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.
Occasionally the transaction, as viewed by the court, is one in which the promisor agrees to confer two or more independent benefits upon the promisee. The transaction really consists of two gratuitous promises from the same promisor to the same promisee. It might be suggested that the promisee is not bound in law to accept the benefit of one of the gratuitous promises and that if he agrees to accept such benefit, such acceptance on his part is a consideration for the other promise. This view, however, has not been considered by the courts or even urged upon them seriously, and no consideration has been held to exist when the alleged consideration passes from the promisor to the promisee.1 If a deposit to secure performance is released and the contract is cancelled, it is held that if such cancellation is a benefit to A, such transaction is not a consideration for a new promise by B to A.2 A promise by an executor to buy a part interest in the estate of the decedent is not supported by his promise to pay a legacy to a legatee before it is legally due, even though the contract recites that the executor is desirous of winding up the estate.3
Connecticut. Berkeley Divinity School v. Jarvis, 32 Conn. 412.
Indiana. Petty v. Church, 95 Ind. 278.
Iowa. Brokaw v. McElroy, 162 la. 288, 50 L. R. A. (N.S.) 835, 143 N. W. 1087.
Michigan. Allen v. Duffie, 43 Mich. 1, 38 Am. Rep. 159, 4 N. W. 427; Waters v. Union Trust Co., 129 Mich. 040, 89 N. W. 687.
Nebraska. Armann v. Buel, 40 Neb. 803, 59 N. W. 515.
New Hampshire. Osborn v. Crosby, 63 N. H. 583, 3 Atl. 429.
North Carolina. Rousseau v. Call, 169 N. Car. 173, 85 S. E. 414.
Pennsylvania. Converse's Estate, 240 Pa. St. 458, 87 Atl. 849.
South Carolina. Bates v. Taylor, 28 S. Car. 476, 6 S. E. 327.
Wisconsin. Lathrop v. Knapp, 27 Wis. 214.
Contra, Cottage Street M. E. Church v. Kendall, 121 Mass. 528; Presbyterian Church v. Cooper, 112 N. Y. 517, 8 Am. St. Rep. 767, 3 L. R. A. 468, 20 N. E. 352.
1 Brown v. Brew, 99 Wash. 560, 169 Pac. 992; Gates v. Herr, 102 Wash. 131, 172 Pac. 912.
2 Brown v. Brew, 99 Wash. 560, 169 Pac. 992.
3 Gates v. Herr, 102 Wash. 131, 172 Pac. 912.