Often referred to by the American press as “Young Hickory,” James Knox Polk (1795–1849) served one term as the president of the United States, 1845–49, but is most remembered for acquiring Oregon, California, and Texas, which established the United States as a continental power, united from coast to coast. Polk was born to Samuel and Jane Polk in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina; he was the first of nine children. Soon after Tennessee entered the Union in 1796, Samuel Polk moved his family there to settle along the Duck River ...

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