U.S. Supreme Court
Brandon v. Loftus, 45 U.S. 4 How. 127 127 (1846)
Brandon v. Loftus
45 U.S. (4 How.) 127
This was an action on the case, brought by Davis against Garland, the former Clerk of the House of Representatives. The declaration set out by way of inducement a contract between Davis and Franklin, the predecessor to office of Garland, and then charged upon Garland a wrongful and injurious neglect and refusal to furnish a copy of certain laws to Davis, as had been agreed by Franklin.
It was an action brought by the endorsee against the endorser of a promissory note, under the following circumstances.
On 12 December, 1838, the following note was executed:
"Fort Adams, December 12, 1838"
"On the first day of January, A.D. 1841, we jointly and severally promise to pay Gerard C. Brandon, or order, the sum of two thousand six hundred and sixty-seven dollars, value received, without plea or offset, payable and negotiable at the Planters' Bank of the State of Mississippi, at Natchez."
"[Signed] WILLIAM C. COLLINS"
"JOHN C. COLLINS"
"Gerard C. Brandon"
"Loftus & Whitehead "
The note was passed by the endorser, Brandon, to Loftus and Whitehead, who were citizens of Virginia. It fell due upon 4 January, 1841, and was not paid. In February, 1841, Loftus and Whitehead brought a suit against Brandon, and the cause came on for trial in June, 1842. Upon the trial, the plaintiffs offered in evidence the following paper, which was objected to by the defendant; but being admitted, the defendant took a bill of exceptions, which is the only one in the record, viz.:
The plaintiff then, without any further proof, offered to read to the jury, as evidence of the protest of said note, and to show notice, a certificate of James K. Cook, which was contained in a loose, detached piece of paper, partly written and partly printed, which certificate is in the words and figures following, to-wit:
"STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, Adams county: "
"I, James K. Cook, justice of the peace and ex officio notary public in and for said county, residing in the City of Natchez, qualified according to law, do hereby certify that, on the 4th day of January, in the year 1841, I went to the Planters' Bank of the State of Mississippi, in Natchez, and then and there presented for payment the original note, of which the following is a true copy, together with the endorsements on the back of said note: "
"Fort Adams, December 12, 1838"
" On the first day of January, A.D. 1841, we jointly and severally promise to pay Gerard C. Brandon, or order, the sum of two thousand six hundred and sixty-seven dollars, value received, without plea or offset, payable and negotiable at the Planters' Bank of the State of Mississippi, at Natchez."
"WILLIAM C. COLLINS"
"JOHN C. COLLINS"
" [Endorsed] 'Gerard C. Brandon,' 'Loftus & Whitehead'"
"And I then and there demanded payment of the said note according to its tenor and effect, and was answered by the teller of the said bank that the said note would not be paid, and that no funds were deposited in said bank for that purpose, and the said note was not paid by any person when payment thereof was demanded as aforesaid. Whereupon I protested said note for nonpayment, and notified the parties thereto of said demand, nonpayment, and protest, and that the holder of said note looked to them for payment thereof, which notices were given at the times, and addressed to and directed in the manner following, to-wit -- To Gerard C. Brandon, at Fort Adams, Miss. To Gerard C. Brandon, at Pinckneyville, Miss. To Gerard C. Brandon, at Woodville, Miss. To W. C. and J. C. Collins, at Concordia, Louisiana."
"All of which notices, directed to the parties respectively as aforesaid, were placed by me in the post office at Natchez in time to go
out by the first mail of the day next succeeding that on which said note was protested as aforesaid."
"Which facts constitute, as herein set forth, a full and true record of all that was done by me in the premises."
"In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my official seal this 27 January, 1841."
"JAMES K. COOK, J. P. Notary"
"STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, Adams County: "
"Personally appeared before the undersigned justice of the peace for the county aforesaid, James K. Cook, a justice of the peace and ex officio notary public, whose name is signed to the foregoing, and made oath that the same is a true statement, in substance and in fact, of his official acts and doings altogether in relation to the premises."
"JAMES K. COOK"
"Sworn to and subscribed before me this 27 January, 1841."
"M. ROBERTAILLE, J.P."
"To the admission of which as evidence to the jury the counsel of defendant objected, but the court overruled the objection, and permitted said certificate to go to the jury as evidence of its contents, to which decision of the court, in then and there admitting said certificate, and permitting it to be read in evidence, the counsel for the defendant excepted, and reserved his exception. He therefore prays that this his bill of exceptions may be signed, sealed, and made a part of the record; which is done accordingly."
"J. McKINLEY [SEAL]"
To review this decision of the circuit court, a writ of error brought the case up to this Court.