Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Polk, James Knox (1795-1849), eleventh President of the United States, was the son of a well to-do farmer whose family name was originally Pollock. He received a fairly good education in early youth, and was destined for a commercial career, but he expressed such a distaste for it that his father allowed him to enter North Carolina University, where he graduated in 1818. He studied law, and in 1820 was admitted to the bar of Tennessee, of which state he afterwards became governor. He entered Congress in 1825, and remained a member for fourteen years, during which period he was several times Speaker of the Assembly. In 1844 he was elected President of the United States, and his rule is notable as that in which the annexation of Texas and California was carried out. His private life was blameless, and he was known as a stickler for punctuality, regularity, and habits of industry. A relative of his, Leonidas Polk (1806-64), was a notable soldier and bishop. In early life he entered the army, but left it for the ministry, becoming eventually Bishop of Louisiana. During the Civil War he espoused the Secessionist side, and was appointed major-general in 1860. He fought through various battles and gained several victories, being finally killed on Pine Mountain, in Georgia, by a cannon-shot whilst reconnoitring.