JAMES KNOX POLK
by John T. Marck
Term- March 4, 1845 to March 4, 1849
Birth: Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, November 2, 1795.
Marriage: Murfreesboro, Tennessee, January 1, 1824 to Sarah Childress, who was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, September 4, 1803. Sarah died in Nashville, Tennessee, August 14, 1891 and is buried at Capital Hill, Nashville, Tennessee.
Home: "Polk House", Columbia, Tennessee.
Education: Private school; received B.A. from the University of North Carolina.
Occupation before Presidency: Lawyer
Pre-Presidential Offices: Member of Tennessee Legislature; U.S. Representative; Speaker of the House of Representatives; Governor of Tennessee.
Age at Inauguration: 49
Polk Administration: Vice President: George M. Dallas of Pennsylvania, Inauguration March 4, 1845, The Capital, Washington, D.C.
Occupation after Presidency: Retired
Death: Nashville, Tennessee, June 15, 1849
Cause of Death: Cholera at age 53.
Place of Burial: State Capital Grounds, Nashville, Tennessee.
The promise of easy riches brought thousands to California in the gold rush of 1842. In 1846, "Polk's war" won the territory from Mexico. Polk was cold, forbidding, and generally unpopular, however his support for manifest destiny, the idea that gaining western lands was noble and right, resulted in the greatest territorial expansion in America's history.
Just as Andrew Jackson's toughness earned him the nickname "Old Hickory", Polk's support of Jackson was so strong that he was nicknamed "Young Hickory", and won Jackson's old seat in Congress eight times.
Copyright © 1993-2022 by John T. Marck. All Rights Reserved. This article and their accompanying pictures, photographs, and line art, may not be resold, reprinted, or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission from the author. From The Presidents of the United States by John T. Marck.