PARSONS V. JACKSON, 99 U. S. 434 (1878)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Parsons v. Jackson, 99 U.S. 434 (1878)

Parsons v. Jackson

99 U.S. 434


Certain bonds of a railroad company in Louisiana, promising to pay to the bearer either �225 sterling in London or $1,000 in New York or in New Orleans, declared that the president of the company was authorized to fix by his endorsement the place of payment. On their back were printed the following words: "I hereby agree that the within bond and the interest coupons thereto attached shall be payable in ___." The blank for the place of payment was not filled. The bonds were never issued by the company, but were seized and carried off during the late war. They and the past-due coupons thereto attached were purchased in New York for a very small consideration. Held:

1. That in the absence of the required endorsement, the uncertainty of the amount payable is a defect which deprives the bonds of the character of negotiability.

2. That the purchaser was affected with notice of their invalidity, and does not sustain the position of a bona fide holder without notice.

This is an appeal by Edwin Parsons, George Parsons, E. G. Pearl, Charles Parsons, and Scott, Zerega & Co. from the decree of the court below confirming the report of the master disallowing as a charge on the mortgage executed by the Vicksburg, Shreveport, and Texas Railroad Company certain bonds held by the appellants and purporting to have been issued by that company.

The bonds, which are mentioned by the master as forming a part of schedule BB, are ninety-seven in number, and each for $1,000.

The remaining facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

Page 99 U. S. 436

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