This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
Words or conduct amount to an acceptance only if they show that the offeree means to accept,the offer.1 For this reason an uncommuni-cated offer can not be accepted.2 Silence does not amount to assent;3 and cross-offers do not constitute a contract.4 Retention of money received under an offer has been held not to amount to an acceptance if notice of the rejection of the offer was given promptly.5 The only difficulty in applying this last principle arises where the retention of benefits is wrongful, unless it amounts to an acceptance; and where, accordingly, the offeree accepts by his acts and rejects by his words.6
15 Georgia. New York Life Ins. Co. v. Babcock, .104 Ga. 67, 69 Am. St. Rep. 134, 42 L. R. A. 88, 30 S. E. 273.
Illinois. Winnesheik Ins. Co. v. Holzgrafe, 53 111. 516, 5 Am. Rep. 64.
Minnesota. Heiman v. Phoenix Mut. Life Ins. Co., 17 Minn. 153, 10 Am. Rep. 154.
New York. More v. N. Y. Bowery Fire Ins. Co., 130 N. Y. 537, 29 N. E. 757.
North Carolina. Ross v. New York Life Ins. Co., 124 N. Car. 395, 32 S. E. 733.
Oklahoma. Van Arsdale v. Young, 21 Okla. 151, 95 Ac. 778.
Pennsylvania. Ins. Co. v. Johnson, 23 Pa. St. 72; Royal Ins. Co. v. Beatty, 119 Pa. St. 6, 12 Atl. 607.
South Dakota. Brink v. Merchants' & Farmers' United Mutual Ins. Assn., 17 S. D. 235, 95 N. W. 929.
Tennessee. Richmond v. Travelers' Ins. Co., 123 Tenn. 307, 30 L. R. A. (N.S.) 954, 130 S. W. 790.
Virginia. Haskin v. Agriculture Fire Ins. Co., 78 Va. 700.
16 Duffie v. Bankers Life Association, 160 la. 19, 46 L. R. A. (N.S.) 25, 139 N. W. 1087; Boyer v: State Farmers' Mutual Hail Ins. Co., 86 Kan. 442, 40 L. R. A. (N.S.) 164, 121 Ac. 329. Such liability does not attach if the applicant knows that his application will probably be rejected if any action is taken: Northwestern Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. Neafus, 145 Kv. 563, 36 L. R. A. (N.S.) 1211, 140 S. W. 1026.
17 Walker v. Farmers' Ins. Co., 51 la. 679, 2 N. W. 583.
18 Atkinson v. Hawkeye Ins. Co., 71 la. 340, 32 N. W. 371.
19 Winchell v. Iowa State Ins. Co., 103 la. 189, 72 N. W. 503.
20 J. C. Lysle Milling Co. v. Rumph, - Ark. - , 203 S. W. 850.
1 Southern Rv. Co. v. Kimball, 103 S. Car. 365, 88 S. E. 14; Peterson v. Jahn Contracting Co., 96 Wash. 210, 164 Ac. 937.
2 See Sec. 110 et seq.
3 See Sec. 160 et seq.6
4 See Sec. 164.
An exception to the rule that intention to accept is an essential element of acceptance is found in jurisdictions where acts done without knowledge of a reward are considered as an acceptance of an offer of a reward for the doing of such acts.7 Such jurisdictions regard communication of the offer and intention to accept as equally unnecessary in such cases. Refusal to accept such reward, if made when such act is done, will prevent recovery of the reward.8 If A offers a reward for doing a certain act, and B does such act, declaring that he does not intend to claim such reward, such act on the part of B does not amount to an acceptance.9