Blane v. Proudfit and Blane v. Smith

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First page of the opinion Blane v. Proudfit, and Blane v. Smith, in Reports of Cases Argued and Adjudged in the Court of Appeals of Virginia, by Daniel Call. 3rd ed. Richmond: A. Morris, 1854.

Blane v. Proudfit and Blane v. Smith, 7 Va. 206, 3 Call 207 (1802), ‎[1] was a dispute over whether a London merchant was liable for a corn purchase made by his agent in Virginia. The Court of Appeals consolidated these two cases because the facts overlapped.


Proudfit sued Blane of London stating that Blane employed Hunter, an American agent of Blane, to purchase grain and pay withdraw funds for payment on Blane’s behalf. Based on the understanding of Hunter’s authority, Proudfit sold Hunter 10,000 bushels of corn for £1,588. The money for the corn was to be drawn by Hunter and then endorsed by Patten & Dalrymple, agents of Blane. After 9,400 bushels of corn were delivered to Blane’s boat, Proudfit went to collect his payment from Patten & Dalrymple. Patten & Dalrymple refused to endorse the payment but did ensure Proudfit that Hunter had the authority to make the payment. Proudfit then forwarded a bill to Blane to receive payment, but the bill was refused. Proudfit sought attachment of Blane’s property in Virginia to satisfy the debt. Blane argued that Hunter overstepped his authority and he was not aware of the purchase, let alone willing to pay for it. Smith, another Virginian merchant, also filed suit with similar facts.

The Court's Decision

Chancellor Wythe found in favor of the both merchants. The Court of Appeals reversed.

See also


  1. Daniel Call, Reports of Cases Argued and Adjudged in the Court of Appeals in Virginia, 3rd., ed. Lucian Minor (Richmond: A. Minor, 1854), 3:207.