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Evidence as to Fact of Agreement

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EVIDENCE AS TO FACT OF AGREEMENT. A written contract may be shown invalid by parol evidence of the incapacity of a party, want of genuine consent, illegality or immortality of object, and the like. (Wooden v. Shotwell, 23 N. J. L. 465; Totten v. United States, 92 U. S. 105.) So it may be shown that no consideration passed for the promise; and that a contract formally executed never received the assent of the parties, or that their assent depended on a contingency which has not happened. (Anderson v. Walter, 34 Mich. 113.) That is, evidence is admis sible not to vary a written contract but to show that there never had been a contract at all, as the writing does not conclusively establish the existence of the contract. (Burnes v. Scott, 117 U. S. 582; Leddy v. Barney, 139 Mass. 394.)

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