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 theory that a good consideration has such force in equity that an executory promise based thereon may be enforced in equity was once very generally expressed, and relics of it still linger. Where an administratrix gave her own mortgage to her father for a debt of her deceased husband's in consideration of certain assets of his in her hands, it was held that in the particular case the assets were too small to afford any substantial consideration; but that the mortgage would be upheld in equity as an executed conveyance, and on consideration of blood.1 Reformation has been granted in equity if the transaction was based on good consideration. A defective conveyance on good consideration only has been reformed in equity.2 Where a father gave notes under seal in escrow to each of his daughters, and by inadvertence omitted the seal from one, it was held that equity would recognize the note as on consideration so as to reform it by adding the seal and enforcing the note against his estate.3
6 Dawley v. Dawley's Estate, 60 Colo. 73, 152 Pac. 1171.
7 Dawley v. Dawley's Estate, 60 Colo. 73, 152 Pac. 1171. (In this case, however, A's husband X had bequeathed certain property to A upon consideration that A would provide for B; and accordingly a valuable consideration existed in fact.)
8 Finch v. Green, 225 111. 304, 80 N. E. 318; Baker v. Pyatt, 108 Ind. 61, 9 N. E. 112.
9 Puterbaugh v. Puterbaugh, 131 Ind. 288, 15 L. R. A. 341, 30 N. E. 519; Bronston's Administrator v. Bronston's Heirs, 141 Ky. 639, 133 S. W, 584; Pink-ham v. Pinkham, 60 Neb. 600, 83 N. W. 837 [affirmed on rehearing, Pinkham v. Pinkham, 61 Neb. 336, 85 N. W. 285]; Brown v. Whaley, 58 O. S. 654, 65 Am. St. Rep. 793, 49 N. E. 479.
10 Parsons v. Teller, 188 N. Y. 318, 80 N. E. 930.
11 Parsons v. Teller, 188 N. Y. 318, 80 N. E. 930.
Equity is more and more inclined to refuse to enforce executory transactions which are based solely on good consideration. Good consideration has finally been held not to be sufficient in equity for enforcing an executory trust against the settlor himself, if it was created imperfectly,4 although there was at one time much authority for holding such consideration to be sufficient for such purpose.1