1 Wheeler v. Russell, 17 Mass. 258; Law v. Hodgson, 2 Camp. 147; s. c. 11 East, 300; Forster v. Taylor, 5 B. & Ad. 889. See also Springfield Bank v. Merrick, 14 Mass. 322.
2 Hunt v. Knickerbacker, 5 Johns. 327.
3 Springfield Bank v. Merrick, 14 Mass. 322.
4 Perkins v. Cummings, 2 Gray, 258. See Gaylord v. Soragen, 32 Vt. 110 (1859); Converse v. Foster, 32 Vt. 828 (1860); Backman v. Mussey, 31 Vt. 547 (1859); Harrison v. Nichols, ib. 709; Buck v. Albee, 27 Vt. 190 (1855); s. c. 26 Vt. 184 (1854).
5 Parkin v. Dick, 11 East, 502.
6 Fales v. Mayberry, 2 Gall. 560.
7 Mitchell v. Smith, 1 Binn. 110.
8 Russell v. Degrand, 15 Mass. 35. See also Ribbans v. Crickett, 1 Bos. & Pul. 264; Camden v. Anderson, 6 T. R. 723; 1 Phillips on Ins. ch. 3, § 2; 1 Com. on Cont. 39, 46, 1st ed.
9 Calder v. Kurby, 5 Gray, 597.
§ 753. So, also, all contracts made in violation of the statute forbidding persons from exercising any "worldly labor, business, or work of their ordinary (or secular) callings, upon the Lord's day, or any part thereof (works of necessity or charity alone excepted)," come under the general rule, and are void. Nor does it matter as to the validity of a contract made on Sunday, whether it be made privately or publicly,2 or that the delivery of the thing contracted for takes place subsequently, on a week-day.3 Thus, where a horse was sold on Sunday, upon a warranty, the warranty was held to be void.4 And the so made.1 But it is held, that the mere signing an instrument on Sunday will not make it void, if it is not to take effect until delivery.2
1 Deming v. The State, supra.
2 Fennell v. Ridler, 5 B. & C. 406; State v. Sutmr, 33 Me. 539. But see Boynton v. Page, 13 Wend. 425.
3 Foreman v. Ahl, 55 Penn. St. 325 (1867).
4 The statutes of Rhode Island and South Carolina follow the statute of 29 Charles II. ch. 7, § 1, as set forth in the text. In the statute of New Hampshire the words are "of his secular calling to the disturbance of others," and there is also a prohibition to "use any play, game, or recreation on that day or any part thereof." But the statutes of Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania interdict every kind of secular labor on Sunday, whether in one's ordinary calling or not. The courts of these States have, with the exception of Massachusetts, pronounced all contracts made in violation of this statute to be void. Fox v. Abel, 2 Conn. 560; Lyon v. Strong, 6 Vt. 219; Adams v. Gay, 19 Vt. 358; Clough v. Davis, 9 N. H. 500; Varney v. French, 19 N. H. 233; Kepner v. Keefer, 6 Watts,' 231; Berrill v. Smith, 2 Miles, 402; Fox v. Mensch, 3 Watts & Serg. 444. The New York statute refers only to " servile labor" and " exposing goods for sale." But the judicial opinions in Massachusetts seem to indicate a broader doctrine; and although there is no express decision, which contradicts the general doctrine, there are some dicta which point that way. In the case of Geer v. Putnam, 10 Mass. 312, which was assumpsit on a promissory note, the defendant pleaded in bar, that it was made on Sunday; to which the plaintiff replied by a general demurrer. Judgment being rendered for the plaintiff in the Common Pleas, the defendant brought a writ of error in the Supreme Court, where his counsel abandoned the point, and the judgment was affirmed. But the general question was not considered by the court at all, it not being necessary; for the plea was clearly bad, on general demurrer, for not alleging either that the note was made within that part of the Lord's day on which secular business is prohibited, or was not within the exception in respect to works of necessity or charity. The judgsame would be true of a note in the hands of the payee given for the purchase of the horse;1 though it would be otherwise of a note in the hands of a bond fide indorsee.2 If the statute declares the contract void, only in case it be made before sunset on Sunday, it must appear affirmatively that it was ment, therefore, was right, upon the defective state of the pleadings. In Clap v. Smith, 16 Pick. 247, the authority of Geer v. Putifam was recognized, and the opinion of the court was founded thereupon; in this case, it was said, by Wilde, J., that the case of Geer v. Putnam having been so long before the public, and no attempt having been made in the legislature to change the exposition of this law, the statute might be considered as expounded by public opinion, and, therefore, as not prohibiting the making of contracts on that day. This, however, was extrajudicial; for, in the case at bar, the question was, whether an assignment in general terms, referring to a schedule annexed, which was executed on Saturday, but the assignment not being annexed until Sunday, was valid. Here, also, it did not appear on what part of the day the schedule was annexed; but the court held, that if the assignment were void, yet the plaintiff's title was good, as supported by verbal proof of a delivery to him, in trust.
Since the above note was written, the courts of Massachusetts have distinctly declared the doctrine which elsewhere obtains, that all contracts made on Sunday, being in violation of a statute prohibiting "the doing of any labor, business, or work, except only works of charity and necessity," are void. In Robeson v. French, 12 Met. 24, it was decided that an action cannot be maintained for a deceit practised in the exchange of horses on Sunday, and in Pattee v. Greely, 13 Met. 284, it was held, that a bond made on Sunday was void. See also Allen v. Deming, 14 N. H. 133. So, also, as the Revised Statutes of Massachusetts provide that "no person shall travel on the Lord's day, except from necessity or charity," under penalty of ten dollars for every offence, it was held, in Bosworth v. Swansey, 10 Met. 363, that a person travelling on Sunday, neither from necessity nor charity, cannot maintain an action against a town for an injury received by him, by reason of a defect in a highway, which the town is by law obliged to repair. These cases harmonize the Massachusetts decisions with those in the other States of America and with the English decisions.