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Favorable or Unfavorable #495: William R King


Favorable or Unfavorable #495: William R King  

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  1. 1. Did you read my first comment?

  2. 2. Favorable or Unfavorable #495: William R King

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VP William Rufus King (AL-D) is best known for having been VP for only about 6 weeks, before dying of tuberculosis. Students of history will find he was a fairly substantial figure as you can see below. 

Regarding his 1850 action -- he was a Unionist in the sense that future CSA president Alexander H Stephens was a Unionist in 1850. The real term should be a compromiser. Both men thought common ground could be found. King was unlikely a Unionist in the sense that Andrew Johnson was--willing to stay with the Union even if his state secedes. That's a Unionist. I think it is more likely than not that Andrew Jackson and Zachary Taylor would have been Unionists in the Johnson sense. The concundrum for King, had he lived, is that Buchanan was in the North. Despite Southern sympathies, I can't imagine Buchanan moving South. They were so unseperable, that the war might have compelled King to just stay in DC. Who knows. It's very interesting to think about. 

Buchanan's Southern sympathies probably stems from his connection to King who, along with his family, enslaved 500 people. 

His actions:

King, William R 1811 a War Hawk
King, William R 1819 Fmr US Rep for NC becomes US Sen for AL
King, William R 1824 VP option in pres election
King, William R 1836 Elected Pres Pro Tempore of the US Sen, holding the spot for nearly 5 years, then an unusual length for this elected office
King, William R 1840 Becomes roommate with future pres James Buchanan, allegedly as a gay couple, until King's death in 1853
King, William R 1844 Appt Amb to France by Polk
King, William R 1844 Planned VP for Buchanan in the event Buchanan becomes Dem nom in 1844
King, William R 1850 Unionist Dem helps draft Compromise of 1850
King, William R 1850 Pres Pro Tempore again, becoming nex in line for the presidency when Fillmore takes over as pres on death of Taylor
King, William R 1852 VP on Pierce's winning ticket, despite being mortally ill with tuberculosis
King, William R 1853 Inaugurated as VP while in Cuba b/c of poor health
King, William R 1853 Dies in office after a little over a month as VP; he and his family collectively enslaved over 500 people at the time of his death
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