Daughtry v. Boothe, 49 N.C. 87, 4 Jones 87 (1856)

Dec. 1856 · Supreme Court of North Carolina
49 N.C. 87, 4 Jones 87


Where the terms of the hiring of a slave áre proclaimed previously to the public exposure of the slave for hire, one of which was, that he was not to be removed beyond the limits of the County, a bond subsequently given for the price and containing some other stipulations as to the treatment and management of the slave, does not supersede the parol contract as to removing the slave.

ActioN on the case, tried before Bailey, J., at the Pali Term, 1856, of Gates Superior Court.

The action was brought for a breach of a contract of hiring. One Parker, the auctioneer, testified that he offered the negro Jack, among others, for public hiring, on the 25th of December, 1852; that it was publicly announced by him as one of the terms of the hiring, that the slaves were not to be taken from the County of Gates; he then immediately proceeded to the hiring, and the slave Jack was bid off by the defendant. It was further proved on behalf of the plaintiffs, that in the month of May, 1853, the said slave was removed by the defendant to the County of Bertie, where he remained the balance of the year in a shingle swamp. He was restored to the defendants in the beginning of the year, 1854, in bad health, and died in January of that year.

The defendant objected to the introduction of parol evidence as to the terms of hiring, and produced a bond given by him for the hire of Jack, which, he insisted, contained all the terms of hiring, and, therefore, could not be added to, or explained by parol, and which is as follows: “ $115a00. On or before the 25th day of December, 1853, we promise to pay *88to H. M. and. ¥m. M. Daughtry, executors of W. G. Daugh-try, dec’d., or order, one hundred and fifteen dollars, for the hire of man Tony, boy Jack, and Charles; the said negroes are to be kept and returned on the 25th day of December, 1853; to have a good blanket each; and in event the said executors shall think proper to take the said negroes before the 25th of December, 1853, then, and in that case, they are to pay only in proportion to the time.” Signed and sealed by defendant and another.

The objection was overruled, and the evidence admitted by the Court; for which the defendant excepted.

Verdict for the plaintiffs. Judgment and appeal.

Moore, for plaintiffs.

Heath, for defendant.

Battle, J.

The cases of Twidy v. Saunderson, 9 Ire. Rep. 5, and Manning v. Jones, Bus. Rep. 368, recently decided in this Court, are similar in principle to the present, and must govern it. The contract of hiring was by parol, one term of which was that the boy Jack was not to be carried out of the County of Gates. The bond given afterwards by the defendant and his surety was not intended by the parties to reduce into writing all the terms of their contract, but mainly to secure to, the owners of the slave the price which the hirer had agreed to pay, and to provide that if the owners, who were executors, should take the slave away before the end of the year, then the sum to be paid was to be in proportion to the time the hirer should have kept him. The giving the bond was subsequent to the contract, and was a part execution of of it. This makes the case different from that of Pender v. Fobes, 1 Dev. and Bat. 250, where, upon the sale of a vessel, which was evidenced by a bill of sale, in which was contained a warranty of title only, the plaintiff was not permitted to prove by parol an additional warranty of soundness. There the parties intended that the bill of sale should be the evidence of the contract of sale between them. Of course, no *89additional term/should have been permitted to be added by parol testimony. But would tlie result bave been the same, had the sale been by parol, and the defendant given his note or bond to secure the payment of the purchase money? The note or bond, might, or might not, have expressed that the consideration for which it was given was fthe purchase of a vessel; but no one would have expected to find there the payers, obligees or warranty, either of title or soundness. Suppose, at the time’of hiring of a slave, a doubt should be expressed whether he was sound, and. the owner should warrant his soundness, would the note or bond given to secure the price preclude the hirer from proving the warranty by parol, and thereby prevent his recovery for a breach? We think no one will contend for such a proposition, and yet it is the same in principle with the case before us. There is no error.

Pee CueiaM. . Judgment affirmed.