Bates (plaintiff) and Cashman (defendant) entered a contract whereby Cashman agreed to purchase the stocks and bonds of Newburyport Cordage Company. These stocks and bonds represented control over real property. During negotiations, Bates represented that Newburyport Cordage Company owned a right of way, which increased the value of the real property substantially. Although Bates was unaware, this representation was untrue. Bates later brought suit to enforce the contract. Cashman argued that he was induced to sign the contract based on false representations by Bates, and that he was therefore not obligated to perform under the contract.