224. Whether or not a contract with several persons on either or both sides is to be construed as joint or several depends upon the intention of the parties as manifested in the evidence of their agreement.28 The following rules may be stated:
LIABILITIES - (a) A promise by two or more in the plural number is prima facie joint, while a promise in the singular is prima facie several; but this presumption will yield if, from the whole agreement, a contrary intention appears.
27Kemble v. Farren, 6 Bing. 141. See "Damages," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 78; Cent. Dig. § 165.
281 Pars. Cont. 10; Hall v. Leigh, 8 Cranch, 50, 3 L. Ed. 4S4; Olmstead v. Bailey, 35 Conn. 5S4; Eastman v. Wright, 6 Pick. (Mass.) 310; Wil-loughby v. Willoughby, 5 N. H. 244; Boggs v. Curtin, 10 Serg. & R. (Pa.) 211; Elliott v. Bell, 37 W. Va. 834, 17 S. E. 399. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 182; Cent. Dig. §§ 7S0-7S7.
(b) Subscriptions by a number of persons to promote some common enterprise, though joint in form, are several promises.
RIGHTS - If the words will admit of it, the contract, as regards the promisees, will be joint or several, according as their interest is joint or several.