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James K. Polk: A Resource Guide

From 1845 to 1849, James K. Polk served as the eleventh U.S. president, after serving as governor of Tennessee. This guide compiles digital materials related to Polk at the Library of Congress, external websites, and a selected print bibliography.


The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material associated with James K. Polk, including the complete James K. Polk Papers from the Manuscript Division. Polk, nicknamed the "dark horse" candidate, was elected the eleventh president (1845-49) of the United States. Before his presidency, he was the speaker of the House of Representatives (1835-39) and governor of Tennessee (1839-41). While president he oversaw the addition of Texas, the reestablishment of an independent treasury system, and the acquisition of territory from Mexico. The new land from Mexico eventually became California, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming.

This resource guide compiles links to digital materials related to Polk such as manuscripts, letters, broadsides, government documents, and images that are available throughout the Library of Congress website. In addition, it provides links to external websites focusing on Polk and a bibliography containing selected works for both general and younger readers.