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David Rice Atchison signs an autograph document.
Autograph Document Signed: "Atchison Atto fr Defd" as Attorney for Defendant, 1p, 7½x8¾. No place, 1840 December 17. Declaration in the case of Glasgow & others vs. James Allen. In full: "And the said defendant comes and denies the wrong and injuries and says that said Plaintiffs ought not to have and maintain their aforesaid action thereof against him the said Defendant because he says that he did not undertake and promise in manner and form as said Plaintiffs have thereof in their said declaration complained against him and of this he puts himself upon the country." Also signed: "G.W. Dunn". Docketed on verso by the Court Clerk. David Rice Atchison served as U.S. Senator from Missouri from 1843-1855. Polk's term as 11th U.S. President 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, 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, and this is noted on his tombstone. Slightly nicked at horizontal folds. Slight separations at folds, all words intact. Lightly creased. Smudged at 1 letter of Dunn's signature and 1 word of his writing. Light show through of docket on verso at Atchison's signature.

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

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