Manuscript DS, signed “James K. Polk” as president and “James Buchanan” as secretary of state, three pages on two sheets, 10 x 15.5, February 7, 1849. President Polk issues a pardon, in part: "Whereas…Charles E. Leighton was convicted of robbing the Post Office, and sentenced to be confined in jail for two years: and whereas a number of citizens of Maine represent by petition, that the prisoner is a young man, and was not more than nineteen years of age when he committed the offence, and…a greater part of the money taken was restored to the lawful owners; that during his confinement he has conducted himself well…expressions of contrition and regret…Now, be it known, that I, James K. Polk, President of the United States of America…do hereby grant, unto him, the said Charles E. Leighton, a full and unconditional pardon." Boldly signed at the conclusion by Polk and countersigned by Buchanan. Beneath their signatures is the signature of U.S. Marshal Rufus McIntire (1784-1866) indicating he sent a copy of the pardon to the "Keeper of the Jail in Bangor" where Leighton was confined. Before becoming US Marshall, McIntire, a War of 1812 Veteran, had served as a Congressman (1827-35). The white paper seal affixed to the lower left remains fully intact. In very good to fine condition, with light creasing and wrinkling, and complete separation along the hinge. Polk is uncommon in general and is exceptionally desirable in combination with Buchanan; manuscript presidential pardons signed by Polk and Buchanan are among the most scarce of the documents they jointly signed.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.