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 contract is made at the time at which the offer is accepted in legal effect. If the promise is to be accepted by making a promise in return, the time at which the contract is made is the time at which the offeree notifies the offeror of his acceptance.1
35 O'Neal v. Moore, 78 W. Va. 296,
88 S. E. 1044.
1 Newcomb v. DeRoos, 2 E. & E. 271; Couret v. Conner, 118 Miss. 598, .79 So. 230.
2 Newcomb v. DeRoos, 2 E. & E. 271.
3 Emerson Co. v. Proctor, 97 Me. 360, 54 Atl. 849; Latrobe v. Winans,
89 Md. 636, 43 Atl. 829; Antes v. State Ins. Co., 61 Neb. 55, 84 N. W. 412; Perry v. Mt. Hope Iron Co., 15 R. I. 380, 2 Am. St. Rep. 902, 5 Atl. 632.
4 New York Architectural Terra Cotta Co. v. Williams, 184 N. Y. 579, 77 N.
E. 1192 [affirming New York Architectural Terra Cotta Co. v. Williams, 102 App. Div. 1, 92 N. Y. Sup. 8081.
5 Burton v. United States, 202 U. S. 344, 50 L. ed. 1057.
6 Edmundson v. Render (1905), 2 Ch. 320.
7 Burton v. United States, 196 U. 8. 283, 49 L. ed. 482.
8 Burton v. United States, 202 U. S. 344, 50 L. ed. 1057.
9 Bank v. Sperry Flour Co., 141 Cal. 314, 74 Ac. 855.
If the contract is to be made by giving a promise for a promise, and the offer is made under such circumstances that acceptance by mail or telegraph is proper, the contract is made when such acceptance is delivered to the postal authorities or to the telegraph company for transmission,2 unless the offer makes some different provision as to the means by which it may be accepted.3
If the offer is to be accepted by performing an act and the act is of such a nature that it can be performed instantaneously, the contract is made when the act is performed.4 If the act is of such a nature that it can not be performed instantaneously, a question arises as to whether the contract is made when performance begins, or whether it is not made until performance is complete. This question is discussed elsewhere.5
1 See Sec. 150, 152 et seq. 2 See Sec. 109 et seq. 3 See Sec. 206.
4 See Sec. 130, 131 and 154 et seq.
5 See Sec. 130 et seq.