Where several persons bind themselves for the same performance, they may not only bind themselves either jointly or each one separately, but also they may bind themselves jointly and at the same time each bind himself separately for the same performance. In such a case the promisee, like the holder of a promissory note on which a number of indorsers have been charged, is entitled to but a single performance, but is entitled to enforce that performance under more than one obligation.
Where parties are under joint and several duties there is, in legal effect, one more contract than there are obligors. Each obligor has separately contracted, and all of them have together contracted jointly.14
Under such a contract each obligor is liable severally for the whole duty. A contract such as is often entered into where each obligor binds himself for a ratable or other portion of the total performance, is not properly called joint and several, even though all the obligors jointly bind themselves for the whole performance, since the several contracts of the obligors are not for the same performance as the joint contract; though it must be admitted that there is here one of the too frequent ambiguities in Anglo-American legal terminology, since "several" obligations or liabilities are spoken of both where the obligations and liabilities relate to the same performance, which when once rendered discharges all the obligors, and also where the obligations or liabilities relate to different performances.15
13See Sohm's Institutes, Sec. 74; Hunter's Raman Law (3d ed.), 661.
14 Bolton v. Lee, 2 Lev. 56; Ex porta Honey, L. R. 7 Ch. App. 178; United
States v. Cushman, 2 Sumn. 426; People v. Harrison, 82 111. 84; Sharpe v. Baker, 51 Ind. App. 547, 99 N. E. 44; Turner v. Whitmore, 63 Me. 526.