3 Thompson v. Sloan, 23 Wend. 71; Irvine v. Lowry, 14 Pet. 293; Redfield & Bigelow's L. C. 1-7. But see Swetland v. Creigh, 15 Ohio, 118; White v. Richmond, 16 Ohio, 5; Butler v. Paine, 8 Minn. 324.
4 Thompson v. Sloan, supra.
But a written promise to pay a sum "in good current money of the State" has been held to be payable in gold or silver.1 In Vermont a contract in the form of a promissory note, but payable in specific articles (that is, in things not money), is treated as a true promissory note for purposes of pleading, as importing a consideration; but such instruments are not, even in that State, negotiable.2
§1166. A note or bill must also be payable without con-tingency; and it has accordingly been often held that if the promise or request be to pay money out of a particular fund, as out of the proceeds of ore to be raised from a mine,3 or "upon the happening of an event not certain to transpire, even though it should in fact transpire, is not a good note or bill.4 It is not necessary, however, that the time of payment should be definitely stated, provided that it is certain to come to pass, as in the case of a note payable at the maker's death,5 or that it is at the election of the payee or holder when to call for payment. Therefore notes or bills may be payable on demand, or on or before a certain time;6 and when no time of payment is named, the presumption is that the paper is payable on demand.7
§ 1167. It is necessary, farther, that the sum payable should be certain and definite,8 and that there should be certainty in respect of the parties to the paper; as the maker of a note,9 the payee of a note or bill not payable to bearer or to a fictitious person,1 and the drawer and drawee of a bill.2 But parol evidence is held admissible to explain initials or figures used for names.3 In a word, if there be any uncertainty in the terms of the instrument, or if payment be made to depend upon any contingency, the contract will not be that of a bill of exchange or a promissory note.4
1 Graham v. Adams, 5 Ark. 261; Cockrill v. Kirkpatrick, 9 Mo. 688. And a promise to pay in "dollars" means, primÔ facie, in the lawful money of the United States. Wilcoxen v. Reynolds, 46 Ala. 529 (1871); Taunton v. Mclnnish, Ib. 619. See Thorington v. Smith, 8 Wall. 1 (1868).
2 Denison v. Tyson, 17 Vt. 549; Collins v. Lincoln, 11 Vt. 268. 3 Worden v. Dodge, 4 Denio, 159.
4 Kelley v. Hemmingway, 13 I11. 604. 5 Conn v. Thornton, 46 Ala. 587 (1871).
6 See Stevens v. Blunt, 7 Mass. 240; Goodloe v. Taylor, 3 Hawks, 458; McCarty v. Howell, 24 I11. 341; Redfield & Bigelow's L. C. 13.
7 Michigan Ins. Co. v. Leavenworth, 30 Vt. 20.
8 Ayrey v. Fearnsides, 4 Mees. & W. 168; Redfield & Bigelow's L. C. 14.
9 Ferris v. Bond. 4 B. & Aid. 679; Clason v. Bailey, 14 Johns. 484.
§ 1168. Bills of exchange and promissory notes not payable on demand are entitled, in America and in England, to three days of grace after the day on which the security would otherwise be due. Thus, if a bill or note were made payable on the first of January, it would not in fact, become payable until the fourth day of that month. On that day it would be said to have reached its maturity. If, however, the third day of grace should fall upon Sunday or a holiday, the paper would mature on the second day of grace; and if both the second and third days of grace should come upon non-secular days, the instrument would be due and payable on the first day of grace, which, in the example above given, would be the second day of January.5
§ 1169. Acceptance is the act by which the drawee of a bill of exchange signifies his compliance with the order or request of the drawer; and it imports a promise to pay the bill according to its tenor.6 It is generally signified by writing other parties, to the paper. Such an acceptor does not, however, assume the same position as does the drawee by acceptance. The situation of the latter, when the acceptance is unconditional, is like that of the maker of a note, binding him absolutely to pay the bill. But an acceptor supra protest is, like an indorser, only conditionally liable; his liability depends upon a further demand of the drawer at the maturity of the paper, and, in case of dishonor, notice thereof.1
1 Storm v. Stirling, 3 El. & B. 832. See Hendricks v. Thornton, 45 Ala. 299 (1871).
2 Peto v. Reynolds, 9 Ex. 410; Davis v. Clarke, 6 Q. B. 16.
3 Palmer v. Stephens, 1 Denio, 471; Merchants' Bank v. Spicer, 6 Wend. 443.
4 As to the effect of additional directions or promises in a bill or note, Bee Cook v. Satterlee, 6 Cowen, 108; Austin v. Burns, 16 Barb. 643; Overton v. Tyler, 3 Penn. St. 346; Arnold v. Rock River, etc, R. Co., 5 Duer, 207; Baxter v. Stewart, 4 Sneed, 213; Smith v. Kendall, 9 Mich. 241; Leggett v. Jones, 10 Wis. 34; Beardslee v. Horton, 3 Mich. 560; Smith v. Nightingale, 2 Stark. 375; Barlow v. Broadhurst, 4 Moore, 471; Gaines v. Shelton, 47 Ala. 413 (1872).
5 See Redfield & Bigelow's L. C. 307-309. As to the effect of usage respecting the number of days of grace, see Renner v. Bank of Columbia, 9 Wheat. 581; Cookendorfer v. Preston, 4 How. 317; Redfield & Bigelow's L. C. 306-309.
6 It is necessary only in the case of bills payable after sight. In such cases the time of payment can only be determined by the presentment for the word "accepted" across the face of the bill, accompanied by the party's name; but either, without the other, is sufficient, at least in the absence of statutory provision.1 And the same is true of a verbal acceptance,2 or of acts clearly indicating an acceptance.3 It is further held that a letter written within a reasonable time before or after the date of a bill of exchange, describing it in terms not to be mistaken, and promising to accept it, is, if shown to the person who afterwards takes the bill on the credit of the letter, a virtual acceptance, binding the person who makes the promise.4 Such promise, however, binds the party as acceptor in favor only of one to whom it has been communicated, and who has taken the bill in reliance upon it.6 A parol promise to accept au existing bill also binds the party as virtual acceptor in favor of another taking it in reliance thereon;6 but whether this would be true of a non-existing bill is doubtful." Without acceptance, the drawee is under no liability to the holder of the bill,8 though he may be liable to the drawer for an improper refusal to honor his paper.