This site is located on land once owned by the parents of James K. Polk, the 11th U.S. president. The state historic site commemorates significant events in the Polk administration: the Mexican-American War, settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute, and the annexation of California. Reconstructions of typical homestead buildings—a log house, separate kitchen, and barn—are authentically furnished.
James Knox Polk (November 2, 1795 – June 15, 1849) was the 11th President of the United States (1845–1849). Polk was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He later lived in and represented Tennessee. A Democrat, Polk served as the 17th Speaker of the House of Representatives (1835–1839) and Governor of Tennessee (1839–1841).
The James K. Polk Ancestral Home in Columbia, Tennessee is the only surviving residence of the eleventh U.S. President (excluding the White House). Samuel Polk, a prosperous farmer and surveyor, built the Federal-style brick house in 1816 while his oldest son James was attending the University of North Carolina. When the future President graduated in 1818, he returned to Tennessee and stayed with his parents until his marriage to Sarah Childress in 1824.
JAMES K. POLK's critics charge that his underestimation of the Mexican War's potential for disunion over the issue of slavery and his lack of concern with matters relating to the modernization of the nation contributed greatly to the sectional crisis of 1849-1850 and, in the early 1850s, to the fragmentation of both major parties. Polk's critics accuse him of being too partisan . . . . .