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.
The chief classes of cases in which the question as to the time at which a letter of acceptance becomes operative, becomes important, are as follows: Where the letter of acceptance is lost, and the question arises as to whether the party offering is bound, the weight of authority is that he is bound, though he had no actual knowledge of the acceptance, if a letter was a proper means of communication.1 The same rule applies where a notice which may be given by mail is lost in the mail after being mailed in due form.2 offerer, not known or brought to the notice of the offeree, to affect the making of the contract; for instance a sale by an agent elsewhere one minute after the principal personally has offered goods which are accepted within five minutes by the person to whom he is speaking. The principle is the same when the time is longer and the act relied on a step looking to but not giving notice. The contrary suggestion by Wilde, J., in McCulloch v. Eagle Ins. Co., 18 Mass. (1 Pick.) 278, 279, is not adopted as a ground of decision, and the view which we take is that taken by the Supreme Court of the United States, and is now the settled law of England": Brauer v. Shaw, 168 Mass. 108, 200, 60 Am. St. Rep. 387, 46 N. E. 617 (citing many recent cases).
8 Travelers' Fire Insurance Co. v. Globe Soap Co., 85 Ark. 169, 122 Am. St. Rep. 22, 107 S. W. 386; Dupriest v. American Central Life Ins. Co., 97 Ark. 229, 133 S. W. 826.
1 England. Household Fire and Carriage Accident Ins. Co. v. Grant, 4 Exch. Div. 216.
Connecticut. Mercer Electric Mfg. Co. v. Connecticut Electric Mfg. Co., 87 Conn. 691, 89 Atl. 909.
Iowa. Hunt v. Higman, 70 la. 406, 30 N. W. 769.
Kentucky. Carter v. Hibbard (Ky.), 83 S. W. 112, 26 Ky. Law Rep. 1033.
Massachusetts. Bishop v. Eaton, 161 Mass. 496, 42 Am. St. Rep. 437, 37 N. E. 665.
New Jersey. Commercial Insurance Co. v. Hallock, 27 N. J. L. 645, 72 Am. Dec. 379.
New York. Vassar v. Camp, UN. Y. 441; Howard v. Daly, 61 N. Y. 362, 19 Am. Rep. 285.
2 Saunderson v. Judge, 2 H. Bl. 509; Lambert v. Ghiselin, 50 U. S. (9 How.) 552, 13 L. ed. 254; Shelburne Falls National Bank v. Townsley, 102 Mass. 177, 3 Am. Rep. 445; Walker v. Stetson, 14 O. S. 89, 84 Am. Dee. 362.