"LUGGAGE" IN BILLS AND NOTES
To be negotiable an instrument must comply with the requisites set forth in the first section of the N. I. L.; but an instrument that complies with all of those requisites still may not be negotiable. It is not every order or promise in writing that will rank as a bill or note even though a certain sum in money may be called for unconditionally, and payable at a determinable time, etc. The presence of words of negotiability does not in itself make a negotiable note or bill out of a document that would have been a non-negotiable note or bill if the words of negotiability had been omitted. Just what marks the line between, for example, a written promise to pay a sum of money that is merely a simple contract and, on the other hand, a negotiable or even non-negotiable promissory note can not be stated with assured precision. It may be helpful to realize that about a bill or note there is necessary a certain simplicity and singleness not requisite in a contract; the dominating feature about the instrument must be the order or promise to pay money. In an early Pennsylvania case in dealing with this requisite of negotiable paper Chief Justice Gibson made use of his oft-quoted picturesque figure "a courier without luggage." Continuing, he said that a negotiable bill or note must "be framed in the fewest possible words, and those importing the most certain and precise contract.
"LUGGAGE" IN BILLS AND NOTES,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol28/iss8/7