The Presidential Database

New window


White House Biography


No speeches listed at this time.


No news at this time.

James K. Polk

11th President of the United States


"We must ever maintain the principle that the people of this continent alone have the right to decide their own destiny."

--Message to Congress, 1845

Full Name: James Knox Polk

Born: November 2, 1795

Birthplace: Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

Father: Samuel Polk (1772-1827)

Mother: Jane Knox Polk (1776-1852)

Wife: Sarah Polk (1803-1891)

Married: January 1, 1824

Religious Preference: Presbyterian

Previous Experience: Lawyer, Tennessee Legislature, U.S. Representative, Governor of Tennessee

Political Party: Democratic

Age at Inauguration: 49

Term of Office: March 4, 1845 - March 4, 1849

Vice-President: George M. Dallas (1845-1849)

Died: June 15, 1849

Age at Death: 53

Place of Burial: Nashville, Tennessee

President at Time of Death: Zachary Taylor

Election Results

Year Candidate Name Electoral Vote Popular Vote
1844 James K. Polk (D) 170 1,337,243
  Henry Clay (W) 105 1,299,062
  James G. Birney (L) 0 62,103