1 See Peek v. North Staffordshire Railway Co., 10 H. L. C. 473, 493; 4 Best & Smith (Am. ed.), 1008, Blackburn, J.; Allday v. Great Western Railway Co., 11 Jur. (n. s.) 12; McManus v. Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Co., 4 H. & N. 327. This important statute is too long for insertion here; but the reader will find the substance of it, with the decisions thereon, in the 8th edition of Story on Bailments, § 573 a.
2 See Great Western Railway v. Goodman, 12 C. B. 313; 11 Eng. Law & Eq. 546; Camden & Amboy Railroad v. Baldauf, 16 Penn. St. 67; Brown v. Eastern Railroad Co., 11 Cush. 97; Moses v. Boston & Maine Railroad, 4 Foster, 71; Jones v. Voorhees, 10 Ohio, 145; Davidson v. Graham, 2 Ohio St. 131; Kimball v. Rutland & Burlington Railroad Co., 26 Vt. 247.
3 Davis v. Willan, 2 Stark. 279; Gibbon v. Paynton, 4 Burr. 2302; Evans p. Soule, 2 M. & S. 1; Roskell v. Waterhouse, 2 Stark. 462; 1 Bell, Comm. 475; Kerr v. Willan, 2 Stark. 53; Clayton v. Hunt, 3 Camp. 27; Butler v. Heane, 2 Camp. 415; Story on Bailm. § 558; Brooke v. Pickwick, 4 Bing. 218; Jenkins v. Blizard, 1 Stark. 418. See, also, An-gell on Carriers, § 248, 249.
4 Davis v. Willan, 2 Stark. 279. 5 Kerr v. Willan, 2 Stark. 53.
6 Butler v. Heane, 2 Camp. 415.
§ 957. If, however, in any case, artifices or fraud be practised, for the purpose of concealing the nature or value of the article to be sent, or deceiving the carrier, so that his diligence may be diminished, at the same time that his risk is increased, the contract will be void.5 Thus, where the owner, in delivering a box of goods and money to the common carrier, told him that it contained a book and some tobacco, the jury were directed to consider the cheat in damages.1 So, also, where notes to the amount of £100 were packed into an old mail bag and stuffed about with hay, the concealment was held to be a fraud, discharging the carrier in case of loss.2 And whenever the owner represents the contents of a package to be of a particular value, he can only recover a sum equal to that representation, if the package be lost.3 But the owner is not bound to disclose the value of his goods; and if he be silent, and no artifice or fraud be practised, the carrier will be responsible,4 even though there be a notice limiting his responsibility.5 The rule in this respect is thus stated by Baron Parke: "I take it now to be perfectly well understood, according to the majority of opinions upon the subject, that if any thing is delivered to a person to be carried, it is the duty of the person receiving it to ask such questions about it as may be necessary; if he ask no questions, and there be no fraud to give the case a false complexion, on the delivery of the parcel, he is bound to carry the parcel as it is. It is the duty of the person who receives it to ask questions; if they are answered improperly, so as to deceive him, then there is no contract between the parties; it is a fraud which vitiates the contract altogether." 6 But in a late case in England it is declared that a carrier has no right to insist upon knowing, in every case and under all circumstances, the contents of a package offered to him for carriage; and if he refuse to carry it merely because the consignor refuses to disclose its contents, he is liable.1 At all events, the carrier will be responsible for
1 Munn v. Baker, 2 Stark. 255; Cobden v. Bolton, 2 Camp. 108.
2 Beckman v. Shouse, 5 Rawle, 179.
3 Brooke v. Pickwick, 4 Bing. 218. This rule was also recognized in Hollister v. Nowlen, 19 Wend. 234.
4 Williams v. Great Western Railway, 10 Exch. 15; 28 Eng. Law & Eq. 440.
5 Batson v. Donovan, 4 B. & Ald. 21; Gibbon v. Paynton, 4 Burr. 2298; 2 Kent, Comm. 603; Story on Bailm. § 565; Titchburne v. White, 1 Str. 145. See, also, as to the effect of fraud or concealment in the assignor, Dunlap v. International Steamboat Co., 98 Mass. 378; Great Northern Railway Co. v. Shepherd, 8 Exch. 30; Cahill v. London & North Western Railway Co., 10 C. B. (n. s.) 154; 13 Id. 818; Smith v. Boston & Maine Railroad, 44 N. H. 325; Rumsey v. North Eastern Railway Co. 14 C. B. (n. s.) 641; Belfast & Ballymena Railway Co. v. Keys, 9 H. L. C. 556.
1 Kenrig v. Eggleston, Aleyn, 93. See, also, the remarks of Mr. Justice Story on this case in Story on Bailments, § 565 a, and of Lord Mansfield in Gihhon v. Paynton, 4 Burr. 2298.
2 Gibbon v. Paynton, 4 Burr. 2298. See, also, Batson v. Donovan, 4 Barn. & Ald. 21; Pardee v. Drew, 25 Wend. 459; Hawkins v. Hoffman, 6 Hill, 586; Orange Co. Bank v. Brown, 9 Wend. 85.
3 Tyly v. Morrice, Carth. 485; Riley v. Horne, 5 Bing. 217; Batson v. Donovan, 4 B. & Ald. 21; 2 Kent, Comm. 603; Story on Bailm. § 565; Laidlaw v. Organ, 2 Wheat. 178. See Chicago & Aurora Railroad Co. v. Thompson, 19 I11. 578.
4 Morse v. Slue, 1. Vent. 238; Tyly v. Morrice, Carth. 485; Jones on Bailm. 105; 2 Kent, Comm. 603, 604; Story on Bailm. § 567, and cases cited.
5 Brooke v. Pickwick, 4 Bing. 218; Garnett v. Willan, 5 Barn. & Ald. 53; Riley v. Home, 5 Bing. 217; Story on Bailm. § 567, and cases cited.
6 Walker v. Jackson, 10 Mees. & Welsh. 168. See, also, Orange Co. Bank v. Brown, 9 Wend. 85; Sewall v. Allen, 6 Wend. 335, 349.
1 Crouch v. London & North Western Railway Co., 23 Law J. (n. s.) C. P. 73; 25 Eng. Law & Eq. 287; 14 C B. 255. In this case Maule, J., said: "Then, with respect to the fifty-seventh plea, it states that the parcel was a packed parcel; that the defendants asked the plaintiff what the contents of the parcel were; that the plaintiff then refused to tell them, and that, because he did not know and could not tell them the contents of the parcel, they refused to take the parcel, as they lawfully might do. Now to consider the goodness of that plea, issue being joined on it, I conceive that the allegation that 'because they did not know the contents of the parcel' is an allegation both that they did not know the contents, and that they refused to carry for that cause. They say, 'we refused to carry the parcel because we did not know the contents, and let that be taken as the cause of our refusal.' That is, as I understand it, the plea, and it is favorable to the defendants so far. But in order to sustain this plea, as the plaintiff's counsel has observed, we must hold that in all cases whatever the carrier has a right to ask the person who brings the parcel what the contents are, and, if he is not informed, that he may refuse to carry it. There is no authority to support that. There are dicta of Best, C. J., but I conceive that there is nothing amounting to an authority on the subject; and it is a proposition which is untenable in its generality or rather universality, seeing the extent to which it would necessarily lead if this plea were a good one. In order to make it a good plea, it ought to have alleged some ground why the defendants made that inquiry. If they do not suggest any, it must be considered that there is no special ground.