Person:James Polk (3)

m. 25 Dec 1794
  1. President James Knox Polk1795 - 1849
  2. Jane Maria Polk1798 - 1876
  3. Lydia Eliza Polk1800 - 1864
  4. Franklin E. PolkAbt 1802 - 1831
  5. Marshall Tate Polk1805 - 1831
  6. John Polk1806 - 1831
  7. Naomi Tate Polk1809 - 1836
  8. Ophelia Clarissa Polk1811 - 1851
  9. William Hawkins Polk1815 - 1862
  10. Samuel Washington PolkAbt 1817 - 1839
m. 1 Jan 1824
Facts and Events
Name President James Knox Polk
Gender Male
Birth[1][2] 2 Nov 1795 Pineville, Mecklenburg, North Carolina, United States
Marriage 1 Jan 1824 Murfreesboro, Rutherford, Tennessee, United Statesto Sarah Childress
Death[1] 15 Jun 1849 Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee, United States
Reference Number? Q11891?

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

James Knox Polk (November 2, 1795 – June 15, 1849) was the 11th president of the United States, serving from 1845 to 1849. He previously was the 13th Speaker of the House of Representatives (1835–1839) and ninth governor of Tennessee (1839–1841). A protégé of Andrew Jackson, he was a member of the Democratic Party and an advocate of Jacksonian democracy. Polk is chiefly known for extending the territory of the United States through the Mexican–American War; during his presidency, the United States expanded significantly with the annexation of the Republic of Texas, the Oregon Territory, and the Mexican Cession following American victory in the Mexican–American War.

After building a successful law practice in Tennessee, Polk was elected to its state legislature in 1823 and then to the United States House of Representatives in 1825, becoming a strong supporter of Andrew Jackson. After serving as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, he became Speaker of the House in 1835, the only person to have served both as Speaker and U.S. president. Polk left Congress to run for governor of Tennessee, winning in 1839 but losing in 1841 and 1843. He was a dark horse candidate in the 1844 presidential election as the Democratic Party nominee; he entered his party's convention as a potential nominee for vice president but emerged as a compromise to head the ticket when no presidential candidate could secure the necessary two-thirds majority. In the general election, Polk defeated Henry Clay of the rival Whig Party.

Historians have praised Polk for meeting every major domestic and foreign policy goal he had set during his single term. After a negotiation fraught with the risk of war, he reached a settlement with Great Britain over the disputed Oregon Country, the territory, for the most part, being divided along the 49th parallel. He provoked a war with Mexico in an attempt to expand the United States and succeeded in doing so, as it resulted in Mexico's cession of nearly all the American Southwest. He secured a substantial reduction of tariff rates with the Walker tariff of 1846. The same year, he achieved his other major goal, re-establishment of the Independent Treasury system. True to his campaign pledge to serve only one term, Polk left office in 1849 and returned to Tennessee, where he died three months after leaving the White House.

Though he is relatively obscure today, scholars have ranked Polk favorably for his ability to promote and achieve the major items on his presidential agenda, despite limiting himself to a single term. He has also been criticized for leading the country into an aggressive war against Mexico and thus exacerbating divides between free and slave states. A property owner who used slave labor for most of his adult life, he kept a plantation in Mississippi and increased his slave ownership during his presidency. The legacy of Polk's policy of territorial expansion – with the United States reaching the Pacific coast and, roughly, its present contiguous borders – made the United States a nation poised to become a world power, but with sectional divisions gravely exacerbated, setting the stage for the Civil War.

Married Sarah Childress, no children.

  1. 1.0 1.1 James K. Polk, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.
  2. Rumple, Rev. Jethro. History of Rowan County, North Carolina, containing sketches of prominent families and distinguished men. (Regional Publishing Company, 1978).
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at James K. Polk. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.