James K. Polk. James Knox Polk was the eleventh President of the United States of America. He was born in Pineville, North Carolina. His family moved to Tennessee when he was young and he lived and worked in Tennessee most of his life.
James K. Polk was the first of ten children. His father, Samuel Polk, was a farmer and slave owner. Success led to his father getting involved with land speculation and becoming a county judge. James K. Polk’s experience with a health scare resulted in a surgery to have urinary stones removed. The surgery was a success, however Polk never had children and the surgery may have been why. Recovery led to schooling outside of their home for his first time. While in school he met his eventual wife, Sarah Childress. He later graduated the University of North Carolina with honors.
James K. Polk went on to study law under a Nashville trial attorney. The attorney was Felix Grundy and he became a mentor to Polk. With Felix Grundy’s help he became a clerk for the Tennessee State Senate. He next joined the Tennessee militia and became a colonel. He left his position as clerk and ran successfully for the Tennessee state legislator. This later led to him being elected to the United States House of Representatives at just 29 years old. Reelections led to Polk becoming chair of the House Ways and Means Committee and later Speaker of the House.
James K. Polk decided to return home to Tennessee when his party, Democrat, lost the governorship in 1835. He became the governor in 1839. He ran again in 1841 and 1843 before winning his “dark horse” candidate race for his party’s presidency nomination. The 1844 presidential race was successful for James K. Polk.
James K. Polk was President of the United States from 1845 until 1849. Polk set and accomplished four goals for his administration. He reestablished the Independent Treasury System, reduced tariffs, acquired Oregon Country, and acquired California and New Mexico. The size of the United States increased by a third during his presidency. Despite the war with Mexico that occurred during his presidency, his presidency is considered as a top-ranking presidency by historians.
Despite his young age when he became President, he died after only 103 day after leaving the office. He died of cholera that he had contracted on a goodwill tour after his years of public service. He was only 53 years old when he died.
James K. Polk can impress on all of us the value of setting goals. Their are stories of him setting goals throughout his life and career. Having a positive goal can at least put you on a good path. Congratulations on your goals! Have a bright day!