The principles which have heretofore been referred to, are applicable not only to oral contracts but also in the main to unsealed written contracts. Some important consequences, however, flow from the contract being written rather than oral. There is less necessity for resorting to presumption, and extrinsic circumstances are less likely to be important where the contract is in writing than where it is oral. Moreover, the promises in writing cannot be contradicted, and the construction of them is for the court.62 Therefore an agent who signs personally an unsealed written contract, may sue or be sued upon it as a party to the contract though his principal is orally disclosed,63 but if the contract is neither under seal nor a negotiable instrument, the principal also may sue or be sued upon it whether he is orally disclosed,64 or undisclosed.65
60 Bliss v. Snath, 103 Cal. 43, 36 Pac 1029.
61 Forney v. Shipp, 4 Jones L. 527.
62Evans v. Evans, 3 A. & E. 132; De Remer v. Brown, 166 N. Y. 410, 417, 59 N. E. 12ft.
63 Jones v- Littledale, 6A.&E. 488; HigginB v. Senior, 8 M. & W. 834; Calder v. Dobell, L. R. 6 C. P. 486; Brandt v. Morris, [1917) 2 K. B. 784; Hall v. Crandall, 29 Cal. 567, 89 Am. Dec. 64; Johnson v. Smith, 21 Conn. 627; Chandler v. Coe, 54 N. H. 661; Rapid Safety Filter Co. v. Lautkin, 167 N. Y. S 376; Cream City Glass Co. v. Friedlander, 84 Wis. 53, 54 N. W. 28, 21 L. R. A. 135, 36 Am. St.
Rep. 895. In Camp v. Barber, 87 Vt. 235, 88 Atl. 812, the agent was allowed to sue on such a contract, but the court relied on the fact that the agent was beneficially interested.
64 Bateman v. Phillips, 15 East, 272; Drake v. Beckham, 11 M. & W. 315; Calder v. Dobell, L. R. 6 C. P. 486; Boren v. Schweitzer, (Ind. App.) 117 N. E. 526; Byington v. Simpson, 134 Mass. 169, 45 Am. Rep. 314; Nicoll v. Burke, 78 N. Y. 580; Choate v. Stander (Okl.), 160 Pac. 737; Alvord v. Ban-field, 85 Oreg. 49, 160 Pac.549; Smith v. Campbell, 85 Oreg. 420, 166 Pac. 546. But see Chandler v. Coe, 54 N. H. 561.
65 Boren v. Schweitzer (Ind. App.),
It is stud that this does not violate the parol evidence rule, since the party apparently liable on the face of the writing is never excused, but it is merely shown that his signature by virtue of the law of agency also binds another.66 Even though the contract is within the Statute of Frauds, a signature of the agent without indication either in the body of the instrument or in the signature for whom he is acting is sufficient to bind the principal,67 or to entitle him to sue.68 But the agent also is liable though the other party knew he was acting merely as agent and knew his principal.69 Evidence of the surrounding circumstances is always admissible to aid in the construction of a writing, and in case of ambiguity it may be necessary to resort to the inferences and presumptions which are appropriate to oral contracts. Wherever it becomes essential to determine whether the agent or the principal is the party named as the contracting party in an informal written contract, there seems no reason for invoking any different principles of construction from those which are hereafter stated as applicable to covenants and to negotiable instruments.70
117 N. E. 526; Huntington v. Knox, 7 Cueh. 371; Borcherling p. Katz, 37 N. J. Eq. 150; Shenners v. Adams (Okl), 148 Pac. 1023; Hubbert v. Borden, 6 Whart. 79; Edwards v. Golding, 20 Vt. 30.
66 Higgins v. Senior, 8 M. ft W. 834; Thayer v. Luce, 22 Oh. St. 62, 78.
67 Trueman v. Loder, 11 Ad. ft El. 689, 594 (sale of goods); Lerned v. Johns, 9 Allen, 419 (sale of goods); Haubelt v. Rea & Page Co., 77 Mo. App. 672 (sale of goods); Conway v. Sweeney, 24 W. Va. 643 (sale of land). And if the body of the instrument names the principal, a fortiori he is liable, though the signature of the agent does not indicate his agency. Wiener v. Whipple, 53 Wis. 298, 10 N. W. 433, 40 Am. Rep. 775 (sale of goods).
68 Huntington v. Knox, 7 Cush. 371 (sale of goods); Stowell v. Eldred, 39 Wis. 614 (sale of judgment); Hunter v. Giddinga, 97 Mass. 41, 93 Am. Dec.
64 (sale of goods); likewise where the body of the instrument names the principal but the signature is the agent's name without addition. Phil-lips v. Cornelius (Miss.), 28 So. 871 (land).
69Higgins v. Senior, 8 M. ft W. 834 (goods); Sanborn v. Flagler, 9 Allen, 474. See also Meyer v. Redmond, 206 N. Y. 478, 98 N. E. 906, 41 L. R. A. (N. S.) 675; affirming s. c. 141 N. Y. App. Div. 123, 125 N. Y. S. 1052. And see supra, Sec. 29.
70 See Lutz v. Van Heynigen Brokerage Co. (Ala.), 75 So. 284; Taylor v. Danidsonville Cotton Co., 82 Conn. 220, 72 Atl. 1080; Grady v. Pruitt, 111 Ky. 100, 63 S. W. 283; Maine Rod Granite Co. v York, 89 Me. 64, 35 Atl. 1014; Copeland v. Hewett, 96 Me. 525, 53 Atl. 36; Rogers, etc., Co. v. Union, etc., Co., 134 Mass. 31; Deeriug v. Thorn, 29 Minn. 120, 12 N. W. 350; Towers v. Stevens Cattle Co., 83 Minn. 343, 86 N. W. 88; New-