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THE LAW OF
BILLS, CHEQUES, NOTES,
CONTAINING NEW STAMP ACT.
JAMES WALTER SMITH, ESQ., LL.D.,
AUTHOR OF HANDY BOOKS ON "JOINT-STOCK COMPANIES," "PARTNERSHIP,"
THE object of the following treatise is to supply to the commercial world, and to the general public, what has hitherto been wanting a cheap and compendious code of the law of inland negotiable instruments. This work, being chiefly meant for the guidance of men in business, does not, by its title, pretend to supply the place of the full and elaborate treatises, which are necessary to the practitioner; to whom, however, as well as to the student, this volume, from its brevity, may, perhaps, be useful.
The Law has been succinctly stated, as well in accordance with Statutes and decisions, as with the principles which guide the Courts; but it has not been considered necessary to refer, by name or quotation, either to the one or to the other.
The law as to cheques is stated in chap. xxi, sec. 11, in accordance with the modifications introduced by the Act of the 2d of August, 1858, which was passed to settle doubts arising from the former statutes and a decision thereon.
The division of every chapter into numbered sections, (each of which is frequently subdivided into several paragraphs,) and the reference at the head of the chapters to the subjects treated of in each section, will, it is hoped, serve so to facilitate perusal as to render an Index unnecessary. Nevertheless an Index has been added.
It is believed that the APPENDIX on Forms and Stamp Duties (though the humblest portion of the work) will be of considerable service.
For those who are entirely unacquainted with negotiable instruments, an explanation of many of the technical terms used with reference to them is given in chap. i, sec. 1.
6, CROWN OFFICE Row.
J. W. S.
To facilitate reference, each chapter has a table of its contents
XIX. Of the Forms of Bills and Notes
XX.-Of Actions on Bills and Notes
XXII.-Of an IO U
OF BILLS AND NOTES, AND THE PARTIES TO THEM.
1. Of a Bill of Exchange, and the names and relations of the parties thereto.
2. Of a Promissory Note, and the names and relations of the parties thereto.
3. How Bills and Notes are made payable, and therein of indorsement.
4. The Acceptor primarily, and other parties secondarily, liable.
5. The same of the maker of a Note.
1. A bill of exchange is an unconditional written order addressed by A to B, directing him to pay a sum of money, named therein, to C.
In this case, A (who is called the drawer of the bill) is said to draw upon B, who is, therefore, called the drawee; and C, the person to whom the money is to be paid, is on that account called the payee.
The drawer may be himself the payee, and he may direct B to pay him simply, (as by the words "pay to me,") or to pay to him or his order, (as by the words 'pay to me or my order.") [See Appendix--Forms.]
The drawer having written this order, it should be presented to the drawee to receive his assent. If the drawee assents to it, he (in this country) testifies such assent by writing his name across it (see the forms above referred to), which is called accepting the bill or draft, after which the drawee is called the acceptor. If he refuses to accept, he is said to dishonor the draft or bill by non-acceptance. When a person, in order to transfer his interest in a bill, writes his name on the back, he is called an indorser, and the person to whom his rights are so transferred is called an indorsee. Bills are often indorsed when the interest in them would pass without such indorsement, but in many cases it is necessary to indorse a bill in order to pass an interest therein; as if the bill be pay