James Knox Polk
(1795 - 1849 )
Who was James Polk ?
James Knox Polk was born in North Carolina, and graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina. He was a lawyer, and also served in the Tennesee legislature. Later, he became a Congressman, and then Governor of Tennessee. When nominations for President came around in 1844, Polk was the only person who publicly announced his support for the annexation of Texas and reclaimation of Oregon. Polk was nominated as a "dark horse."
In his campaign, Polk promised to do certain things. He said he would annex Texas. Just before he took office, Congress offered annexation to Texas. He said he would take back Oregon. In 1846, Polk signed a treaty with the British giving Oregon up to 49th parallel, except for the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Polk went to war with Mexico, and won New Mexico and California. Polk said he would only serve one term, and he did.
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