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On Having Been There

February 2024
1min read

In Walter Havighurst’s choice of the event he wished he had seen in your December issue, he mentions “Lincoln’s old friend, Chief Justice David Davis.”

Davis never was Chief Justice of the United States. He was appointed Associate Justice by Lincoln in 1862 and served under three chiefs—Taney, Chase, and Waite. He resigned his seat in 1877 to accept a position as a United States senator from Illinois.

Coincidentally, he already had been mentioned as the proposed fifteenth member of the electoral commission in the Hayes-Tilden controversy. Whether his reluctance to serve on the commission was the impelling motive for his retirement from the bench has never been definitely established.

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