Fraud may induce a person to assent to do something which he would not otherwise have done, or it may induce him to believe that the act which he does is something other than it actually is. In the first case the act of the defrauded person is effectual though voidable; in the second case the act of the defrauded person is void. This distinction most commonly arises in the law of negotiable paper. It originated, however, in the law of sealed instruments; and is still of general application.4 Where a person is fraudulently induced to sign or indorse a bill or note in the reasonable belief that he is signing something else, he cannot really be said to have made or indorsed the bill or note.' If, however, the signer has been negligent a holder in due course should be allowed to recover and it seem/3 that one who relies without investigation of his own on the representations of the person at whose request he signs, is guilty of negligence.6 Signatures to written contracts of other kinds obtained by fraud of this sort are equally invalid.7 And where the instrument is non-negotiable the signer's negligence will not make him liable to a purchaser;8 for even though it were granted that the agreement is voidable, not void, the purchaser would be subject to the defence of fraud on the part of his assignor.9 With these cases where the mistake of the signer of the document was induced by fraud must be contrasted cases where his own negligent failure to read the document or to have it read to him was the sole cause of his mistake! no misrepresentation of the other party, whether innocent or fraudulent contributing thereto. In such a case the signer is liable.10
4 In Pollock & Maitland's History (2d ed.), II, 530, it is said: "Taking tin execution of a charter as the typical 'act in the law,' we are warranted in believing that the person whose seal it bore might defend himself by alleging that be was tricked into sealing an instrument of one land while he though that it waa an instrument of another kind." Citing Br&cton, fol. 396 b; Fleta, p. 424; Y. B. 30 Edw. Ill, f. 31; and for later law, Thoroughgood's Case, 2 Coke, 9a.
5 Foster v. McKinnon, L.K.4C. P. 704, is the leading case for this doctrine, In this case the defendant signed a bill of exchange under the belief fraudulently induced that he waa signing a guaranty. It waa held that the instrument was void even in the hands of a bona fide purchaser, Bytes, J., saying: "The defendant never intended to indorse a bill of exchange at all, but intended to sign a contract of an entirely different nature." Numerous other decisions bring out the same principle. Burroughs ii. Pacific Guano Co., 81 Ala. 266, 1 So. 212; Folmar v. Siler, 132 Ala. 207, 31 So. 719; Wensel p. Shuts, 78 Cal. 221, 20 Pac. 404; Wood r. Ciuirinnxiti, etc, Co., 96 Ga. 120, 22 8. E. 909; Vanbrunt v. Singley,
85 111. 281; Auten p. Oruner, 90 111. 300; Cline v. Guthrie, 42 Ind. 227, 13 Am. Rep. 357; Webb o. Cor-bin, 78 Ind. 403; Mitchell v. Tom-lineon, 91 Ind. 167; Lindley v. Hofman, 22 Ind. App. 237, 63 N. E. 471; Hopkins p. Insurance Co., 57 la. 203, 10 N. W. 605; Green p. Wilkie, 98 la. 74, 66 N. W. 1046,36 L. R. A. 434,60 Am. St. Rep. 184; Freedley p. French, 154 Mass. 339,28 N. E. 272; Gibbs o. Una-bury, 22 Mich. 479, 7 Am. Rep. 675; Anderson p. Walter, 34 Mich. 113; Soper p. Peck, 51 Mich. 663, 17 N. W. 67; Aultman v. Olson, 34 Minn. 450, 26 N. W. 451; Briggs v. Ewart, 51 Mo. 245,11 Am. Rep. 445; Martins. Smylee, 55 Mo. 577; First Nat. Bank v. Lier-tnan, 5 Neb. 247; Willard v. Nelson, 35 Neb. 651, 53 N. W. 572, 37 Am. St. Rep. 455; Alexander v. Brogley, 62 N. J. L. 584, 41 Atl. 691, 63 N. J. L. 307, 43 Atl. 888; Marden v. Dorthy, 160 N. Y. 39, 54 N. E. 726, 46 L. R. A. 694; Porter p. Hardy, 10 N. Dak. 551, 88 N. W. 458; DeCamp v. Hamma, 29 Ohio St. 467; Walker v. Ebert, 29 Wis. 194, 9 Am. Rep. 548; Griffiths p. Kellogg, 39 Wis. 290, 20 Am. Rep. 48; Lord p. American Assoc., 89 Wis. 19, 61 N. W. 293, 26 L. R. A. 741, 46 Am. St. Rep. 815; Keller p. RuppoM, 115 Wis. 636, 92 N. W. 364, 95 Am. St.
Error produced by deception in regard to the person of the other contracting party,11 and conceivably also of the existence of the subject-matter of the contract, may make a transaction void, but such instances are less common
Rep. 974. Cf. Bedell v. Herring, 77 Cal. 572, 20 Pac. 129; Bank v. Johns, 22 W. Va. 620; Dowagiac Mfg. Go. v. Schroeder, 108 Wis. 100, 84 N. W. 14. Fraud is not a necessary element of the defence, though it almost invariably exists. Mistake without negligence is enough. Bank of Ireland v. M'Man-amy,  2 Ir. R. 161.
6 Leach v. Nichols, 55 HI. 273; Nebecker v. Cutsinger, 48 Ind. 436; Raddell *. Dillman, 73 Ind. 518, 38 Am. Rep. 152; Baldwin u. Barrows, 86 Ind. 351; Yeagley v. Webb, 86 Ind. 424; Douglas v. Mattin, 29 la. 498, 4 Am. Rep. 238; Fayette Go. Savings Bank v. Steffes, 54 la. 214,6 N. W. 267; Qrt tr. Fowler, 31 Kans. 478,2 Pac. 580, 47 Am. Rep. 501; Abbott v. Rose, 62 Me. 194, 16 Am. Rep. 427; Brecken-ridge v. Lewis, 84 Me. 349, 24 Atl. 864; Mackey v. Peterson, 29 Minn. 298, 13 N. W. 132; Shirts v. Overjohn, 60 Mo.
305; Dinsmore v. Stimbert, 12 Neb. 433, 11 N. W. 872; Bank v. Smith, 55 N. H. 593; Chapman v. Rose, 56 N. Y. 137, 15 Am. Rep. 401; DeCamp v. Hamma, 29 Ohio St. 467, 471; Ross v. Doland, 29 Ohio St. 473.
7 Thoroughgood'8 Case, 2 Coke, 9b; Carlisle Banking Co. v. Bragg,  1 K. B. 489 (guarantee); Indiana Ac. R. Co. v. Fowler, 201 HI. 152, 66 N. E. 394, 94 Am. St. Rep. 158 (release); Eldorado Jewelry Co. v. Darnell, 135 la. 555, 113 N. W. 344 (order for goods); Bank of Ireland v. McManamy,  Ir. Rep. K. B. 161 (guarantee). See also Babcock v. Farweil, 245 111. 14, 40, 91 N. E. 683,137 Am. St. Rep. 284.
8 Carlisle Banking Co. v. Bragg,  1 K. B. 489.
9 See supra, Sec. 432. 10 See supra, Sec. 35. 11 See infra, Sec. 1517.
Sec. 1489. Distinction between fraudulent acquisition of possession and of title where property is- obtained by fraud. It is important to observe whether the fraudulent person induces the defrauded person to assent to a transfer of title or merely to assent to a transfer of possession. In the latter ease the fraudulent person can transfer no better title even to a bona fide purchaser for value without notice than any possessor of goods without title.12