Page:Harvard Law Review Volume 1.djvu/37

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case in this country, so often referred to, Shankland v. Corporation of Washington,[1] was a case where the owner of a ticket issued a sub-ticket, entitling the holder to half of the prize. The owner of the whole ticket collected the money and disappeared with it, and the owner of the half-ticket sued the maker of the ticket. It was held that he could not recover. In the course of his opinion Story, J., said, “If this had been the case of a bank-note payable to bearer, there is no pretence to say that a person claiming a moiety by contract with the bearer, could have maintained a suit against the bank upon such contract for the moiety; when the note itself had been surrendered up to the bank by the bearer. In what respect does such a case differ from the present? Suppose, after this sub-ticket was issued, Gillespie had sold and delivered the whole ticket to another person, having no notice; would not the latter have been entitled to recover the whole prize from the corporation? If so, would the corporation still be liable to pay the half prize to the plaintiff?”

That was a case where equities were discharged by purchase for value. But as a ticket is a contract with the bearer, if it is negotiable, purchase for value must be a source of title, giving to the bearer a title which the previous owner may not have had. The point came up in a case in Pennsylvania, and it was distinctly so held. It was a case where the owner of a lottery ticket who had lost it sued for the prize drawn against the number of the ticket. Gibson, J., said in that case,[2] “The fruits of the ticket were payable to the bearer; and the defendants could not resist payment of it in the hands of a bona-fide holder for valuable consideration, even though it should originally have been stolen.”

The authorities with regard to railroad tickets are more conflicting. Sleeper v. R. R. Co., cited just above, goes a long way toward holding a ticket negotiable. On the other hand, a late Ohio case has held a ticket not to be negotiable.[3] This case, however, was distinctly decided on the ground that a ticket is not a contract, but a voucher, and can be regarded as authority only where that theory is held. It is not perhaps too much to say that wherever the true theory, that a ticket is a formal contract, is recognized, the ticket will be held negotiable.


  1. 5 Pet. 390.
  2. Snyder v. Wolfley, 8 S. & R. 328, 33l; and see McLaughlin v. Waite, 5 Wend. 404.
  3. Frank v. Ingalls, 41 Oh. St. 560.