Wednesday, June 30, 2004

James K. Polk Home

James K. Polk Home The only surviving residence of the eleventh U.S. President excluding the White House. Includes photos of the home and brief biography of Polk.

From the site:

Learn about the 11th President, the youngest up to the time, who managed to expand the borders of the United States to the Pacific Ocean, added three states to the Union, started the Naval Academy, the Washington Monument, issued the first postage stamp, and remains the youngest President to die outside those who have been assassinated.


The career of the eleventh U.S. President reflected and fulfilled the young nation's commitment to westward expansion. The son of a North Carolina farmer and surveyor, James Knox Polk was ten years old when his family moved across the Appalachian Mountains. Growing up on the Tennessee frontier, he inherited his neighbors' work ethic, resourcefulness, and democratic ideals.

Although young James was accustomed to the rigors of frontier life, he lacked physical stamina. Shortly before his seventeenth birthday, he needed surgery for stones in his urinary bladder. The successful operation, performed by noted Kentucky surgeon Ephraim McDowell, enabled James to pursue an education with renewed enthusiasm.

After only two and a half years of formal schooling in Tennessee, James K. Polk was admitted to the University of North Carolina as a sophomore. His college studies and his membership in a debating society helped nurture his growing interest in law and government. He graduated with top honors in mathematics and the classics, and returned to Tennessee determined to become a lawyer. To receive legal training, he worked in the office of renowned Nashville trial attorney Felix Grundy and served as clerk of the Tennessee Senate. Diligent and ambitious, James soon established a law practice in Columbia, Tennessee.

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