Page images

A bequest to a person witnessing a will is void, though all the rest of the will is valid. Coercion and undue influence, when exercised upon a testator, will invalidate ihe will.

As to the form of attestation of wills, see the directions un. der head of wills in the respective states, and page 163.

No. 111.-Short Form of Will. In the Name of God, Amen. I, John Doe, of the toun of Middletown, in the county of Middlesex, and state of Connecticut, being of sound mind and memory, and considering the uncertainty of this frail and transitory life, do therefore make, ordain, publish, and declare, this to be my last Will and Testament: That is to say, First, after all my lawful debts are paid and discharged, the residue of

my estate, real and personal, I give, bequeath, and dispose of, as follows, io wit: [To my beloved wife, the land and appurtenances situated thereon, known and described as the Wells farm, lying in the town of Middletown, in the county of Middlesex, and state of Connecticut, together with ten shares of the capital stock of the Middletown Bank, now possessed by me, during the term of her natural life; and after her death, to be divided equally among my heirs : To my son George the farm situated and lying on the highway between Middletown and Hartford, known as the Wilcox farm; also all the right and title I now have or may have in the axe-factory situated on what is commonly known as the Millpond, together with the ma chinery connected therewith : To the American Bible Society, instituted in the city of New York in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixteen, the sum of five hundred dollars : I give, bequeath, and devise, all the rest, residue, and remainder of my real and personal estate, to my

child now living, or to my children, or their heirs, who may be living at the time of my decease, to be divided equally between them, share and share alike.]

Likewise I make, constitute, and appoint, my said son GEORGE, and my brothers WILLIAM and James Doe, to be executors of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me made.

Jn witness whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my

name, and affixed my seal, the third day of April, in the

year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty.

JOHN DOE (seal). The above-written instrument was subscribed by the said John Doe in our presence, and acknowledged by him to each of us : and he at the same time published and declared the above instrument so subscribed to be his last will and testament; and we, at the testator's request, and in his presence, have signed our names as witnesses hereto, and written opposite our names our respective places of residence.

RICHARD ROE, Middletown, Middlesex Co., Ct.
JOHN SMITH, Middletown, Middlesex Co., Ct.
JOHN JONES, Portland, Middlesex Co., Ct.

No. 112.-Codicil to a Will. Whereas I, John Doe, of the town of Middletown, in the county of Middlesex, and state of Connecticut, have made my last will and testament in writing, bearing date the third day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty, in and by which I have given and bequeathed to the American Bible Society, instituted in the city of New York in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixteen, the sum of five hundred dollars :

Now, therefore, I do, by this my writing, which I hereby declare to be a codicil to my said last will and testament, and to be taken as a part thereof, order and declare that my will is, that only the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars shall be paid to the said American Bible Society, as the full amount bequeathed to the said society, and that the residue of the said legacy be given to the person who shall be acting as treasurer at the time of my decease, of the Young Men's Library, located in the town of Middletown, to be expended by the society in the purchase of books for the said library : and lastly, it is my desire that this codicil be annexed to and made a part of my last will and testament as aforesaid, to all intents and purposes.

In witness whereof, &c. [as in No. 111]:

No. 113.-Form of Will, in which the Testator

devises all his Property to Trustees for certain Purposes. The last Will of Me, John Smith, of the town of Columbia, in the district of Richland, and state of South Carolina, being of sound mind at the time of making and publishing this my last will and testament, I give and devise all my estate, real and personal, whereof I may die seized or possessed, to John Doe, of the said town of Columbia, and Richard Roe, of the same place, gentlemen : To have and to hold the same to themselves, their heirs and assigns for ever, upon the uses and trusts following, namely: In trust to pay all my debts and funeral expenses : [secondly, to pay to my wife Jane, upon her sole and separate receipts, the interest, income, and revenue, of all my said estate, during the term of her natural life : and thirdly, upon the decease of my said wife, to convert all my said estate into money, if such a course shall be thought best by my said trustees, and pay to my daughter Jane the one third part thereof, it seeming to me best to give her so large a share on account of her bodily infirmities and inability to provide for herself, and the remaining two thirds equally

to divide between my four sons PETER, John, Henry, and Thomas. If either of my children shall, before such division, have died, leaving lawful issue, such issue to receive the parent's share; but if there be no issue, then such share to fall into the general fund, to be divided among the survivors in the manner before directed.

And I hereby give to my said trustees full power thority to sell any or all of my real estate at private or public sale, and invest the proceeds, or to lease the same as they may deem best for the interest of my family.

And if my said daughter Jane shall not have attained the age of twenty-one upon the decease of her mother, I hereby nominate, constitute, and appoint my said trustees, guardians of the person and estate of my said daughter Jane during the remainder of her minority, commending her to their fatherly care and protection.

And I hereby nominate, constitute, and appoint my said trustees, John Doe and RICHARD ROE, executors of this my last will and testament. In witness whereof, &c. [as in No. 111).


Persons of both sexes are minors until they are twenty one years


age. In Vermont and Ohio, females are of age at eighteen.

Minors can not do any act to the injury of their property, which they may not repudiate or rescind when they arrive at

full age.

Every contract entered into by a minor which is clearly to his prejudice, is absolutely void ; and a contract which is clearly to his benefit, is good; and one that is uncertain whether prejudicial or advantageous, is voidable only at the election of the minor.

If the contract be voidable only, it is binding on the adult party thereto until it is rescinded by the minor.

A contract for necessaries is binding on an infant, and he may be sued on such a contract, but the articles must be shown to have been necessary for him under the circumstances and condition in which he was placed when they were furnished. The real circumstances of the minor must bo looked at, not his ostensible condition. Necessaries for a minor's wife and children are necessaries for him.

Infancy or non-age can not be taken advantage of to protect a fraudulent act. An infant has been held liable for deceit in obtaining a loan of money on the fraudulent affirmation that he was of age.

A father is not bound by the contract of his son, ever for articles that are necessary and suitable for the minor, unless an actual authority be proved, or the circumstances be sufficient to imply an authority. What circumstances will be sufficient to infer an authority must always be a question to be determined in each particular case.

The father is liable for necessaries furnished his minor children, but they must be strictly necessaries, such as the father is in duty bound to furnish, and has not provided.


A common carrier is one who undertakes to carry goods or packages of any kind, by land or water, for hire, stated or implied, as an eniployment: owners of stage-wagons, stagecoaches, and railroad-cars, who carry goods for hire; truckmen, teamsters, porters-owners and masters of vessels in the carrying-trade-canal-boatmen, barge-owners, &c., are common carriers.

Owners of steamboats who tow vessels, and private individuals who may agree to convey a man's goods on a special occasion, are not liable as common carriers.

Owners of stages, hackney-coaches, and other vehicles for carrying passengers with their baggage, are liable as common carriers for baggage or luggage intrusted to their care, but not for goods, unless under a special agreement.

Common carriers are liable for the entire value of the goods, if not delivered to the proper person ; except a pirate or other public enemy destroys or captures them, or the act of God (against which foresight can not provide nor human power withstand) destroys them. They are not liable for inevitable losses caused by lightnings, storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, the ordinary decay of perishable goods, spontaneous combustion, leakage of casks, or the carelessness of shippers. Against all other perils the carrier is held as an insurer. If a mob seize the goods, the carrier is held. Any passenger-line in the habit of carrying goods for hire, is under the carrier laws. If a stage-driver, or person going along in the conveyance, takes money or goods to carry for his own profit, he alone is responsible : it is the same if he went in a railroad-car, steamboat, &c., which takes passengers only.

To make the owner or master of a vessel liable as a common carrier, she must be open to transport anybody's goods to the port agreed on-no matter whether there be one shipper or many, or whether she be in

the home, foreign, coasting, river, or ocean service; but a ship that carries only for one or more particular individuals, comes not under the carrier laws, nor does an owner who lets the tonnage to particular shippers. If the owners charter a vessel to certain per

« PreviousContinue »