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It is disputed by some if East was ever actually governor of Tennessee as he was appointed to the position of Secretary of State by the Union occupation government, not the General Assembly, which had ceased to meet. It seems problematic as to whether he was ever actually inaugurated, and this explains his absence from the Blue Book and his tenure's apparent failure to be included in the official enumberation of governorships. His inclusion as a governor of Tennessee seems to have been done on the basis of the theory that someone had to have been in charge during that period, and, as the highest remaining state official, that person had to have been East. Rlquall 15:50, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
I have been an asst. archivist at the Tennessee State Library and Archives for over twenty years; in our collections, we have the papers of all Tennessee Governors - including Territorial Governor William Blount; as well as the records of the Tennessee Secretary of State. I have yet to see any document signed by Edward H. East as "Acting Governor" of Tennessee. I have not seen any documentation that East was sworn into office as Governor. East was an important man in his day, but this listing as "Acting Governor" is an urban myth on the same lines as Sen. David R. Atchison claiming to be "President of the United States for one day." (1849) Drsowell 21:18, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
It's clear he was never actually governor, he just carried out the duties of governor. I suppose it's similar to when Dan Quayle was "president" for a day or two in the early 1990s when the first Bush had to have surgery. I have kept the term "acting governor," but I used the lower case (generic) term, and I have changed the piping from acting governor to acting (law), the latter being more indicative of East's role. Bms4880 (talk) 15:47, 18 October 2012 (UTC)