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Page:Harvard Law Review Volume 1.djvu/35

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This fact is frequently recognized in the cases. Thus, in Cheney v. R. R. Co.,[1] Dewey, J., said, “It is true that the tickets themselves do not describe the passage to be one by the same train. . . . They are silent as to the mode. It therefore was a contract to carry in the usual manner in which passengers are carried who have tickets of that kind.” Thompson, J., said, in Evans v. Ry. Co.,[2] “These tickets, as is well known, are not personal contracts with the particular person who first buys them. . . . They are bought and sold from hand to hand, like shares of stock, negotiable bonds, and other kind of scrip. They are, as is well known, sometimes sold in large quantities by the agents of the railroad companies themselves, to brokers, who in turn sell them at a profit to the travelling public. This being so, unless their terms are perfectly clear and unambiguous, they are liable to deceive and work a fraud upon innocent travellers.” In the case of a lottery ticket Allen, Senator (dissenting, but upon a different point), said, in McLaughlin v. Waite,[3] “A lottery ticket, as a transferable article, is the same as a bank-note, and was intended to be so considered by the makers of them, and has been so considered by the public.”

The ticket is transferable as a contract, by the custom. Tickets are often made to run to the bearer; but even without such words the ticket is generally transferable, unless it is in terms limited to the original holder. In this respect the custom even goes beyond that with respect to promissory notes. They are not negotiable unless words of negotiability appear; tickets are transferable unless words are used to limit their transferability.

This transfer is not the mere assignment of a contract right; it creates a new right against the party issuing it, and extinguishes the previous right of the transferrer. As was said by Story, J., in Shankland v. Corporation of Washington,[4] with regard to a lottery ticket, “As owner and possessor of the whole ticket, if he had made a sale of the whole . . . he would have substituted another as possessor and transferer, to whom the original promise of the corporation would then have attached.” The exact point came up to be decided in a late case in Pennsylvania, Sleeper v. R. R.


  1. 11 Met. 121; see also Smith, J., in Gordon v. R. R. Co., 52 N. H. 596; Paige, J., in R. R. Co. v. Page, 22 Barb. 130; Wheeler, J., in Jerome v. Smith, 48 Vt. 230.
  2. 11 Mo. App. 463, 469.
  3. 5 Wend. 404, 411; and see Snyder v. Wolfley, 8 S. & R. 328, 331.
  4. 5 Pet. 390, 393.