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U.S. Supreme Court

Wheeler v. New Brunswick & Canada R. Co., 115 U.S. 29 (1885)

Wheeler v. New Brunswick & Canada Railroad Company

Argued April 16, 1885

Decided May 4, 1885

115 U.S. 29


A, by letter dated January 31, acknowledged to B, Vice-President of C, a corporation, that he had bought of him as representative of C one thousand tons of old rails for delivery before August 1, and also two to six hundred tons for delivery between August 1 and October 1. B, by letter of same date, signed in the corporate name, B, Vice-President, accepted the order, and agreed to deliver the rails. On the lith February B wrote A, enclosing a corporate ratification of the sale which stated the ton as "per ton of 2,000 pounds." A replied February 28 that he understood at the time of the sale, end still understood the sale to be "absolute, final, unconditional," needing no ratification, and that the number of pounds in each ton under the contract "was not 2,000 but 2,240." C made no answer before June 14, when it notified A that it had 1,000 tons old rails ready for delivery, and that without waiving its rights under the contract, to avoid dispute it made the tender, "at gross weight of 2,240 lbs. to the ton." A replied that he did "not recognize the existence of any such contract of sale," and declined to designate a place for delivery. The court below found that B had authority to make the contract, and that each party at the time of its making understood the word "ton" to mean a ton of 2,240 pounds. On these facts,


(1) That there was a legal contract between the parties.

(2) That C was not estopped from setting it up against A.

(3) That the contract was not repudiated and terminated by C in such manner as to discharge A from further obligation.

(4) That A was bound to accent from C, between August 1 and October 1, any amount of rails between the limits of two hundred tons and six hundred tons.

This was an action at law brought by defendant in error, as plaintiff below, to recover damages of plaintiffs in error, for refusal to receive a quantity of old rails under a contract. The facts which make the case are stated in the opinion of the Court.

Page 115 U. S. 30

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