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.
A difficult question is presented in cases in which the performance of the acts stipulated for, falls short of literal performance. If the offer is one which is to be accepted by a promise, it is ordinarily held that the acceptance must conform to the terms of the offer.1 If a contract has been made by the acceptance of an offer, it is sufficient if such contract is performed substantially.2 An offer of a promise to be accepted by doing an act is one in which the doing of the act, as has been said before, is acceptance, consideration and performance. Whether the relation of such act to such offer is to be governed by the rules which govern the acceptance of an offer for a promise, or whether it is to be governed by the rules that regulate performance, is a question which is occasionally presented for adjudication. It is generally held that substantial performance of such offer is sufficient and that literal performance is not necessary.3 A reward for the arrest and con-
5 Morse v. Bellows, 7 N. H. 549, 28 Am. Dec. 372.
6 Young Men's Christian Association v. Sentney, - Kan. - , 173 Ac. 917.
7 United States. McClaughry v. King, 147 Fed. 463, 7 L. R. A. (N.S.) 216, 79 C. C. A. 91 [affirming McClaughry v. King, 135 Fed. 195].
Arkansas. Eustice v. Meytrott, 100 Ark. 510, 140 S. W. 590; Chambers v. Ogle, 117 Ark. 242, 174 S. W. 532.
Iowa. Vigars v. Hewins, - la. - , 169 N. W. 119.
Kentucky. Moore v. Peace (Ky.), 97 S. W. 762.
Louisiana. Standard Milling Co. v. Hoffpauir, 139 La. 1095, 72 So. 748.
Minnesota. Womack v. Coleman, 92 Minn. 328, 100 N. W. 9.
Oklahoma. Federal Trust Co. v. Coyle, 34 Okla. 635, 126 Ac. 800; Federal Trust Co. v. Spurlock, 34 Okla. 644, 126 Ac. 805.
Tennessee. Stair v. Heska Amone Congregation, 128 Tenn. 190, 159 S. W. 840.
Washington. Davidson v. Times Printing Co., 63 Wash. 577, 34 L. R. A. (N.S.) 1164, 116 Ac. 18.
8 DeCicco v. Schweizer, 221 N. Y. 431, 117 N. E. 807.
1 See Sec. 168 et seq. 2 See ch. LXXX.
3 Georgia. Hewitt v. Lamb, 130 Ga. 709, 61 S. E. 716.
Illinois. Trustees of Methodist Episcopal Church v. Garvey, 53 111. 401, 5 Am. Rep. 51; First National viction of a criminal should be paid to one who makes it possible for an officer to arrest such criminal, at least if no special danger or risk is incurred in making such arrest, and who gives evidence which secures the conviction of such criminal before a jury, since few private citizens could arrest lawfully, except in cases of felony; and no private citizen could convict.4 If a reward is offered for the "arrest and conviction" of a murderer, one who guesses who the criminal is, induces him to confess, and to surrender his weapons and the property which he had taken at the time of the murder, and who induces the sheriff to come to the place at which the criminal is, and to make the arrest, has performed substantially and may recover the reward, if there was no special danger in making such arrest,5 even if, under the circumstances, he had authority to make such arrest in person.6 If an offer is made "to any bank officer or police detective," and such offer provides for a reward for the detection and conviction of the criminal, one who was not a bank officer or police detective and who gave information which led to the identification and the arrest of the criminal, which was followed by the subsequent arrest, indictment and conviction of such criminal, is entitled to such reward, if the bank made no objection when such person first gave information to the bank of the probable identity of such criminal, and the bank knew that such person was not a bank officer or police detective.7 A reward for the arrest of the criminal and the delivery of such criminal to the sheriff of a specified county, is accepted by one who arrests such criminal in a state to which he has fled and who delivers him there to the agent of the state from which he fled.8 A reward for the arrest and conviction of a criminal must be paid to one who kills such criminal while he is resisting arrest.9 An offer of a share in certain profits to employes who work an aggregate amount of time without quitting work or being discharged, is accepted by one who works all of such period of time except the last day and who is then discharged without cause.10 A subscription to be accepted by the act of a railway in putting a road into operation up to a certain point by a specified time is accepted if such railroad is constructed and operated up to a point which is a short distance from such specified place and from which such railroad runs its trains to such specified place over the line of another railway company with which it has traffic arrangements.11 A subscription to aid in constructing a building upon the premises of the payee is accepted substantially where such payee has secured a long-time lease upon such land,12 especially if no rent is reserved in such lease.13 A subscription to pay off a church debt is held to be accepted by the act of the trustees in borrowing money to discharge Buch debt.14 If the subscription blanks to a building fund indicate at the top that the amount to be raised is thirty-five thousand dollars and by its terms the subscription is not to be payable unless at least twenty-five thousand dollars in subscriptions have been obtained, the act of the payee in constructing a building at a cost of sixty thousand dollars is sufficient acceptance of such subscription if the excess over thirty-five thousand dollars was obtained by additional subscriptions.15 An offer to pay a certain proportion of the cost of building a nave may be accepted by building a nave and a tower together if it is possible to show what part of the entire cost was to be attributed to the nave.16 If A promises to pay money to B if B performs a specified act and B organizes a corporation which performs such act, such offer is accepted by such substantial performance,17 especially if it is not practicable to perform such act except by incorporating,18 such as the construction of a railway, realty for which can not be taken by proceedings in eminent domain except by a corporation.19 A offered to pay twenty-five thousand dollars to B if B would secure a purchaser for certain property at a certain price, which was then to be leased by the purchaser to A at certain specified terms. B induced X to buy such property and to lease it to A at terms less advantageous than those named in A's offer. It was held that if B complied with the terms of the offer, the contract was complete, although it was unilateral before such acceptance; and that if B did not comply with the terms of the offer; but the parties intended that B should be paid the reasonable value for his services for what he did, B could recover such reasonable compensation.20
Bank v. Hart, 55 111. 02; Merchants Building Improvement Co. v. Chicago Exchange Building Co., 210 111. 26, 102 Am. St. Rep. 145, 71 N. E. 22.
Kansas. Elkins v. Board of Commissioners, 86 Kan. 305, 46 L. R. A. (N.S.) 662, 120 Ac. 542; Marsh v. Wells, 88 Kan. 538, 43 L. R. A. (N.S.) 133, 129 Ac. 168; ElkinB v. Board of Commissioners, 91 Kan. 518, 51 L. R. A. (N.S.) 638, 138 Ac. 578 [rehearing denied, 92 Kan. 299, 140 Ac. 896].
Kentucky. Mudd v. Woodside, 136 Ky. 296, 124 S. W. 321.
Mississippi. Harrison County v. Hurst, 110 Miss. 716, 70 So. 889.
Missouri. Missouri Pacific Ry. Co. v. Tygard, 84 Mo. 263, 54 Am. Rep. 97.
Nebraska. Lowe v. Keens, 90 Neb. 565, 133 N. W. 1127.
Nevada. Smith v. State, 38 Nev. 477, L. R. A. 1916A, 1276, 151 Ac. 512.
Tennessee. Stair v. Heska Amone Congregation, 128 Tenn. 190, 159 S. W. 840.
Washington. Young Men's Christian Association v. Olds Co., 84 Wash. 630, 147 Ac. 406.
Wisconsin. Zwolanek v. Baker Mfg. Co., 150 Wis. 517, 137 N. W. 769; John E. DeWolf Co. v. Harvey, 161 Wis. 535, 154 N. W. 988.
4 Haskell v. Davidson, 91 Me. 488, 64 Am. St. Rep. 254, 42 L. R. A. 155, 40 Atl. 330; Crawshaw v. Roxbury, 73 Mass. (7 Gray) 374; Kinn v. Mineral Point First National Bank, 118 Wis. 537, 99 Am. St. Rep. 1012, 95 N. W. 969.
5 Elkins v. Board of Commissioners, 86 Kan. 305, 46 L. R. A. (N.S.) 662, 120 Ac. 542; Elkins v. Board of Commissioners, 91 Kan. 518, 51 L. R. A. (N.S.) 638, 138 Ac. 578.
6 Elkins v. Board of Commissioners, 91 Kan. 518, 51 L. R. A. (N.S..) 638, 138 Ac. 578.
7 First National Bank v. Hart, 55 III. 62.
8 Hewitt v. Lamb, 130 Ga. 709, 61 S. E. 716. See also, Harrison County v. Hurst, 110 Miss. 716, 70 So. 889.
9 Smith v. State, 38 Nev. 477, L. R. A. 1916A, 1276, 151 Ac. 512.
10 Zwolanek v. Baker Mfg. Co., 150 Wis. 517, 137 N. W. 769.
11 Missouri Pacific Ry. Co. v. Tygard, 84 Mo. 263, 54 Am. Rep. 97.
12 Merchants Building Improvement Co. v. Chicago Exchange Building Co., 210 111. 26, 102 Am. St. Rep. 145, 71 N. E. 22.
13 Hall v. Virginia, 91 III. 535.
14 Trustees of Methodist Episcopal Church v. Garvey, 53 111. 401, 5 Am. Rep. 51.
15 Young Men's Christian Association v. Olds Co., 84 Wash. 630, 147 Ac. 406.