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DAVID R. ATCHISON - AUTOGRAPH DOCUMENT DOUBLE SIGNED 04/03/1840 CO-SIGNED BY: W. G. WILLIAMS, A. H. SKIDMORE, JOHN JAMES CLEMINSON - DOCUMENT 31064

 

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DAVID ATCHISON
Legal document signed twice by the future US Senator and "President for a day", summoning two defendants to a court appearance. Co-signer John Cleminson, an early follower of Joseph Smith (one of Atchison's clients), played an interesting role in the early history of the LDS Church.
Autograph Document signed twice: "David R. Atchison", "Atchison atty for Plaintiff", 2 pages (integral leaf), 16x12½. Signed at end of summons and in docketing on verso. Also signed: "John Cleminson" as County Clerk, "By A. N. Skidmore dpt" on behalf of Judge John Skidmore, "W. G. Williams" as court clerk. County of Caldwell, State of Missouri, 1840 April 3. In full: "The State of Missouri to the Sheriff of said county Greetings. You are hereby commanded to attach Samuel Bogart and James H. Bryan by all and singular their goods and chattels lands and monied credits and effects or so much or so much thereof as shall be sufficient thereto to satisfy the sum of two hundred dollars with interest and costs of Suit in whose hands or possession wherever the same may be found in your county so that the said defendants be and appear before the Judge of our State Court at the place holding said Court in the town of Far West of said County on the second Monday in March next to answer unto Harrison Cooley on a plea of Trespass on the case or premises and that you summon the said Samuel Bogart and James H. Bryan to appear before the Judge of the said Court at the time and place aforesaid to answer the said action of the said Plaintiff and that you summon all and every person in whose hands or possession any monies, goods, chattels, credits or effects or evidence of debt of the said Defendant be found. To appear at the time and place aforesaid to answer what may be objected against them to deceive defraud the said Plaintiff although after requested so to do but the said Defendants to pay him the same hath rather wholly neglected and refused to the damages of the said Plaintiff of three hundred dollars and therefore he brought Suit". Docketed on verso. Lawyer DAVID RICE ATCHISON (1807-1886), who began his practice of law in Liberty, Clay County, Missouri in 1829. His most famous client was Mormon leader Joseph Smith. Atchison represented Missouri in the U.S. Senate from 1843-1855, serving as President Pro Tempore of the Senate from 1846-1850 and 1852-1854. A strong supporter of slavery, of Texas annexation, and of the Mexican War, Atchison was the bitter foe of Missouri's other Senator, fellow Democrat Thomas Hart Benton. The Atchison-Benton feud split the Party, eventually costing both men their Senate seats. Atchison played a key role in the routing of the first Transcontinental Railroad, which of course passed through Atchison, Kansas. As President Pro Tem of the Senate, Atchison was third in line for the Presidency. The terms of 11th President James K. Polk and Vice President George M. Dallas ended at noon on Sunday, March 4, 1849. President-elect Zachary Taylor, a religious man, refused to take the Oath of Office on Sunday, and he and Vice President-elect Millard Fillmore were not sworn in until noon on Monday, March 5. Therefore, historians content that Atchison was President of the United States for a 24-hour period (noon, March 4-noon, March 5). Although there was a question about his "time in office", since the Senate had been dismissed and there was no President, Vice President and President Pro Tem, Atchison was the first person sworn in on inauguration day, and, as the official President Pro Temp, he actually was President until he sworn in Vice President Millard Fillmore (who was then technically President until Taylor was sworn in). Atchison commanded a pro-Confederate Missouri militia force in the first year of the Civil War. JOHN JAMES CLEMINSON (1798-1879), who emigrated with his family from England in 1812, was an early follower of Joseph Smith in his Church of the Latter Day Saints. He and his family moved to Far West, a Mormon community in Missouri. He became Clerk of the Caldwell County Circuit Court, as shown on this document Cleminson participated in the Mormon War of 1838, but was an advocate of reconciliation, so no doubt supported David Atchison's efforts to restore peace. He quarreled with Joseph Smith, testified against him in court, but later reconciled. He moved West with his fellow Mormons, but chose to settle in California rather than Utah. One vertical and three horizontal folds. Lightly toned. Minor nicks and tears at edges and folds. Light foxing. Lightly creased. Otherwise, fine condition.


For more documents by these signers click the names below:

DAVID R. ATCHISON   W. G. WILLIAMS   A. H. SKIDMORE   JOHN JAMES CLEMINSON  


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DAVID R. ATCHISON
Born: August 11, 1807 in Lexington, Kentucky
Died: June 26, 1886 in Gower, Missouri





JOHN JAMES CLEMINSON
Born: December 28, 1798 in Lancaster, England, United Kingdom
Died: November 28, 1879 in El Monte, California





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