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.
An offer which, upon acceptance, becomes a contract, can not be made by words or acts which do not show an intent to assume liability.1 A's act in placing his child in the custody of another does not amount to a contract, by which. A renounces the custody of such child.2 A payment which is made before any dispute between the parties has arisen, can not subsequently be treated as an offer of a compromise.3 Payment of certain items not in dispute is not accord and satisfaction as to items in dispute, since no agreement exists.4 The acceptance and use of a check which is intended to cover an undisputed item, can not after such acceptance and use be treated as an acceptance of an offer for the compromise of an entire claim.5 If A signs a written instrument which purports to be a contract between B and C, and which does not purport to be an offer by A or to A, such signature does not make A a party to such contract.6
Eq. 508, 18 Atl. 204. Compare with the similar principle as to acceptance in Sec. 152 et seq.; Stengel v. Sergeant, 74 N. J. Eq. 20, 68 Atl. 1106. 27 See Sec. 109 et seq.
1 Bolter v. Kozlowski, 211 III. 70, 71 N. E. 858; Murphy v. City of Yonkers, 213 N. Y. 124, L. R. A. 1915F, 598, 107 N. E. 267.
2 Bolter v. Kozlowski, 211 111. 79, 71 N. E. 858.
3 Murphy v. City of Yonkers, 213 N. Y. 124, L. R. A. 1915F, 598, 107 N. E. 267.
4 Murphy v. City of Yonkers, 213 N. Y. 124, L. R. A. 1915F, 598, 107 N. E. 267.
1 Michigan. Keller v. Holderman, 11 Mich. 248, 83 Am. Dec. 737.
Nevada. Wolfe v. Humboldt County, 36 Nev. 26, 45 L. R. A. (N.S.) 762, 131 Ac. 964.
Pennsylvania. Theiss v. Weiss, 166 Pa. St. 9, 31 Atl. 63.
Wisconsin. Hicks Printing Co. ▼. Wisconsin Central Ry., 138 Wis. 584, 120 N. W. 512.
Vermont Brice v. Bishop, 43 Vt. 159.
At the same time, intention to assume liability may appear from the contract taken as a whole. If a bank has refused to renew a note of a corporation without a guaranty, and the president of the corporation sends a telegram, which is to be communicated to the bank, saying: "I will arrange things satisfactory to them on my return," and asking for a renewal, such telegram is an offer imposing personal liability upon the sender.7 A written statement by the agent of dealers in furs, to the effect that he would take up goods but only "this section" goods at certain specified prices up to February first, of a certain year, is an offer to purchase such goods at such prices, and may be accepted during such period.8