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Distinctions

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DISTINCTIONS. At Common law, the presence of a seal is said to im port a consideration, without its being expressly stated, and to preclude the denial of that fact, while the same words without a seal would have no such effect. (2 Kent Corn. 464.) So statements made in a deed or under seal are said to be absolutely conclusive against the parties, and to estop the party from proving any thing to the contrary. (Sage v. Jones, 47 Ind. 122.) So a contract under seal, being of a higher nature, su persedes a simple contract upon the same subject-mat ter; this is the doctrine of merger. (Banorgee v. Ho vey, 5 Mass. ri.) At Common law, a debt due under a sealed contract was entitled to a priority out of the assets of the deceased, before debts due upon contracts not under seal. But this doctrine is eliminated by our statutes of distribution. (Walker, Am. Law, p. 465.) Quite generally a right of action arising upon a simple contract is barred in less time than an action arising from a contract under seal. So at Common law a gratuitous promise under seal is binding, when the same promise without the seal would be absolutely void. (Anson on Cont. p. 49.) It is to be observed that this rule is quite generally abrogated in the Ameri can States. See note to previous section.

seal and contract