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.
What constitutes a proper sending by mail or telegraph is a question upon which there has been but little discussion. Depositing a letter in the postoffice is a sufficient mailing if the letter is properly addressed and stamped.1 The deposit of an unstamped letter is inoperative if it is not received in due course.2 If it is shown that the acceptance was written on a certain day and was duly received, it is not necessary to show the addressing, mailing and prepayment of postage.3 It is generally said that depositing a letter in a box which is officially and legally designated as the proper place for the deposit of mail, is a sufficient acceptance.4 It is suffi-
27 Farmers' Produce Co. v. Schreiner, 48 Okla. 488, L. R. A. 1916A, 1297 [sub nomine: Farmers' Produce Co. v. Mc-Alester Storage & Commission Co., 150 Ac. 483].
28 Ferguson v. West Coast Shingle Co., 96 Ark. 27, 130 S. W. 527.
29 Weld v. Victory Mfg. Co., 205 Fed. 770.
30 Lucas v. Western Union Telegraph Co., 131 la. 669, 6 L. R. A. (N.S.) 1016, 109 N. W. 191.
31 Lucas v. Western Union Telegraph cient in case of notice which may be given by mail.5 The terms of the offer may preclude mailing the acceptance by depositing it in a letter box. If a policy of insurance provides that liability shall not attach unless a specified notice is "deposited in the postoffice at the time of mailing," placing such notice in a mail box, is not a sufficient compliance with such provision.6 Depositing a letter of acceptance in a private letter box would not be a sufficient acceptance. It has been held to be insufficient as a means of mailing a notice.7 If the public postman is not the agent of the postoffice to receive letters, delivery to him is not mailing, for purpose of determining the acceptance of a letter applying for an allotment of shares.8 If he is authorized to collect letters, giving a letter to him would seem sufficient as mailing. This has been held to be a sufficient mailing of a notice.9 If a letter is delivered to a messenger to mail, acceptance dates from the time the messenger mails it10 If the messenger does not mail the letter until after the offer is revoked or lapses, no contract is made.
Co., 131 la. 669, 6 L. R. A. (N.S.) 1016, 109 N. W. 191.
1 Blake v. Ins. Co., 67 Tex. 160, 60 Am. Rep. 15, 2 S. W. 368.
2 Blake v. Hamburg Bremen Fire Ins-Co., 67 Tex. 160, 60 Am. Rep. 15, 2 S. W. 368.
3 Campbell v. Beard, 57 W. Va. 501, 50 S. E. 747.
4 Wood v. Callaghan, 61 Mich. 402, 1 Am. St. Rep. 597, 28 N. W. 162; Watson v. Russell, 149 N. Y. 388, 44 N. E. 161.