DAVID R. ATCHISON and THOMAS H. BENTON
Signature from the U.S. Senator and "President" for a day. Also signed by one
the Missouri Senator, Thomas H. Benton
Signature: "David R. Atchison", 1p, 4x2¾.
Also signed: "Thomas H. Benton/U.S. Senate/Mri." Penned in
unknown hand at top: "Missouri." In indelible purple pencil beneath
Atchison's signature in unidentified hand: "Pres't for one day 3/4/49
Sunday" and, to the left of "U.S. Senate", the words: "30 yrs
in". Atchison served as U.S. Senator from Missouri from 1843-1855. Polk's
term as 11th U.S. President had ended at the stroke of midnight, March 3, 1849.
President-elect Zachary Taylor refused to take the oath of office on his
Sabbath, Sunday, March 4, 1849. He took the presidential oath on Monday, March
5, 1849, the same day Vice President-elect Millard Fillmore was sworn in. When
Polk's Vice President, George M. Dallas, resigned as President of the Senate on
Friday, March 2, 1849, Missouri Senator David R. Atchison was elected
President Pro Tempore of the U.S. Senate, a position he had held since 1846.
Since Article II of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to declare
"what Officer shall then act as President" in case of the "Inability, both of
the President and the Vice President", and since the President Pro Tempore of
the Senate was next in line to the Presidency, there are historians who insist
that Atchison was U.S. President for one day, March 4, 1849. BENTON was
one of Missouri's first two Senators serving from 1821-1851, a then-record
30 years in the Senate. Atchison's signature is rare in full as he usually
signed "D.R. Atchison". Slightly creased. Irregularly
cut. Toned. Edges and corners slightly worn. Pinhead-size stain at lower
blank left corner. Otherwise, fine condition.
For more documents by these signers click the names below:
DAVID R. ATCHISON THOMAS HART BENTON
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