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 considering the contracts which must be in writing as distinguished from those which merely must be proved by writing and which were considered in the preceding chapter,1 it must be noted that these contracts are of two general classes. One class consists of those contracts which are required by statute to be in writing. For the most part these are contracts of persons of abnormal status, including, in some states, contracts of married women; in others contracts of private corporations and in many states contracts of public corporations. This class of contracts was referred to in the preceding chapter ;2 and since it is closely connected with questions of status, further discussion is deferred until the subject of parties has been considered.3 The other class of contracts which must be in writing consists of those contracts in which writing was required by the law-merchant. This part of the law-merchant has been thoroughly incorporated into Common Law and Equity. The negotiable contract has two aspects: first, the elements which such contracts must possess in order to be negotiable, including the extent to which the oral contract under which such negotiable contract is given is to be regarded as a part thereof: and second, the effect of negotiability as distinguished from assignability. While it may seem to break one subject in two, the first of these aspects will be considered here, leaving the second to be discussed under the general division of operation in connection with assignability.*
1 See Ch. XXXV. 2 See Sec. 756.
3 See Ch. XLVIII. 4 See Ch. LIX.