Negotiable paper is for many purposes regarded as a chattel, something to which the law will no more affix a definite value than to a horse or a book. Therefore, the transfer by the debtor of a negotiable note of a third person as full satisfaction of a liquidated and admitted claim greater than the face of the note is valid consideration.78 Similarly the debtor's note for less than the debt, if indorsed by a third person, is a sufficient consideration to support a promise to discharge the whole debt,79 as is a note for a smaller amount secured by mortgage.80 And this principle has been carried so far in England that even the debtor's own note,81 or check,82 for part of the debt, has been held sufficient consideration for a promise to discharge the remainder. But in the United States the debtor's own unsecured note has been held no better consideration than the amount of money promised in the note,83 and the debtor's own check is, a fortiori, regarded as if it were money, and if a payment of a certain amount of money would be insufficient consideration to support a given promise, the debtor's check for the same amount is held no better.84 Even the check of a third person when in fact representing a payment from the debtor's money, and used merely as a means of paying that money to the creditor, is regarded in the United States as no better consideration than if the money represented by the check had been paid by the debtor.85 There seems some difficulty in reconciling the American decisions with the well-settled principle that the debtor's negotiable note or check for the amount of his debt may be taken if so agreed in absolute payment. In a few States the acceptance of such negotiable paper is presumed to be in absolute payment; in most jurisdictions the presumption is that only conditional payment is intended-that is if the instrument is dishonored the creditor may revert to his original claim; but everywhere the creditor's agreement to take the instrument in absolute payment is effectual.86 Yet if the debtor's note for part of what he owes is insufficient consideration for any promise, it is hard to see how his note for all that he owes can be. If in one case no detriment is suffered, this must be equally true in the other. The only distinction possible is that in questions of conditional and absolute payment, the parties are more distinctly bargaining in regard to negotiable paper as distinguished from the money which it represents, than in the cases previously considered.
75 Supra, Sec.Sec. 103 et seq.
76 Eldred p. Peterson, 80 Ia. 264, 45 N. W. 755; Deering v. Moore, 86 Me. 181, 29 Atl. 988, 41 Am. St. Rep. 534; Weber v. Couch, 134 Mass. 26, 45 Am. Rep. 274; Line v. Nelson, 38 N. J. L. 358; Harrison v. Wilcox, 2 Johns. 448; Martin v. Frsntz, 127 Pa. 389, 18 Atl. 20, 14 Am. St. Rep. 859. The contrary decision of Bendix v. Ayers, 21 N. Y. App. D. 570, 48 N. Y. 8. 211, cannot be supported.
77Lyth v. Ault, 7 Ex. 669, 671.
78 Curlewis v. Clark, 3 Ex. 375; Lincoln Safe Deposit Co. v. Allen, 82 Fed. 148,27 C. C. A. 87; Brassell v. Williams, 61 Ala. 349; Colbum v. Gould, 1 N. H. 279; Conkling v. King, 10 N. Y. 440; Roberts v. Brandies, 44 Hun, 468. But see contra Mannakee v. McClog-key, 23 Ky. L. Rep. 515, 63 S. W. 482, with which, however, compare Wood-folk v. McDowell, 9 Dana, 268, where the surrender by a third person of a note of the creditor was held sufficient to support an agreement by the creditor to accept it in full satisfaction of a larger claim against his debtor.
79Singleton v. Thomas, 73 Ala. 206; Pope v. Turnstall, 2 Ark. 20ft; Argall v. Cook, 43 Conn. 160; Bower v. Mets, 54 Iowa, 394, 6 N. W. 551; Varney v. Conery, 77 Me. 527,1 Atl. 683; Brooks p. White, 2 Mete. 283, 37 Am. Dec. 95; Guild v. Butler, 127 Mass. 386; Mason v.Campbell, 27 Minn. 54, 6 N. W. 405; Fred v. Fred (N. J. Eq.), 50 Atl. 776; Boyd v. Hitchcock, 20 Johns. 76, 11 Am. Dec. 247; Keeler v. Salisbury, 33 N. Y. 648.
80 Jaffray v. Davis, 124 N. Y. 164, 26 N.E.351.11L.R.A.710.
81Sibree p. Tripp, 15 M. & W. 23.
82Goddardo. O'Brien, 9 Q. B. D. 37; Bidder v. Bridges, 37 Ch. D. 406 (where, however, the check was made by the debtor's solicitors).
83Overdeer v. Wiley, 30 Ala. 709; Siddall p. Clark, 89 Cal. 321, 26 Pec. 829; Poet p. Springfield Bank, 138 111. 550, 28 N. E. 978; Eldred v. Peterson, 80 Ia. 264, 45 N. W. 755, 20 Am. St. Rep. 416; Jenneas v. Lane, 26 Me. 475; Russ. Hobbe, 61 N. H. 93; Shanley v.
Koehler, 80 N. Y. App. D. 566, 80 N. Y. S. 679, aff'd without opinion, 178 N. Y. 556, 70 N. E. 1109; Frank v. Gump, 101 Va. 306, 51 S. E. 358; Hooker v. Hyde, 61 Wis. 204, 21 N. W, 52.
84 Tucker v. Murray, 2 Pa. Dist. Rep. 497; Hagen p. Townsend, 27 S. D. 457, 131N. W. 512, and see cases in the next note. But see contra, American Seeding Mach. Co. v. Baker, 55 Ind. App. 625, 104 N. E. 524.
85 Jordy v. Maxwell, 62 Fla. 236, 56 So. 946; Specialty Glass Co. v. Daley, 172 Maes. 460, 52 N. E. 633; Emerson v. Gerber, 178 Mass. 130, 59 N. E. 666. In Bunge v. Koop, 48 N. Y. 225, 229, 8 Am. Rep. 546, the check was held insufficient consideration though it was not only that of a third person, but represented his own money, lent by means of the check to the debtor to enable him to pay the debt. The court relied on the fact that the check was not bargained for as such, but was used merely as a means of paying the amount of money agreed.