The original statute allowed signature by an agent and this has been universally followed in this country. Who may be an agent and how his authority may be shown depend upon the principles of the law of agency, but some special applications of that law may be mentioned here. Conceivably the agent may sign either his principal's name without mentioning his own; he may sign his principal's name stating that the signature of the principal is made by him as agent; he may sign his own name as agent for a specified principal; he may sign his own name as agent, but without mentioning for whom; or, finally, he may sign his own name without mentioning any agency. Though it is more proper generally for an agent to disclose upon the memorandum for whom he is acting, the principal, if in fact he authorized the agent, will be bound by a memorandum signed even in the last form stated.78 It must be remembered, however, that the requirement of signature is a different thing from the requirement that the parties to the transaction be named, and though a signature often fulfils the double purpose of naming a party and of authenticating the writing, and though the name of the agent will serve as a substitute for the name of the principal if the writing is in such a form as to amount to a personal promise of the agent, yet if the agent by the writing purports clearly to contract on behalf of another who is not named, the memorandum is insufficient.79 One person may act as agent for both parties, so far as making the memorandum is concerned, though it will ordinarily be impossible for the agent to represent both parties in entering into the transaction of which the memorandum is the record.80 It is, however, well settled that one party to the transaction cannot be the agent for the other to sign a memorandum.81 If one person is specifically appointed to sign a memorandum as agent, the authority cannot be delegated,82 but a signature made in the presence and under the immediate di-ection of the authorized agent might perhaps be distinguished on the ground that in such a case the agent was merely making use of the hand of the subordinate for the purpose of carrying out his own authority.83
77 These questions were confused in the case of Wilkinson v. Heaveurich, 68 Mich. 574, 26 N. W. 139, 56 Am. Rep. 708, and the court there also raised an additional difficulty in regard to consideration, suggesting that as the contract could not be enforced against the plaintiff, there was no consideration for the defendant's promise. This suggestion is unsound. A voidable or unenforceable promise is sufficient consideration for a counter-promise, though a void promise is not See supra, Sec. 105. And under the Statute of frauds there are many decisions involving the same question. See cases in this section, note 71, and supra, Sec. 105.
78 See supra, Sec.Sec. 285, 296, 577.
79 See supra, Sec. 677.