New Book of Knowledge - James Knox Polk. This is a good encyclopedia entry dealing with this 19th Century American President.
From the site:
James K. Polk became the first dark horse, or little-known candidate, to win the presidency when he unexpectedly defeated Henry Clay in the election of 1844. During his single term in office, Polk achieved all of the ambitious political goals he had set for himself. This included the addition to the United States of a vast area stretching from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Opponents of his own day condemned him, for they believed that he desired only to extend the area of slavery. But most modern scholars reject this idea and generally rank Polk among the near-great U.S. presidents.
Polk was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, on November 2, 1795, the eldest of ten children of Samuel and Jane Knox Polk. In 1806 the Polk family moved from North Carolina to Duck River, Tennessee, where Samuel Polk became a successful frontier farmer. James never developed the physical strength needed for farming. His parents therefore trained his mind, providing tutors for him and sending him to several preparatory schools. In 1815 he entered the University of North Carolina. He applied himself diligently to his studies, graduating first in his class in 1818, with honors in mathematics and the classics.