Rawhide Ranch Gold and Silver Mining Company (Rawhide) is a mining corporation. In 1865, a shareholders’ meeting was held. All of the shareholders were present and unanimously voted to authorize S.S. Turner, T.N. Willis, and James J. Hodges (defendants) as Rawhide’s trustees to sell company assets to D.W. Barney. The defendants executed the deed as Rawhide’s trustees. The plaintiffs attempted to enter the deed into evidence, but the defendants objected on the grounds that the deed (1) was not apparently entered into by Rawhide, (2) was not signed by Rawhide, and (3) was sealed by the trustees instead of rawhide. The trial court excluded the deed, and the plaintiffs appealed to the California Supreme Court.