James K. Polk and the Civil War

On a recent trip to Franklin, Tennessee, we visited the James K. Polk House in Columbia, Tennessee.  Polk, who was President from 1845-1849, actually only lived there for a few years, but it is the only remaining Polk residence which also has family artifacts.

Polk’s determination to go to war with Mexico was in many ways one of the key determinants of the Civil War.  The new lands the U.S. won, plus Texas, were the inevitable subject of political debate as to the expansion of slavery.   The Compromise of 1850 stemmed the tide toward secession for a while, but the election of Lincoln heading a party which opposed the expansion of slavery in the new territories led to the war.

Pictured are the house, placards in front of the house, and the monument on the Capital grounds in Raleigh, North Carolina depicting the three presidents born in that state, Polk, Andrew Jackson, and Andrew Johnson.  Note that on Polk’s part of the statue it states, “He Enlarged Our National Boundaries.”

20200210_12460620200210_124550_HDR17TfsJ77sfVo-rPy8IQ4bX3KBOnHlxbQjr0krrrACJkZlDDoTum98CxLr85MhUI-ufgU99Nn_5SHeGbK3UUe0hBQrkPok9CqqV7rFLt1J4zNAtUMOrcbVdHTdUnz9hVRoB5TrCYWifLi3xZs5hVHc5uvwIBIXLCxORPTJaYYnacA8_GOfx7u91YPVpFZHN_epr3MSUSsEeIHod8dZYfu20180410_091302

Author: geneofva

Author of "Citizen-General: Jacob Dolson Cox and the Civil War Era," and of the upcoming "Lincoln, Antietam, and a Northern Lost Cause."

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s