ERROR to the Circuit Court of Georgia. This was an action of assumpsit, brought by the plaintiffs in error, the President, &c. of the Bank of the United States, against the defendants in error, the President, &c. of the Bank of the State of Georgia, in which the plaintiffs declared for the balance of an account stated, and for money had and received to their use. At the trial, the plaintiffs offered evidence, to prove, that mutual dealings existed between the parties, in the course of which, each being in the receipt of the bills of the other, they mutually paid in or deposited the bills of the other party, at intervals, as each found the bills of the other party had accumulated to any considerable amount in their respective vaults; and upon each of such payments or deposits, the amount thereof was entered as so much 'cash' in the customer's book of the party depositing, by the proper officer of the Bank receiving the same; from which said book of the plaintiffs, which was given in evidence, it appeared that the sum of 6,900 dollars was the balance due from the defendants to the plaintiffs, at the time of instituting this action. The plaintiffs also offered evidence, that the transactions between the parties were almost exclusively in the deposits of their respective bills as aforesaid. And the defendants, to maintain their said defence, offered evidence to prove, that in one of the said deposits so made by the plaintiffs, in the bank of the defendants, and so entered in the said book of the plaintiffs by the proper officer of the defendants, at the time the said deposit was made, to wit, on the 25th of February, in the year 1819, and which is one of the items comprised in the account upon which the balance was claimed by the plaintiffs, there were paid in 38 bills of the defendants' own issues or notes, of 5 dollars each, which had been fraudulently altered by some person or persons unknown, from the denomination of 5 to that of 50; and 40 bills of the defendants' own issues or notes of 10 dollars each, which had in like manner been fraudulently altered by some person or persons unknown, to that of hundreds, making together the sum of 5,900 dollars, demanded by the plaintiffs in this action; which said bills or notes had been subsequently tendered by the defendants to the plaintiffs, before the institution of this action, and by the plaintiffs refused. The plaintiffs then offered evidence to prove that no notice or intimation of the said fraudulent alteration aforesaid was given by the defendants to the plaintiffs, until the 16th of March, 1819, and that the tender to return the said altered notes to the plaintiffs by the defendants, was not made until the 17th of March, 1819, nineteen days after the receipt of the said notes by the defendants from the plaintiffs, and the entry of the same in the customer's book of the plaintiffs. The defendants further offered evidence to prove, that the said altered bills, so deposited by the plaintiffs and received by the defendants, had been received by the plaintiffs from the Planters' and Merchants' Bank of Huntsville, concerning which notes a correspondence had taken place between the plaintiffs and the said Planters' and Merchants' Bank of Huntsville, subsequently to the detection of the said fraudulent alteration, in the following words and figures, to wit: OFFICE BANK U. STATES,
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mr. Justice Story delivered the opinion of the Court.
Savannah, 17th of March, 1819.
Cashier P. and Merchants' Bank of Huntsville.
SIR–Upon a more minute investigation of the bills received last month from Mr. Hobson, of your bank, it turns out that 40 of the 100 dollar notes of the State Bank of this place, were altered from 10 dollars, and 58 of the 50 dollar notes of the same bank were altered from 5 dollar notes, producing against us a difference in the 100 dollar notes of 3,600 dollars, and in the 50, 2,610 dollars, making the whole difference 6,210 dollars. By the person which we shall in a few days send to your place, as heretofore intimated, we will forward these altered bills for the purpose of getting you to exchange them for other money.
P. S. Herein I enclose, for your future security, the official notice of the banks of Georgia, pointing out the difference between the genuine and altered bills.
Savannah, 25th March, 1818.
President Bank Huntsville.
SIR–Will you suffer me to introduce to your acquaintance and kindness, the bearer, Mr. Heinemann, our teller, whose objects have already been imparted to you in my letters of 23d February, and 13th inst. (copies in Mr. H.'s possession,) and which, we doubt not, will receive every facility from your institution. Mr. Heinemann is also instructed to lay before you formal notice of a claim which we shall make on your bank for the spurious notes received from Mr. Hobson, in the event of our being cast in the suit about to be brought between the Bank of Georgia and ourselves in the case. It has been deemed a better course than that proposed in our Cashier's letter to Mr. Rawlins, your Cashier, of the 17th inst. and will, no doubt, be more agreeable to you,
R. RICHARDSON, President.
PLANTERS AND MERCHANTS' BANK OF HUNTSVILLE, ...