Miller v. Stewart (1824)

In Miller v. Stewart (1824) 22 U.S. 680, the doctrine was early announced that "if an obligation be dependent on another obligation and, by parity of reasoning, upon the legal existence of another instrument, and the latter be discharged, or become void, the former is also discharged." Justice Story, in discussing the obligation of a surety said: "Nothing can be clearer, both upon principle and authority, than the doctrine, that the liability of a surety is not to be extended, by implication, beyond the terms of his contract. To the extent, and in the manner, and under the circumstances, pointed out in his obligation, he is bound, and no further. . . . He has a right to stand upon the very terms of his contract; . . ." "Nothing can be clearer, both upon principle and authority, than the doctrine, that the liability of a surety is not to be extended, by implication, beyond the terms of his contract. To the extent, and in the manner, and under the circumstances, pointed out in his obligation, he is bound, and no farther. It is not sufficient that he may sustain no injury by a change in the contract, or that it may even be for his benefit. He has a right to stand upon the very terms of his contract; and if he does not assent to any variation of it, and a variation is made it is fatal."