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HUGH McCULLOCH - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 10/16/1892 - HFSID 3880

HUGH McCULLOCH Writing on the eve of a Presidential election, the Treasury Secretary under three Presidents misconstrues the rules of Presidential succession! Autograph Letter Signed: "Hugh McCulloch," 2p, 5x8, front and verso. Washington, D.C., 1892 October 16.To Darwin C. Pavey, Esq. [a Boston journalist].

Sale Price $270.00

Reg. $300.00

Condition: fine condition
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HUGH McCULLOCH
Writing on the eve of a Presidential election, the Treasury Secretary under three Presidents misconstrues the rules of Presidential succession!
Autograph Letter Signed: "Hugh McCulloch," 2p, 5x8, front and verso. Washington, D.C., 1892 October 16.To Darwin C. Pavey, Esq. [a Boston journalist]. In full: "Yours of the 11th inst has been received. Persons chosen or appointed according to the Constitution of the United States and State laws, to elect a President and Vice President, although honorably pledged to cast their votes in accordance with tacit instructions, have full power to elect other native-born citizens; and it would be their duty to do so, if either of the the (sic) candidates, had, in the mean time, become incapacitated. In case of the death of a President during his term of office, the Vice President becomes 'ex officio' President, and it seems to me that if President Harrison should be reelected and should die before the fourth of March, Mr. Morton Reid, if he had been elected Vice President, would become President without Congressional actions." McCulloch was wrong, but his confusion was understandable. Until 1967, when the XXV Amendment was ratified, the US Constitution was actually silent on the question of succession in the event of the death of a President. However, on the three prior occasions when a President died in office, the Vice President was recognized as his successor (Tyler to William Henry Harrison, Andrew Johnson to Lincoln, and Arthur to Garfield). If the Benjamin Harrison & Whitelaw Reid ticket won the November 8, 1892, election, and then Harrison died before March 4, 1893 (Inauguration Day), Vice President Levi P. Morton, who did not run for reelection, would become President and served until the March 4, 1893. If the Electoral College had not yet voted, it could have elected any eligible person as President, or the House of Representatives would have picked a President from the three leading vote-getters if none had attained an Electoral College majority. Since President Harrison did not die in office (although First Lady Caroline Scott Harrison did), and since he was defeated for re-election by former President Grover Cleveland, this potential constitutional crisis did not arise. HUGH McCULLOCH was Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Lincoln and Johnson (1865-1869) and President Arthur (1884-1885).Light horizontal fold runs through signature, else in fine condition.

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