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.
While a contract is still executory on both sides, the renunciation of it by one of the parties thereto before the time for performance has arrived has, or may have, important legal consequences. What these consequences are is a question upon some branches of which the courts are practically unanimous; while upon other branches they are by no means as unanimous as certain statements of the law would lead us to believe. Renunciation by one party excuses the other from any further offer to perform.1 Thus a contract to sell2 or to make and deliver3 certain goods is so far discharged by renunciation by the vendee that it is not necessary for the vendor to tender the thing sold or to make and tender the thing to be made. Thus if A has agreed to make steel rails for B to be drilled as B directs, B's refusal to give directions, and subsequent refusal to take any rails excuses A from making, drilling and tendering them.4 So under a contract to make wagons5 or to print books0 refusal to accept excuses tender. So renunciation of an insurance policy excuses subsequent tender of assessments due thereunder.7 So renunciation of a contract to sell land excuses tender of the purchase price and demand for the deed.8 So renunciation by a creditor of a contract to accept a three months' note if indorsed by a responsible indorser excuses the debtor from his obligation of preparing and tendering such note.9
9 Wando Phosphate Co. v. Gibbon, 28 S. C. 418; 13 Am. St. Rep. 690; 5 S. E. 837.
10 Thompson Mfg. Co. v. Gunder-son, 106 Wis. 449; 49 L. R. A. 859; 82 N. W. 299.
11 Milwaukee Boiler Co. v. Duncan, 87 Wis. 120; 41 Am. St. Rep. 33; 58 N. W. 232.
12 McGregor v. Ross, 96 Mich. 103; 55 N. W. 658.
1 Lovell v. Hammond Co., 66 Conn. 500; 34 Atl. 511; Watson v. White, 152 111. 364; 38 N. E. 902; Heinlein v. Ins. Co., 101 Mich. 250;
45 Am. St. Rep. 409; 25 L. R. A. 627; 59 N. W. 615; Stahelin v. Sowle, 87 Mich. 124; 49 N. W. 529; Lowe v. Harwood, 139 Mass. 133; 29 N. E. 538; Hampton v. Specken-agle, 9 S. & R. (Pa.) 212; 11 Am. Dec. 704; Barnes v. Morrison, 97 Va. 372; 34 S. E. 93. To the same effect see the obiter in Stanford v. Magill, 6 N. D. 536; 38 L. R. A. 760; 72 N. W. 938.
2 Roehm v. Horst, 178 U. S. 1; affirming, 91 Fed. 345; 33 C. C. A. 550; Walsh v. Myers, 92 Wis. 397; 66 N. W. 250.