Originally it seems that the common law regarded simply the situation of the party coerced, and held a transaction made under duress voidable, though the duress was not exercised by the grantee or covenantee and he was not cognizant of it.99 But at the present time duress is treated like other equitable defences and cannot be made the basis of attack or defence against one who has acquired legal title to money or tangible property or to a chose on action, for value and in good faith, whether he is the original grantee or promisee or is a purchaser from him.1 The principle is sometimes inadequately expressed by some such statement as "Duress to avoid a contract must be the act of the adverse party himself or his agent, or must be imposed with his knowledge, and taken advantage of by him for the purpose of obtaining the agreement." 2 If the adverse party has
120 N. W. 746; Colon v. East One Hundred & Eighty-Ninth St. Bldg., etc., Co., 141 N. Y. App. Div. 441, 126 N. Y. S. 226. See also supra, Sec. 1218.
98 Commercial Nat. Bank v. Whee-lock, 52 Ohio St. 534, 40 N. E. 636, 49 Am. St. Rep. 738.
99 "For if one threaten another to kill or maim him, if he will not seal a deed to a stranger, and thereupon he do so; this is void as if it were to the party himself/' Sheppard's Touch-atone, p. 61.
1 Mutual, etc., Life Ass'n v. Cleveland, etc., Mills, 82 Fed. 508, 27 C. C. A. 212; Rogers v. Adams, 66 Ala. 600; Moog v. Strang, 69 Ala. 98; Compton v. Bunker Hill Bank, 96 11I. 301, 36 Am. Rep. 147; Line v. Blizzard, 70 Ind. 23; Green v. Scranage, 19 Iowa, 461, 87 Am. Dec. 447; Ely v. Hartford life Ins. Co., 33 Ky. L. 272, 110 S. W. 265; Frasure v. McGuire, 23 Ky. 1990, 66 S. W. 1015; Fears v. United L. & D.
Bank, 172 Ky. 255, 189 8. W. 226; Fairbanks v. Snow, 145 Mass. 153, 13 N. E. 596, 1 Am. St. Rep. 446; Springfield, etc., Co. v. Donovan, 147 Mo. 622, 49 8. W. 500; Mullin v. Leamy, 80 N. J. L. 484, 79 Atl. 257; Travis v. Unkart, 89 N. J. L. 571, 99 Atl. 320, Ann. Cas. 1917 C. 1031; Lefebvre v. Dutruit, 51 Wis. 326, 8 N. W. 149, 37 Am. Rep. 833. But see Baker v. Morton, 12 Wall. 150, 20 L. Ed. 262; Bryant v. Levy, 52 La. Ann. 1649, 28 So. 191; Central Bank v. Copeland, 18 Md. 305, 81 Am. Dec. 597; Barry v. Equitable Life Assur. Soc, 59 N. Y. 587; Magoon v. Reber, 76 Wis. 392, 45 N. W. 112.
2 Guinn v. Sumpter Valley Ry. Co., 63 Oreg. 368, 127 Pac. 987. See also Green v. Scranage, 19 la. 461, 87 Am. Dec. 447; Fears v. United Loan etc. Co., 172 Ky. 255, 189 S. W. 226; Koewing v. West Orange, 89 N. J. L. 539, 99 Atl. 203; Travis v. Unkart, 89 given value, this is doubtless true, and even an executory promise should be sufficient value, but if he is a donee or transferee with notice of the duress, the transaction will be voidable against him, though the duress was not his act.3 Threats communicated through another have the same effect as if made directly to the person coerced.4