(unilateral, but dictum that a bilateral contract also would be invalid); Putnam v. Woodbury, 68 Me. 58 (uncertain whether unilateral or bilateral); Northwestern Nat. Bank v. Great Falls Opera House, 23 Mont. 1, 11, 57 Pac. 440 (unilateral. Previous obligation was as a fiduciary for a third person); Gordon v. Gordon, 56 N. H. 170 (probably bilateral); Vanderbilt v. Schreyer, 91 N. Y. 392 (probably unilateral); Seybolt v. New York, etc., R. Co., 96 N. Y. 662, 47 Am. Rep. 75 (bilateral); Robinson v. Jewett, 116 N. Y. 40, 22 N. E. 224 (bilateral); Arend v. Smith, 151 N. Y. 502, 45 N. E. 872 (unilateral) ; Alley v. Turck, 8 N. Y. App. Div. 50, 52, 40 N. Y. S. 433 (unilateral); Petse v. Leary, 117 N. Y. App. Div. 829,102N. Y. S. 960 (unilateral); Teele v. Mayer, 173 N. Y. App. D. 869, 160 N. Y. S. 116 (probably bilateral); Sherwin v. Brigham, 39 Oh. St. 137 (bilateral); Hanks v. Barron, 95 Tenn. 275, 32 S. W. 195 (unilateral); Keu-igsberger v. Wingate, 31 Tex. 42 (unilateral); Cobb v. Cowdery, 40 Vt. 25, 28 (dictum as to both unilateral and bilateral); Conti v. Johnson, 91 Vt. 467, 100 Atl. 874 (unilateral); Davenport v. First Congregational Soc, 33 Wis. 387 (unilateral). See also Mack v. Mack, 87 Neb. 819, 94 Neb. 504,128 N. W. 527,143 N. W. 454, 31 L. R. A. (N. S.) 441, where the promise of a wife to a third person to return to her husband was held insufficient consideration unless her absence from him had been justifiable.
29 Humes v. Decatur Land Improvement Co., 98 Ala. 461, 473,13 So. 368 (bilateral. Recovery allowable only where the defendant will be benefited by plaintiff's performance); Hirsch v. Chicago Carpet Co., 82 111. App. 234
The ground upon which the English cases are rested and that on which such American decisions as follow them are also in the main rested, is that the performance to which the plaintiff had been bound to a third person was beneficial to the defendant.30 No distinction is taken in the cases, English or
(unilateral); Donnelly v. Newbold, 04 Md. 220, 60 Atl. 513 (unilateral); Abbott v. Doane, 163 Man. 433, 40 N. E. 197, 34 L. R. A. 33, 47 Am. &. Rep. 465, (probably bilateral); Swartsman v. Babcock, 218 Mass. 334, 105 N. E. 1022 (unilateral); Bradley . Gleanmary Co., 64 N. J. Eq. 77, 53 Atl. 48; Avondale Marble Co. v. Wig-gins, 12 Pa. Super. 077 (bilateral); Bond v. Treahey, Upper Can., 37 Q.B. 360. See also Day v. Gardner, 42 N. J. Eq. 199,203, 7 Atl. 365.
30 In Shadwell v. Shadwell, 30 L. J. C. P. (N. S.) 145,148,149 (1860), Erle, J., who delivered the opinion of the majority of the court after having first suggested that the plaintiff may have incurred a detriment at his uncle's request in performing his engagement to marry, by changing his Position relying on the uncle's promise, added: "Secondly, do these facts show a benefit derived from the plain-US to the uncle at his request? In answering again in the affirmative, I tun at liberty to consider the relation in which the parties stood, and the interest in the status of the nephew which the uncle declares. The marriage primarily affects the parties thereto; but in the second degree it may be an ob-ject of interest with a near relative, and in that sense a benefit to him."
Byles, J., rested his dissent mainly on the well-founded objection that the plaintiff's marriage was not requested by his uncle as the consideration for his promise, but also said: "Now, the testator in the case before the court derived, so far as appears, no personal benefit from the marriage." In Scotson v, Pegg, 6 H. & N. 295,
299, 300 (1861), Martin, B., said: [The plea] "is bad in law because the ordinary rule is, that any act done whereby the contracting party receives a benefit is a good consideration for a promise by him. . . . The defendant gets a benefit by the delivery of the coals to him, and it is immaterial that the plaintiff had previously contracted with third parties to deliver their
Wilde, B., the only other judge delivering an opinion, said, ibid. 300: "Here the defendant who was a stranger to the original contract, induced the plaintiffs to part with the cargo, which they might not otherwise have been willing to do, and the delivery of it to the defendant was a benefit to discharged and A is liable to B instead.32 Yet it is clear that A's agreement with B is bilateral and must therefore be supported by consideration on each side. It is further clear that A's promise to B to pay him C's debt is a promise to do something which A had already legally bound himself to do by his contract with C.
In Humes v. Decatur Land Imp. Co., 98 Ala. 461, 473, 13 So. 368, the court said: "In the case of Johnson, Admr., v. Sellers, 33 Ala. 265, it is said, 'a promise by defendant to plaintiff, made to induce the latter to comply with an existing contract between him and other persons is without consideration.' We are not disposed to depart from the rule as here stated, but we are not willing to extend it so that if the party making the second contract is directly interested in the result, and is to be benefited, he cannot employ the same party for the protection of his own interest."
In Hirsch v. Chicago Carpet Co., 82 111. App. 234, 237, the court gave as its reasons for upholding a promise given to induce performance by the plaintiff of a contract with the Tiyoli company to deliver goods to it, that they "were not outside parties having
American, between actual performance and a promise to perform an existing duty in respect to the validity of the consideration.31 Indeed, in many of the cases it is difficult to be certain whether the agreement in suit was bilateral or unilateral in its terms. The contention for the validity of the agreements in question is strengthened by certain decisions on novations which though they do not. expressly discuss the question of consideration, nevertheless involve a decision thereof. If C conveys property to A as the consideration for A's promise to C to pay C's debt to B, and thereafter A promises B directly to pay C's debt to him in consideration of. a promise by B to discharge C from debt, C is thereby no interest in the nutter. They were the principal officers of the Tivoli company."