PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES.
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arAMES KNOX POLK,
.'~ the eleventh President of
f the United States, 1845X
49, was born in Mecklenburg
Carolina, November 2,
I795. He was the eldest
iE1 son of a family of six sons
i V and four daughters, and was
X oi'i a grand-nephew of Colonel
Thomas Polk, celebrated in
:. connection with the Mecklenburg
Declaration of Independence.
In I806 his father, Samuel
Polk, emigrated with his family
two or three hundred miles west to the
valley of the Duck'River. He was a surveyor
as well as farmer, and gradually increased
in wealth until he became one of
the leading men of the region.
In the common schools James rapidly became
proficient in all the common branches
of-an English education. In 1813 he was
sent to Murfreesboro Academy, and in the
autumn of i815 entered the sophomore class
in the University of North Carolina, at
Chapel Hill, graduating in I818. After a
short season of recreation he went to Nashville
and entered the law office' of Felix
Grundy. As soon as he had his finished
legal studies and been admitted to the bar,
he returned to Columbia, the shire town of
Maury County, and opened an office.
James K. Polk ever adhered to the political
faith of his father, which was that of
a Jeffersonian Republican. In 1823 he was
elected to the Legislature of Tennessee. As
a " strict constructionist," he did not think
that the Constitution empowered the General
Government to carry on a system of
internal improvements in the States, but
deemed it important that it should have
that power, and wished the Constitution
amended that it might be conferred. Subsequently,
however, he became alarmed lest
the General Government become so strong
as to undertake to interfere with slavery.
He therefore gave all his influence to
strengthen the State governments, and to
check the growth of the central power.
In January, 1824, Mr. Polk married Miss
Mary Childress, of Rutherford County, Tennessee.
Had some one then whispered to
him that he was destined to. become President
of the United States, and that he must
select for his companion one who would
adorn that distinguished station, he could
not have made a more fitting choice. She
was truly a lady of rare beauty and culture.
In the fall of I825 Mr. Polk was chosen
a member of Congress, and was continu.
Lewis Publishing Company. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas.. Chicago, Illinois. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20932/. Accessed August 20, 2014.