On February 5, 1821, Mills (plaintiff), a Hartford, Connecticut resident, came upon Levi Wyman, the son of Wyman (defendant). Levi was twenty-five years old and had just returned from a voyage at sea. He was extremely ill, and was taken in and cared for by Mills, a stranger, for fifteen days. Levi then died. His father, Wyman, lived in Massachusetts and wrote to Mills upon hearing of Levi’s death. Wyman promised to pay Mills for the expenses he incurred while taking care of Levi. However, Wyman later refused to pay and Mills brought suit to enforce Wyman’s promise. The court of common pleas held for Wyman and ruled the promise unenforceable. Mills appealed.