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.
Some of the cases which followed the early rule as to the validity of an infant's contracts,1 took a contract of suretyship as the clearest example of a contract prejudicial to an infant, and declared it void; and this rule has been repeated in later cases in dicta.2 In most of these cases the result would have been the same if the contract had been held to be merely voidable; as where a mortgage was given by an infant married woman to secure a partnership,3 or an individual debt.4 So a court after saying that a contract of suretyship of a minor was "absolutely void" recognized it as capable of ratification.5 The weight of modern authority is that an infant's contract of suretyship is not void, but voidable.6 Thus, becoming surety in a civil action for the appearance of the defendant,7 or for stay of execution,8 or on a note,9 are all voidable.
10 Deroeher v. Mills, 58 Me. 217; 4 Am. Rep. 286; Danville v. Mfg. Co., 62 N. H. 133; Shurtleff v. Millard, 12 R. I. 272; 34 Am. Rep. 640.
11 Vehue v. Pinkham, 60 Me. 142.
12 Squier v. Hydliff. 9 Mich. 274; Stone v. Dennison. 13 Pick. (Mass.) 1; 23 Am. Dec. 654; Mountain v. Fisher, 22 Wis. 03.
13 Spicer v. Earl, 41 Mich. 191; 32 Am. Rep. 152; 1 N. W. 923.
14 Wilhelm v. Hardman. 13 Md. 140.
15 Locke v. Smith.. 41 N. H. 346.
1 See Sec. 855.
2 Hastings v. Dollarhide, 24 Cal. 195; Chandler v. McKinney, 6 Mich. 217; 74 Am. Dee. 686; Cronise v. Clark, 4 Md. Ch. 403; Wheaton v. East, 5 Yerg. (Tenn.) 41; 26 Am. Dec. 251. So under the early Connecticut statute, Maples v. Wight-man. 4 Conn. 376; 10 Am. Dee. 149.
3 Cronise v. Clark. 4 Md. Ch. 403.
4 Chandler v. McKinney, 6 Mich. 217; 74 Am. Dec. 686.
5 Curtin v. Patton, 11 Serg. & R. (Pa.) 305.