Does this look like Sarah Polk to you? I am now officially "Sarah Polk" at the National First Ladies Library as my costume is finished.
In honor of that, let's talk about Sarah! She was extremely well-educated and as she had no children, she become an assistant to James. She helped him with his speeches, clipped pertinent newspaper articles for him and generally provided him a sounding board. She was one of the most involved political spouses of her time.
Sarah was a very strict Christian, forbidding hard liquor and dancing at the White House (very much in contrast to the galas of her predecessor, the very young Julia Tyler). She refused to allow any business to be conducted on Sunday and even would turn away foreign dignitaries if they arrived on a Sunday.
When James left office in 1848, they headed home to retirement. James would die just months later, but Sarah lived another 42 years. She witnessed the Civil War, which she chose not to take sides in. She received both Union and Confederate officiers on her property, but Polk Place was considered neutral ground. She also later entertained the Hayes and the Clevelands.