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DAVID ATCHISON and JOHN S. PHELPS. ALS: "DR Atchison", 1p, 7¾x9½. Washington, 1853 March 30. "To the Hon Sec. of the Navy" [James C. Dobbin]. In full: "Mr Wm D Woods of Missouri is an applicant for the appointment of Purser in the Navy. I am informed and believe that he is well qualified for the discharge of the duties of the office also that he is a gentleman of intelligence and as the State of Missouri has not asked or received many favours from your Department, I trust that Mr Woods will succeed in his application. Your obedient servant." Also signed: "I concurring/John S. Phelps". DAVID RICE ATCHISON (1807-1886), a U.S. Senator from Missouri (1847-1855), was also an organizer of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad. In the opinion of many historians, Atchison had been for one day (March 4, 1849) President of the United States. The term of outgoing President Polk and Vice President Dallas having expired, and with incoming President Taylor and Vice President Fillmore declining to take the oath of office on a Sunday, Atchison, as President Pro Tem of the Senate, was next in line for the Presidency. JOHN S. PHELPS (1814-1886), a Democrat, represented Missouri in the U.S. Congress (1845-1863). He enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Civil War, rising to the rank of Lt. Colonel and leading men at the Battle of Pea Ridge. Appointed Military Governor of Arkansas in 1863, he was later elected Governor of Missouri (1877-1881). JAMES C. DOBBIN (1814-1857), a former U.S. Congressman from North Carolina (1845-1847), was the Secretary of the Navy of newly inaugurated President Franklin Pierce. He served until his death in 1857. As was customary, especially before the advent of civil service reform later in the century, Atchison and Phelps were working to assure that their state got its share of patronage appointments in the administration of fellow Democrat Pierce. Slightly smudged at "n" of Atchison and 1 word of text. Stray ink marks at lower right. Overall, fine condition.

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Born: August 11, 1807 in Lexington, Kentucky
Died: June 26, 1886 in Gower, Missouri

Born: December 22, 1814 in Simsbury, Connecticut
Died: November 20, 1886 in St. Louis, Missouri

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