cent. Dig. §§ 17-21.

76 Baker v. Holt, 56 Wis. 100, 14 N. W. 8; Sawyer v. Brossart, 67 Iowa. 678,25 N. W. 876, 5 Am. Rep. 371; Gilbert v. Baxter, 71 Iowa, 327, 32 N. W. 364; Langellier v. Schaefer, 36 Minn. 361, 31 N. W. 690; Robinson v. Weller, 81 Ga. 704. 8 S. E. 447; Maynard v. Tabor, 53 Me. 511. See "Vendor and Purchaser," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 16, 17; Cent. Dig. §§ 17-21.

77 ELIASON v. HENSHAW, 4 Wheat. 225. 4 L. Ed. 556, Throckmorton ' Contracts, 18. Where a person residing in one state makes a written offer to a person residing in another, and at a distance, to sell lands, without arranging for a personal meeting, an acceptance by mail is authorized. Wileox v. Cline, 70 Mich. 517, 38 N. W. 555. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 22; Cent. Dig. (§ 82-92, 101,-108.


If the offer specifies a time for acceptance, it is a term of the offer, and an acceptance after the specified time will have no effect.82 An offer by correspondence, for instance, calling for an answer "in course of post," or "by return mail," must be accepted by return mail.88 It may safely be said that any substantial delay will be fatal, even where an answer by "return mail" is not requested. An acceptance sent three or four days after the receipt of the offer has been held too late, and there seems no reason to doubt that a delay of one day would be equally fatal.8* If no time for acceptance is specified, then a reasonable time is implied.85 What is a reasonable time must necessarily depend on the nature of the offer and the circumstances of each particular case.

78 Carr v. Duval, 14 Pet. 83, 10 L. Ed. 361. Putting a letter of. acceptance in the private letter box of the proposer has been held sufficient. Howard v. Daly, 61 N. Y. 362, 19 Am. Rep. 2S5. As to what constitutes mailing a letter, see ante, p. 33, note 60. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 22; Vent. Dig. §§ S2-92, 104-108.

79 Home v. Niver, 168 Mass. 4, 46 N. E. 393. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 22; Cent. Dig. §§ 82-92, 104-108.

80Mactier's Adm'rs v. Frith, 6 Wend. (N. Y.) 103, 21 Am. Dec. 262; Vassar v. Camp, 11 N. Y. 441; Tayloe v. Insurance Co., 9 How. 390, 13 L. Ed. 187; Wilcox v. Cline, 70 Mich. 517, 38 N. W. 555; Trevor v. Wood, 36 N. Y. 307, 93 Am. Dec. 511. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 22; Cent. Dig. §§ 82-92, 104-108.

81 Trounstine v. Sellers, 35 Kan. 447, 11 Pac. 441. See "Contracts," Deo. Dig. (Key-No.) § 22; Cent. Dig. §§ 82-92, 104-108.

82 Longworth v. Mitchell, 26 Ohio St. 334; Potts v. Whitehead, 20 N. J. Eq. 55; Britton v. Phillips, 24 How. Prac. (N. Y.) Ill; Richardson v. Hard-wick, 106 U. S. 252, 1 Sup. Ct. 213, 27 L. Ed. 145; Union Nat. Bank v. Miller, 106 N. C. 347, 11 S. E. 321, 19 Am. St. Rep. 538; Weaver v. Burr, 31 W. Va. 736, 8 S. E. 743, 3 L. R. A. 94; Cummings v. Realty Co., 86 Wis. 382, 57 N. W. 43. And see Park v. Whitney, 148 Mass. 278, 19 N. E. 161. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 20; Cent. Dig. §§ 67-70.

83 Dunlop v. Higgins, 1 H. L. Cas. 387; Carr v. Duval, 14 Pet. 83, 10 L. Ed. 361; Maclay v. Harvey, 90 111. 525, 32 Am. Rep. 35; Averill v. Hedge, 12 Conn. 424; Tinn v. Hoffman, 29 Law T. (N. S.) 271. Cf. Palmer v. Insurance Co., 84 N. Y. 63. If the delivery of a letter containing an offer is delayed through the sender's fault, or, it may no doubt be, without the fault of either party, an acceptance as soon as the letter is received is in time. It is by return mail. See Leake, Cont. 18; Adams v. Lindsell, 1 Barn. & Ald. 681. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 20; Cent. Dig. §§ 67-70.

84 Taylor v. Rennie, 35 Barb. (N. Y.) 272; MINNESOTA LINSEED OIL CO. v. LEAD CO., 4 Dill. 435, Fed. Cas. No. 9,635, Throckmorton Cas. Contracts, 24; Maclay v. Harvey, 90 111. 525, 32 Am. Rep. 35; Ortman v. Weaver (C. C.)