It is wholly a question of construction whether each of several obligors makes a separate promise or whether they unitedly make a joint promise. This rule of construction is subject, however, to the presumption alluded to in the preceding section that the obligation created by the promise of several persons is joint unless the contrary is made evident. But anything in the language of the promisor which shows an intention that each shall be bound severally will be given effect. Appropriate language to create several promises is: "we each promise," or, "each of us promises," or any words of similar meaning.32a The words "respective" or "respectively" may operate to sever a liability which would otherwise be joint.33 So an agreement by which parties agree "each with the other that no one of them would sell" his stock without first giving the remaining corporators the right to purchase, is several.34 The mere fact that the obligors have a separate interest does not involve the consequence that their obligations are several, but, as has been said, in the case of subscription papers and other cases where a separate amount is attached to the name of each obligor, such promises as "we agree to pay the sums set opposite our respective names" have been held to create several promises 35 - not it will be observed each for the same performance, but each for a different performance. It would be perfectly possible to assume a joint liability to pay each of these sums, but it would then be so unreasonable to divide the sums and Bet them opposite the different names that as a matter of construction it has been held separate obligations are intended.36 And in subscription contracts the usual presumption that joint liability is intended is reversed and separate obligations are presumed;37 though it is of course possible for subscribers jointly to agree to pay a gross sum.38 The nature of the contract may also in other instances show an intention to give rise to a several rather than a joint liability; thus, - a contract to the following effect was held to create a several liability. "A, having this day loaned the N Mining Co. fifteen thousand dollars, we jointly and severally guarantee the repayment of said loan." Signed: B, C, A. Though this contract by its very terms is stated to be joint as well as several, the court held no joint liability could be created; for A, being the promisee, could not legally be a joint promisor, and the contract was therefore in legal effect the several obligation of B and C to A.39
29See supra, Sec. 307; Fowler v. Kennedy, 2 Abb. Pr. 347.
30See supra, Sec.Sec. 307, 308.
31 See Everett v. Tindall, 5 Esp. 169; Kiersted v. Bennett, 93 Me. 328, 45 Atl. 42; Newell v. Borden, 128 Maaa. 31; Detroit Life Guard Band v. First Michigan Infantry, 134 Mich. 698, 96 N. W. 934; Slocum v. Fairchild, 7 Hill, 292.
32In Sheehy v. Blake, 72 Wis. 411, 39 N. W. 479, 77 Wis. 394, 46 N. W. £37, and Vader v. Ballou, 151 Wis. 577, 139 N. W. 413, the liability was held joint and several. It is difficult to find any evidence of intent to create other than a joint liability in these
32a McArthur v. Board, 119 Ia. 562, 93 N. W. 580; Fuselier v. Lacour, 3 La, Ann. 162; Larkin v. Butterfield, 29 Mich. 254.
33 Ulman v. Manheimer, 249 Fed. 691,161 C. C. A. 601. See also Patrick v. Royle, 13 Q. B. 98, 112; Alsop v. Russell, 38 Conn. 99, 103; Messer v. Jones, 88 Me. 349, 34 Atl. 177; Wolf v. Lake Erie Co., 55 Ohio St. 517, 45 N. E. 708, 36 L. R. A. 812.
34 Streator v. Paxton, 201 Pa. 135, 50 Atl. 926.
Likewise the circumstance that the promises are contained in separate instruments though in identical terms shows the v. Higgmbotham (Mips.), 29 So. 79. See also Villard v. Moyer, 123 N. Y. App. D. 629, 107 N. Y. S. 1054, and cases cited supra, Sec.322, n. 24.
35 See supra, Sec. 322.
36 O'Connor v. Hooper, 102 Cal. 528, 36 Pac. 939; Robertson v. March, 4 111. 198; Laiidwerlen c. Wheeler, 106 Ind. 623, 5 N. E. 888; Davis v. Murray, 102 Mich. 217, 60 N. W. 437; Gibbons v. Bente, 51 Minn. 499, 53 N. W. 756, 22 L. R. A. 80; Davis v. Creamery Co., 48 Neb. 471, 67 N. W. 436; Connecticut etc. R. R. Co. c. Bailey, 24 Vt. 465; Hodges v. Natty, 104 Wis. 464, 80 N. W. 726; Chicago Bldg. & Mfg. Co.
37Hall v. Thayer, 12 Met. 130; Davis v. Bolford, 70 Mich. 120, 37 N. W. 919.
38 Davis v. Shafer, 50 Fed. 764.
39Colt v. Learned, 118 Mass. 380. See also Smith v. Woodward, 51 Col. 311, 117 Pac. 140; Gaines v. Vandecar, 59 Or. 187, 115 Pac 721, 1122.
promisee to be several.40 It is possible in the same contract that some promises shall be joint and others by the same promisors shall be several.41