United States v. Peck Peck v. United States

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBRADLEY
Citation26 L.Ed. 46,102 U.S. 64
PartiesUNITED STATES v. PECK. PECK v. UNITED STATES
Decision Date01 October 1880

102 U.S. 64
102 U.S. 64
26 L.Ed. 46
UNITED STATES
v.
PECK.
PECK
v.
UNITED STATES.
October Term, 1880

APPEALS from the Court of Claims.

Peck, the claimant, entered into a contract with the proper military officer to furnish and deliver a certain quantity of wood and hay to the military station at Tongue River, in the Yellowstone region, on or before a specified day. He furnished the wood, but failed to furnish the hay, which was furnished by other parties at an inereased expense. The accounting officers of the government claimed the right to deduct from the claimant's wood account the increased cost of the hay. Whether this could lawfully be done was the principal question in the cause.

The court, upon an examination of the contract and of the surrounding circumstances of the case, were of opinion that the contracting parties, in stipulating relating to hay, contemplated hay to be cut in the Yellowstone valley, and specially at the Big Meadows near the mouth of Tongue River,—which was, indeed, the only hay which the claimant could have procured within hundreds of miles, and which it was known he relied on. The government officers, fearing that the claimant would not be able to carry out his contract, and it being absolutely necessary that the hay should be had, allowed other parties to cut the hay at Big Meadows, and therewith to supply the Tongue River station. The claimant complained of the double injury: first, of giving the hay which he relied on to other parties; and, secondly, of charging him for the increased expense of getting it. The question was whether the surrounding circumstances could be taken into consideration in the claimant's excuse, although the contract made no mention of the source from which he was to procure the hay to be supplied by him to the government.

Page 65

Mr. Assistant Attorney-General Smith for the United States.

Mr. John B. Sanborn, contra.

Mr. JUSTICE BRADLEY, after stating the case, delivered the opinion of the court.

We think that the facts of the case clearly bring it within the rules allowing the introduction of parol evidence: first, for the purpose of showing, by the surrounding circumstances, the subject-matter of the contract, namely, hay to be cut and gathered in the region where it was to be delivered; secondly, for the purpose of showing the conduct of the agents of the defendants by which the claimant was encouraged and led on to rely on a particular means of fulfilling his...

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110 practice notes
  • Smale & Robinson, Inc. v. United States, Civ. No. 14531.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • July 29, 1954
    ...advantageous but unauthorized lease of premises for quartermaster department was held not binding; cf. United States v. Peck, 1880, 102 U.S. 64, 65, 26 L.Ed. On the other hand, acts or omissions of agents lawfully authorized to bind the United States or direct its course of conduct during a......
  • Fredericks v. C.I.R., No. 96-7748
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • September 11, 1997
    ...apply to the Commissioner as well as the taxpayer in this instance. See, e.g., United States v. Peck, 102 U.S. (12 Otto) 64, 26 L.Ed. 46 (1880) (applying these fundamental principles of equity against the government as a party to a contract with a private * * * * * * Because we rule the Com......
  • Bosler v. Coble
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • April 2, 1906
    ...Coghlan v. Stetson, 19 F. 727; Allen v. Hammond, 11 Pet., 63; Lowber v. Bangs, 2 Wall, 728; Canal Co. v. Hill, 15 Wall, 94; U. S. v. Pack, 102 U.S. 64; Merriam v. U.S. 107 U.S. 437; Lisle v. Hopkins, 12 S. & M., 299; Carey v. Gunnison, 65 Iowa 702, 22 N.W. 934; Robinson v. Stoow, 39 Ill. 56......
  • U.S. v. City of Tacoma, Wash., No. 00-35070.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • June 4, 2003
    ...drawn upon those flexible considerations of equity which are established sources for judicial law-making."); see United States v. Peck, 102 U.S. 64, 66, 26 L.Ed. 46 (1880) (applying fundamental principles of equity against the government as a party to a contract); cf. Omaha Indian Tribe v. ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
109 cases
  • Smale & Robinson, Inc. v. United States, Civ. No. 14531.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • July 29, 1954
    ...advantageous but unauthorized lease of premises for quartermaster department was held not binding; cf. United States v. Peck, 1880, 102 U.S. 64, 65, 26 L.Ed. On the other hand, acts or omissions of agents lawfully authorized to bind the United States or direct its course of conduct during a......
  • Fredericks v. C.I.R., No. 96-7748
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • September 11, 1997
    ...apply to the Commissioner as well as the taxpayer in this instance. See, e.g., United States v. Peck, 102 U.S. (12 Otto) 64, 26 L.Ed. 46 (1880) (applying these fundamental principles of equity against the government as a party to a contract with a private * * * * * * Because we rule the Com......
  • Bosler v. Coble
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • April 2, 1906
    ...Coghlan v. Stetson, 19 F. 727; Allen v. Hammond, 11 Pet., 63; Lowber v. Bangs, 2 Wall, 728; Canal Co. v. Hill, 15 Wall, 94; U. S. v. Pack, 102 U.S. 64; Merriam v. U.S. 107 U.S. 437; Lisle v. Hopkins, 12 S. & M., 299; Carey v. Gunnison, 65 Iowa 702, 22 N.W. 934; Robinson v. Stoow, 39 Ill. 56......
  • U.S. v. City of Tacoma, Wash., No. 00-35070.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • June 4, 2003
    ...drawn upon those flexible considerations of equity which are established sources for judicial law-making."); see United States v. Peck, 102 U.S. 64, 66, 26 L.Ed. 46 (1880) (applying fundamental principles of equity against the government as a party to a contract); cf. Omaha Indian Tribe v. ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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