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James K. Polk: A Resource Guide

James K. Polk
James K. Polk, Born Nov. 2, 1795, in Mar. 4, 1845.
1 print: engraving.
Prints and Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:

Digital Collections

James K. Polk Papers

The papers of James K. Polk (1795-1849), governor of Tennessee, representative from Tennessee, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and eleventh president of the United States, contain approximately 20,500 items dating from 1775 to 1891, with the bulk falling in the period 1830-1849. The collection includes correspondence, presidential letterbooks, diaries, speeches and messages, account and memorandum books, family papers, financial and legal records, printed matter, portraits, and other papers relating chiefly to Polk’s political career in Tennessee and on the national level.

A selection of highlights includes:

Additional Digital Collections

Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress

The complete Abraham Lincoln Papers from the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 20,000 documents. The collection is organized into three "General Correspondence" series that include incoming and outgoing correspondence and enclosures, drafts of speeches, and notes and printed material. The collection includes a printed copy of the Treaty with Republic of New Grenada proclaimed by President James K. Polk on June 12, 1848.

Capital and the Bay: Narratives of Washington and the Chesapeake Bay Region, ca. 1600 to 1925

The collection comprises first-person narratives, early histories, historical biographies, promotional brochures, and books of photographs in an attempt to capture in words and pictures a distinctive region as it developed between the onset of European settlement and the first quarter of the twentieth century. Search the collection to find items related to James Polk, including a recollection of President Polk's Inauguaration in chapter 5 of the Recollection of Men and Things at Washington, During the Third of a Century.

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875

This collection contains a large selection of congressional material related to James Polk's political career as a member of the House of Representatives and U.S. president. Search this collection by date and publication to find materials related to Polk.

Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, ca. 1820 to 1860

This collection consists of over 15,000 pieces of sheet music registered for copyright during the years 1820 to 1860.

Printed Ephemera: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera

The Printed Ephemera collection comprises 28,000 primary-source items dating from the seventeenth century to the present and encompasses key events and eras in American history. Search the collection to find items related to James Polk, including the proclamation announcing that war had been declared on Mexico.

U.S. Presidential Inaugurations: "I Do Solemnly Swear..." A Resource Guide

This collection contains approximately 400 items relating to presidential inaugurations, including Polk's inauguration in 1845.

Words and Deeds in American History: Selected Documents Celebrating the Manuscript Division's First 100 Years

In honor of the Manuscript Division's centennial, its staff has selected for online display approximately ninety representative documents spanning from the fifteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. The collection contains a copy of letter from James Polk to the Committee of the Democratic National Convention accepting the Democratic presidential nomination.

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  October 25, 2017
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