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U.S. Supreme Court

Page's Administrator v. Bank of Alexandria, 20 U.S. 7 Wheat. 35 35 (1822)

Page's Administrator v. Bank of Alexandria

20 U.S. (7 Wheat.) 35


A bill or note is prima facie evidence, under a count for money had and received, against the drawer or endorser.

But the presumption that the contents of the bill or note have been received by the party sued and for the use of the plaintiff may be rebutted by circumstances, and recovery cannot be had in such a case where it is proved that the money was actually received by another party.

But when it appears by other testimony of the plaintiff that the money for which the note wad made was paid not to the endorser, but to the maker, the presumption arising from the mere act of endorsing is destroyed, and the party cannot be admitted to abandon his count on the written contract and apply it to the general money count.

A note payable any number of days after date cannot be given in evidence under a count describing it as one payable on demand.

This was an action of assumpsit brought by the defendants in error, the Bank of Alexandria, against the plaintiffs in error, the administrators of William Byrd Page, deceased. The declaration contained two counts. The first was on a promissory note, which was set forth as made by William Hodgson and payable on demand to the intestate, Page, who endorsed it to the Bank of Alexandria, where it was discounted and the money paid to Hodgson. In support of this count, a note was given in evidence drawn by Hodgson in favor of and endorsed by Page, payable fifty-four days after date.

The other counts were for money lent and advanced by the plaintiffs below to the intestate, Page, and for money had and received by him for their use. Evidence was also given to show, that the Bank had

Page 20 U. S. 36

used due diligence in demanding payment of the maker and in giving notice of nonpayment to the endorser, and that Page, in his lifetime, frequently promised the Bank payment of the note after it became due. Judgment was given for the plaintiffs below on a demurrer to the evidence, and the cause was brought to this Court by writ of error.

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