President James K. Polk State Historic Site Pineville, North Carolina

Who was this James K. Polk and what did he accomplish as President?? This restoration with its informative movie answers these questions regarding this little known President.

James Polk was President from 1845-1849. There were several hallmarks to his Presidency:

  • He was instrumental in expanding the United States to the Pacific. He was a close friend and devotee to President Andrew Jackson who also believed in Manifest Destiny. This relationship earned him the nickname “Little Hickory,” as Jackson was known as “Old Hickory.”
  • In his cabinet those in opposition to his beliefs, “his competitors” were placed.
  • He was the first President to have “Hail to the Chief,” played at his inaugural.
  • When he came into office he stated he wished only to be a one term president.
  • He lowered tariffs on cotton.
  • The Mexican War was begun and ended during his Presidency.
  • Began an independent treasury.
  • Lowered prices on government land.
  • Worked incessantly, never took a vacation during his Presidency, which probably led to his demise 3 months after leaving office at 53 years of age.
  • He is known to be one of the greatest Presidents, however, he remains one of our least known.
  • President Harry Truman felt Polk an extraordinary President, often quoting and reading about him.

James Polk was the first born of Samuel and Jane Polk. He spent his first 11 years living on this site in North Carolina working on the family farm which Samuel and Jane received from Samuel’s father as a wedding gift. The family later moved to Tennessee selling their property to neighbors. They had slaves.

The Polk Homestead

Interesting man this James K. Polk was, think I need to read a biography on him. If Harry Truman liked him he must have been a good man.

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