Dawson v. Winslow

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Dawson v. Winslow, Wythe 114 (1791),[1] was a case about improper requirement of a penalty payment and whether courts of law and equity can overturn an arbitrator's decision.


Dawson bought 150 acres of land from Winslow in September 1783 for £200. The form of Dawson's payment came in two bonds: one for £100, the other for £150 - the extra £50 was to be a penalty if the bonds weren't paid on time. Dawson had two ways to avoid the penalty: Dawson could avoid the penalty on the second bond by paying the £100 in full by December 25, 1783; or, by February 10, 1784, Dawson could present Winslow with a £100 bond Winslow had given to Henry Garrett. However, Winslow had gotten Garrett to agree not to give Dawson his bond until after February 10, 1784.

The Court's Decision

Wythe's Discussion


  1. George Wythe, Decisions of Cases in Virginia by the High Court of Chancery, (Richmond: Printed by Thomas Nicolson, 1795), 114.