Lieutenant Colonel William J. Polk

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Lieutenant Colonel William J. Polk's Geni Profile

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William J. Polk

Birthplace: Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, United States
Death: Died in Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, United States
Place of Burial: Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of General Thomas Polk and Susannah Polk
Husband of Sarah Sophia Polk and Griselda Polk
Father of Lucius J. Polk; Lt General Leonidas Polk, CSA; Lucinda Davis Polk; Rufus King Polk; George Washington Polk and 6 others
Brother of Margaret Alexander; Thomas Polk; Charles T. Polk; Ezekiel Polk; Mary Brown and 3 others
Half brother of Margaret Alexander; Col. William Polk and Charles "Devil Charley" Thomas Polk, Sr.

Managed by: Stanley Welsh Duke, Jr.
Last Updated:

About Lieutenant Colonel William J. Polk

Colonel William J. Polk (9 July 1758 – 14 January 1834) was a North Carolina, banker, educational administrator, political leader, renowned Continental officer in the War for American Independence, and survivor of the 1777/1778 encampment at Valley Forge.


Born in Mecklenburg  County, NC, William Polk served in the Revolutionary war for some five years and emerged as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1780. His service included his duty with Washington at Valley Forge in 1776 and his escort of the Liberty Bell from Philadelphia to Allentown in 1777.  His heroism and service garnered a place in the North Carolina Legislature in 1783 and appointment as the Surveyor General of lands recently opened in the western part of the new state (now Tennessee). While living in Davidson County he served in the NC House of Commons and later in the Legislature as a representative from Mecklenburg County. In 1791 Washington appointed him to the post of Supervisor of Internal Revenue for the District of North Carolina. From 1790 to 1834 Polk was a Trustee of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and also served a President of the State Bank of North Carolina (1811-1819). He reportedly held some 100,000 acres of land in what is now Tennessee. In 1847 Polk County was named for William Polk. Polk County was formed from portions of Henderson and Rutherford counties. 

As a bank trustee, a land speculator, and a politician, his interests were much the same as those with whom he became entangled in the Speculation Lands. (3)



William Polk was born near Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co, NC, the eldest (along with his twin, Thomas Polk) of 11 known children born to Gen. Thomas Polk & Susanna "Sarah" Spratt. His father was born in Carlisle, PA, and his mother from Accomack County, VA. He is the grandson of William Polk II and Margaret Taylor of Whitehall, Somerset Co, MD, who also migrated to Mecklenburg Co, NC. He is the gr-grandson of William Polk I (1662-1704) who came to Somerset Co, MD from Donegal, Ireland and married Ann Nancy Knox.

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Lieutenant Colonel William J. Polk's Timeline

July 9, 1758
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, United States
Age 32
Age 34
Age 34
Age 43
Age 45
April 10, 1806
Age 47
Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, United States
Age 55
Maury, Tennessee, United States