DAVID RICE ATCHISON
David Rice Atchison signs an autograph document.
Legal Autograph Document Signed: "Atchison & Hood for
Deft.", 1p, 8¼x5½. Docketed on verso: "March 28 1840". In
full: "M. D. Taylor Agt Z. Martin Trespass/And the said Defendant moves
the Court, for a rule on the said Plaintiff to give security for costs; because
The said Plaintiff is unable to pay the costs of said Suit." 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. Polk's term as President ended at the stroke of
midnight, March 3, 1849. President-elect Zachary Taylor refused to take the oath
of office on 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.
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 President of the United States for one day, March 4, 1849, and
this is noted on his tombstone. Folds, not at signature. 6 nail head-size
stains in blank areas. Irregular edges. Slight ink show through. Tip of lower
right corner missing.
For more documents by these signers click the names below:
DAVID R. ATCHISON
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