DAVID R. ATCHISON
David R. Atchison signs an autograph document.
Autograph Document Signed: "Atchison Atto for/Defd" on verso,
1¼p, 7¾x12½, front and verso. No place, 1839 April 20. Concerning the
case of "Hill vs Allen". Atchison's client pleads not guilty to "the said
supposed grievances above laid to his charge". Docked by Atchison on verso,
which also bears the docket of a clerk. Lawyer David Rice Atchison
(1807-1886), who began his practice of law in Liberty, Clay County, Missouri in
1829, represented Missouri in the U.S. Senate from 1841-1855, serving as
President Pro Tempore of the Senate from 1846-1850 and 1852-1854. 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). Lightly creased with folds, not at signature. ¾-inch tear at
mid-horizontal fold at blank right margin, ¾-inch tear at lower horizontal fold
at that margin. Lightly shaded at folds. Nicked at blank left margin at
mid-horizontal fold. Ink smudged at 2 words of Atchison's docket. Slightly
soiled on verso. Overall, fine condition.
For more documents by these signers click the names below:
DAVID R. ATCHISON
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