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Flowers left for William King
William Rufus DeVane King (April 7, 1786 – April 18, 1853) was an American politician and diplomat.You were the 13th Vice President of the United States for about six weeks in 1853 before your death. Earlier you had been elected as a U.S. Representative from North Carolina and a Senator from Alabama. Youalso served as Minister to France. You were a Democrat, a Unionist and your contemporaries considered you to be a moderate on the issues of sectionalism, slavery, and westward expansion that contributed to the American Civil War. You helped draft the Compromise of 1850.You are thhe only United States executive official to take the oath of office on foreign soil. On this day in 1853, after 160 yeas, you apparently died of tuberculosis after 45 days in office. With the exceptions of John Tyler and Andrew Johnson—both of whom succeeded to the Presidency—you are the shortest-serving Vice President. You are the only Vice President from Alabama and, as such, held the highest political office of any Alabamian in American history. was a delegate to the convention which organized the Alabama state government. Upon the admission of Alabama as a State in 1819, you were elected by the legislature as a Democratic-Republican to the United States Senate. You were reelected as a Jacksonian in 1822, 1828, 1834, and 1841, serving from December 14, 1819, until April 15, 1844, when you resigned. He served as President pro tempore of the United States Senate during the 24th through 27th Congresses and also the Chairman of the Committee on Public Lands and the Committee on Commerce. On July 11, 1850, two days after the death of President Zachary Taylor, You were appointed President pro tempore of the Senate. Because of the vacancy in the vice-presidential office, due to succession rules you were first in the line of succession to the U.S. Presidency. You served until resigning on December 20, 1852, due to poor health (you found out to have tuberculosis). You served also as Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations and Committee on Pensions. You were elected Vice President of the United States on the Democratic ticket with Franklin Pierce in 1852 and took the oath of office on March 24, 1853, in Cuba, twenty days after you became Vice President. You had gone to La Ariadne plantation, owned by John Chartrand in Matanzas, due to your ill health. This unusual inauguration on foreign soil took place because it was believed that then known to be terminally ill with tuberculosis, would not live much longer. Congress passed a special act to enable this in recognition of your long and distinguished service to the government of the United States. Although you did not take the oath until 20 days after the inauguration day, you were legally the Vice President during those three weeks. Shortly afterward, returning to your Chestnut Hill plantation, where you died within two days and was interred in a vault on the plantation and later reburied in Selma's Live Oak Cemetery.Following your death, the office of Vice-President was vacant for four years, until March 4, 1857, when John C. Breckinridge was inaugurated. In accordance with the Presidential Succession Act of 1792, the President pro tempore of the Senate was next in order of succession to President Pierce from 1853 to 1857In 1852 the Oregon Territory named King County for you, as well as Pierce County after President-elect Pierce. These counties became part of Washington Territory when it was created the following year. Washington did not become a state until 1889; much later, King County amended its designation and its logo to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.. The county took its action after passing an ordinance; it was later reaffirmed by statutory action (SB 5332, April 19, 2005) of the State of Washington. The King Residence Quadrangle at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, your alma mater, is named for you . It is the site of Mangum, Manly, Ruffin and Grimes house residences.An 1830 portrait of you is held at New East Hall in the Philanthropic Chambers by The Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies, a debating society which he had joined during college. You were a co-founder of (and named) Selma, a town on the Alabama River town after the Ossianic poem The Songs of Selma.After your death, city officials and some of your family wanted to move your body to Selma. Other family members wanted your body to remain at Chestnut Hill. In 1882, the Selma City Council appointed a committee to select a new plot for your body. After 29 years, your remains were removed from your plantation and reinterred in the city's Live Oak Cemetery under an elaborate white marble mausoleum erected by the city. Also it is know you were close friends with future president James Buchanan, and the two had shared a house in Washington, D.C. for 15 years during your Congressional tenures.
 Added: Apr. 18, 2013

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