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.
In many of the cases which are cited to show that the recital of a valuable consideration is conclusive, are cases of deeds, not contracts. If the instrument is a conveyance, and not a contract, the recital of a valuable consideration can not be contradicted for the purpose of destroying its legal effect and operation.1 A guarantor has not been permitted to show that a consideration of one dollar was not intended as a consideration, but was inserted as a mere form.2 This rule has sometimes been applied so as to exclude extrinsic evidence which tends to show that a valuable consideration recited in a deed was not the real consideration intended by the parties, but that the real consideration was love and affection, in order to cause the deed which purports to be a deed upon a valuable consideration to operate as a deed of gift.3 In other jurisdictions, however, the general principle that the recital of a consideration in a deed can not be so contradicted as to destroy its legal effect, does not prevent the introduction of extrinsic evidence to show that such a deed is really a deed of gift and not a deed for value,4 although the effect of such evidence may be to change the line of descent of such realty.5 The rule that a recital of a consideration in a conveyance can not be so contradicted as to alter the terms, applies with especial force where the realty has been conveyed to a bona fide purchaser for value.6 The rule that extrinsic evidence can not be introduced to contradict a recital of consideration in a conveyance of realty so as to destroy its legal effect applies in equity as well as in law, as long as such evidence is not offered for the purpose of establishing fraud or undue influence.7 This rule, however, applies only to cases in which the only ground of attack upon the validity of the deed or other conveyance is the want of consideration. It does not apply to cases in which it is sought to have the deed set aside in equity on the ground of fraud or undue influence and in which it is sought to show the lack of consideration or the inadequacy of consideration for the purpose of establishing such fraud or undue influence.8 Conversely, the recital of a nominal consideration may be contradicted and a substantial valuable consideration may be shown, in order to rebut a charge of fraud or undue influence.9
1 United States. Lindlay v. Raydure, 239 Fed. 928.
Arkansas. Davis v. Jernigan, 71 Ark. 494, 76 S. W. 554; Hampton v. Hane-line, 125 Ark. 441, 189 S. W. 40.
California. Feeney v. Howard, 79 Cal. 525, 12 Am. St. Rep. 162, 4 L. R. A. 826, 21 Pac. 984.
Georgia. Anderson v. Continental Ins. Co., 112 Ga. 532, 37 S. E. 766.
Illinois. Stannard v. Aurora, Elgin & Chicago Ry., 220 III 469, 77 N. E. 254; Redmond v. Cass, 226 111. 120, SO N. E. 708; Fleming v. Reheis, 275 111. 132, 113 N. E. 923.
Iowa. Luckhart v. Luckhart, 120 la. 248, 94 N. W. 461; Maxwell v. Mc-Cail, 145 la. 687, 124 N. W. 760; Sbe-langowski v. Schrack, 162 la. 176, 143 N. W. 1081.
Massachusetts. Trafton v. Hawes, 102 Mass. 533, 3 Am. Rep. 494.
Missouri. Strong v. Whybark, 204 Mo. 341, 12 L. R. A. (N.S.) 240, 102 S. W. 968; Weissenfels v. Cable, 208 Mo. 515, 106 S. W. 1028.
Washington. Grubb v. House, 93 Wash. 200, 160 Pac. 421.
2 Lawrence v. McCalmont, 43 U. S. (2 How.) 426, 11 L. ed. 326.
3 Brown v. Whatey, 58 O. S. 654, 65 Am. St. Rep. 793, 49 N. E. 479; Groves v. Groves, 65 O. S. 442, 62 N. E. 1044; Latimer v. Latimer, 53 S. Car. 483, 31 S. E. 304.
4Rockhill v. Spraggs, 9 Ind. 30, 68 Am. Dec. 607; Harman v. Fisher, 90 Neb. 688, 39 L. R. A. (N.S.) 157, 134 N. W. 246; Bradley v. Love, 60 Tex. 472.
5Harman v. Fisher, 90 Neb. 688, 39 L. R. A. (N.S.) 157, 134 N. W. 246.
6 Dill v. Fraze, 169 Ind. 53, 79 N. E. 971.