A bill of exchange or promissory note is a formal instrument though of a mercantile character, and it is generally held that no one is liable on such an instrument whose name does not appear upon it as a signer. Unless it appears, therefore, from the instrument itself, that the obligation is made on behalf of a principal named in the paper, the agent is liable and the principal is not.87 Even though it clearly appears that an instrument relates to the principal's business, the agent if he signs the instrument individually becomes personally liable. Thus if the agent draws on his principal for the principal's debt, the agent is liable on the bill if it is dishonored.88 So though

Orange, etc., R. Co., 69 N. Y. 343, 25 Am. Rep. 199; cf. the rule in regard to negotiable instruments, infra, Sec. 303.

86Gibbs v. Dickson, 33 Ark. 107; Streeter v. Janu, 90 Minn. 393, 96 N. W. 1128; cp. Jones v. Morris, 61 Ala. S18, 524; Sanger v. Warren, 91 Tex. 472, 44 S. W. 477, 66 Am. St. Rep. 913.

87Leadbitter c. Farrow, 5 M. & S. 34G; Price v. Taylor, 5 H. & N. 640; Button v, Marsh, L R. 6 Q. B. 361; In re Adansonia Fibre Co., L. R. 9 Ch. 636; Cragin v. Lovell, 109 U. S. 194, 3 S Ct 132, 27 L. Ed. 903; Knott p. Venable, 42 Ala. 186; Moragne v. Richmond Locomotive Works, 124 Ala. 637, 27 So. 240; Pease v. Pease, 36 Conn. 131, 96 Am. Dec. 226; Graham v. Campbell, 58 Ga. 268; Coaling Coal Co. v, Howard, 130 Ga. 807, 811, 61 S E. 987; New York Life Ins. Co. v. Martindale, 76 Kana. 142, 88 Pac. 559, 21 L R. A. (N. S.) 1045; Fuller v. Hooper, 3 Gray, 334, 341; Williams v. Bobbins, 16 Gray, 77, 77 Am. Deo.

396; Sparks v. Dispatch Transfer Co., 104 Mo. 631,15 S. W. 417, 12 L. R. A. 714, 24 Am. St. Rep. 351; Furrell v. Reed, 46 Neb. 258, 64 N. W. 969; Chandler v. Coe, 64 N. H. 661; Peots v. Stanton, 10 Wend. 271, 25 Am. Dec. 658; Manufacturers' Bank v. Lore, 13 N. Y. App. D. 661, 43 N. Y. S. 812; Ranger c. Thalmann, 84 N. Y. App. Div. 341, 82 N. Y. S. 846, affd. 178 N. Y. 674, 70 N. E. 1108; National German Am. Bank v. Lang, 2 N. Dak. 66, 49 N. W. 414; Anderton v. Shoup, 17 Oh. St. 126; Bank p. Cook, 38 Oh. St. 442; Arnold v. Sprague, 34 Vt. 402. But see contra Haskell v. Cornish, 13 Cal. 45.

88 Leadbitter v. Farrow, 5 M. & S. 345; Newhall v. Dunlap, 14 Me. 180, 31 Am. Dec. 46; Mahew v. Prince, 11 Mass. 54; Conant v. Alvord, 166 Mass. 311, 44N.E.250. The law is otherwise in Louisiana, Krumbhaar v. Ludeling, 3 Martin (O. S.), 640; Wolfc v. Jewett, 10 La. 383; Lincoln v. Smith, 11 La. 11. So if an agent indorses to his a draft contains a direction to charge the payment to the principal's account, the agent, if he signs individually, is personally liable.89 But if such an instrument is signed with the addition of words stating that the signer is an agent or corporate officer, the principal, not the agent, is liable.90