James K. Polk, 11th President of the USA

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James Knox Polk

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Pineville, Mecklenburg Co., NC
Death: Died in Nashville, Davidson Co., TN, USA
Cause of death: Cholera
Place of Burial: first in City Cemetery, then in a mausolem erected on his lawn, and finally in the grounds of the State Capitol , Nashville, TN, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Samuel Ezekiel Polk and Jane Gracey Polk
Husband of Sarah Polk
Father of Charles Taylor Polk
Brother of Jane Maria Walker; Lydia Eliza Caldwell; Marshall Tate Polk, Sr.; John Lee Polk; Ophelia Clarissa Polk and 2 others

Occupation: Lawyer, Farmer (Planter), President of the United States, 11th President of the USA
Managed by: Bridget Andrea Davis
Last Updated:

About James Knox Polk

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_K._Polk

James Knox Polk (pronounced /ˈpoʊk/ POKE; November 2, 1795 – June 15, 1849) was the 11th President of the United States (1845–1849). Polk was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He later lived in and represented the state of Tennessee. A Democrat, Polk served as Speaker of the House (1835–1839) and Governor of Tennessee (1839–1841). Polk was the surprise ("dark horse") candidate for president in 1844, defeating Henry Clay of the rival Whig Party by promising to annex Texas. Polk was a leader of Jacksonian Democracy during the Second Party System.

Polk was the last strong pre-Civil War president. Polk is noted for his foreign policy successes. He threatened war with Britain then backed away and split the ownership of the Oregon region (the Pacific Northwest) with Britain. When Mexico rejected American annexation of Texas, Polk led the nation to a sweeping victory in the Mexican–American War, followed by purchase of California, Arizona, and New Mexico. He secured passage of the Walker tariff of 1846, which had low rates that pleased his native South. He established a treasury system that lasted until 1913.

Polk oversaw the opening of the U.S. Naval Academy and the Smithsonian Institution, the groundbreaking for the Washington Monument, and the issuance of the first postage stamps in the United States.

He promised to serve only one term and did not run for reelection. He died of cholera three months after his term ended.

Scholars have ranked him favorably on the list of greatest presidents for his ability to set an agenda and achieve all of it. Polk has been called the "least known consequential president" of the United States.

Early Life

Was born in a log farmhouse in what is now Pineville, North Carolina in Mecklenburg County on November 2, 1795, just outside of Charlotte. While Jane was a Presbyterian, Samuel's father was a deist, so when James was taken to be baptized, Samuel refused to declare his belief in Christianity, and the minister refused to baptize the child. In 1803, the majority of Polk's relatives moved to the Duck River area in what is now Maury County, Middle Tennessee; however, Polk's family waited until 1806 to follow. The family grew prosperous.

During his childhood, James suffered from poor health, which additionally negatively affected his early schooling. In 1812, just before he turned 17, his father tried to take him to Philadelphia to seek Dr. Philip Syng Physick in the back of a covered wagon. However, his pain became so unbearable that he was taken instead to the nearer Dr. Ephraim McDowell of Danville, Kentucky, who conducted an operation to remove urinary stones. The operation may have left James sterile, as Polk never had children.

The house where Polk spent his adult life prior to his presidency, in Columbia, Tennessee, is his only residence still standing.When Polk recovered, his formal education began at the age of 18, when he studied at the Zion Church near his home. He later attended an academy in Murfreesboro, where he potentially could have met his future wife, Sarah Childress; however, this has not been convincingly proven.

In 1815, a younger brother, William Hawkins Polk, was born; William eventually served as charge d'affairs to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies during the Polk administration and later as a U.S. Congressman. James was then admitted to the University of North Carolina as a second-semester sophomore. The Polks had connections with the university, then a small school of about eighty students: Sam Polk was their land agent for Tennessee, and his cousin, William Polk, was a trustee. While there, Polk joined the Dialectic Society, in which he learned the art of oration. He also became the first person to be reelected president of the society. Among the people Polk met at the university was his roommate William Dunn Moseley, who later became the first governor of Florida. Polk graduated in May 1818 at the top of his class.

After graduation, Polk traveled to Nashville to study law under renowned Nashville trial attorney Felix Grundy. While working for Grundy, he served as clerk of the Tennessee State Senate from 1819 to 1822, a position which enabled him to learn the routine of the legislature. Polk was admitted to the bar in June 1820, and established his own practice in Columbia, Tennessee while the Senate was in recess. His first case was to defend his father against a public fighting charge, a case which he won. He worked with Aaron V. Brown, future Governor of Tennessee and Postmaster General.

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James Knox Polk was inaugurated as the 11th President of the United States on March 4, 1845.

He and Sarah had no children.

James' and Sarah's bodies were moved to the grounds of the State Capitol in Nashville, Tennessee in 1893. -------------------- James Knox Polk (pronounced /poʊk/; November 2, 1795–June 15, 1849) was the eleventh President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1845 to March 4, 1849. Polk was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, but mostly lived in and represented the state of Tennessee. A Democrat, Polk served as Speaker of the House (1835–1839) and Governor of Tennessee (1839–1841) prior to becoming president.

A firm supporter of Andrew Jackson, Polk was the last "strong" pre-American Civil War president.[1] Polk is noted for his foreign policy successes. He threatened war with Britain then backed away and split the ownership of the Northwest with Britain. He is even more famous for leading the successful Mexican–American War. He lowered the tariff and established a treasury system that lasted until 1913. A "dark horse" candidate in 1844, he was the first president who retired after one term and did not seek re-election. He died of cholera three months after his term ended.

As a Democrat committed to geographic expansion (or "Manifest Destiny"), he overrode Whig objections and was responsible for the second-largest expansion of the nation's territory. Polk secured the Oregon Territory (including Washington, Oregon and Idaho), amounting to about 285,000 square miles (738,000 km²) then purchased 525,000 square miles (1,360,000 km²) through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the Mexican–American War.

The expansion re-opened a furious debate over allowing slavery in the new territories. The controversy was inadequately arbitrated by the Compromise of 1850, and only found its ultimate resolution on the battlefields of the U. S. Civil War. Polk signed the Walker Tariff that brought an era of near free trade to the country until 1861. He oversaw the opening of the U.S. Naval Academy and the Smithsonian, the groundbreaking for the Washington Monument, and the issuance of the first postage stamps in the United States, introduced by his Postmaster General Cave Johnson. He was the first President of the United States to be photographed frequently while in office.[2] Scholars have ranked him 8th to 12th on the list of greatest presidents for his ability to set an agenda and achieve all of it.

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James K. Polk, 11th President of the USA's Timeline

1795
November 2, 1795
Pineville, Mecklenburg Co., NC
1818
January 1818
Age 22
1824
January 1, 1824
Age 28
Tennessee, United States
1835
December 7, 1835
- March 4, 1839
Age 40
1839
October 14, 1839
- October 15, 1841
Age 43
Tennessee
1845
March 4, 1845
- March 4, 1849
Age 49
Washington DC, United States
March 4, 1845
- March 4, 1849
Age 49
United States of America
December 7, 1845
- March 4, 1839
Age 50
House of Representatives
1849
June 15, 1849
Age 53
Nashville, Davidson Co., TN, USA
June 16, 1849
Age 53
Nashville, TN, USA