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.
7 Chapman v. Cole, 78 Mass. (12 Gray) 141, 71 Am. Dee. 730. In this case B had handed the same piece of money on to C under the same mistake. As it was not legal tender or negotiable, A was allowed to recover $9.50 from C, the court saying that it was a case of "mistake as to the identity of the subject of the agreement," and that there was "no assent of the parties."
8 Devine v. Edwards, 101 111. 738.
9 Lyle v. Williamson, 22 Ky. (6 T. B. Mon.) 142. This was treated by the court of equity as substantially a case for reformation; though the actual relief given was enjoining a judgment at law rendered on the contract.
10 Hurley v. Wilky, 18 Ariz. 45, 156 Ac. 83.
11 Beem v. Farrell, 135 la. 670, 113 N. W. 509.
12 Texas & Pacific Ry. v. Dashiell, 198 U. S. 521, 49 L. ed. 1150; Mclsaac v. Murray (N. H.), L. R. A. 1916B, 769, 93 Atl. 115.
13 United States v. Spearin, 248 U. S. 132, 63 L. ed. - .
1 Coppage v. Equitable Guarantee & Trust Co., - Del. Ch. - , 102 Atl. 788; McCrea v. Hinkson, 65 Ore. 132, 131 Ac. 1025; Jeffrys v. Weekly, 81 Ore. 140, 158 Ac. 522; Wardell v. Birdsong, 115 Va. 294, 78 S. E. 564; Best v. Of-field, 59 Wash. 466, 110 Ac. 17.
Page on Contracts tract of sale of a farm containing one hundred thirty-five acres is entered in to. under the mistaken belief that it contains "about two hundred acres,"2 or there is a deficiency of ten acres in a tract represented as containing nearly two hundred fifty acres.3 A sold land to B, both understanding that the tract contained two hundred fifty acres. B had it surveyed, and the surveyor, by an error in computation, estimated the tract at one hundred ninety-eight acres. To make up this deficiency A agreed to deed B fifty acres more, and did so. B sold the original tract to C, who surveyed it and found two hundred fifty acres. A sued B and it was held that B must return the fifty-acre tract or make compensation.4 If a purchaser of land through an honest mistake which is not attributable to his own negligence thinks that he is buying a larger tract of land than the vendor is actually selling to him, such mistake is a defense to a bill for specific performance.5 Other appropriate relief is given for a material deficiency or excess in quantity, as quieting title to the excess, leaving it in vendor,6 or allowing compensation for a deficiency7 or excess.8 Occasionally we find relief refused in cases of this class on the ground that the party seeking relief has been guilty of negligence in not ascertaining the area in advance.9 A vendor who thinks that a tract of land is smaller than it is, and for that reason sells it at a price lower than he would have demanded if he had known its true area, can not have rescission.10