American Treasures of the Library of Congress is an unprecedented exhibition of the rarest, most interesting or significant items relating to America's past, drawn from every corner of the world's largest library. The exhibition includes the following documents pertaining to Polk.
Elected with a public mandate for the admission of Texas into the Federal Union, James K. Polk underscored this mandate in his inaugural speech and became the eleventh president of the United States on March 4, 1845. With Polk's encouragement and support, Congress approved a joint-resolution to offer Texas statehood on February 28, 1845.
Search PPOC using the subject heading Polk, James K James Knox, 1795 1849 to find digital images related to Polk, such as prints, photographs, and political cartoons. Search all text fields in PPOC using the phrase James Polk to locate additional images.
On January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold on the property of Johann A. Sutter near Coloma, California. A builder, Marshall was overseeing construction of a sawmill on the American River. The Gold Rush began in earnest only after President James Polk endorsed the discovery in December 1848.
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed in Mexico City on February 2, 1848, ending the Mexican War and extending the boundaries of the United States west to the Pacific Ocean. The terms of the agreement established the border between the U.S. and Mexico at the Rio Grande and the Gila River and granted the U.S. more than 525,000 square miles of former Mexican territory that includes present-day Arizona, California, western Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah. This treaty, along with the 1853 Gadsden Purchase, completed the continental expansion of the United States.
United States General Zachary Taylor was victorious over Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna in the Battle of Buena Vista on February 23, 1847. Santa Anna's loss at Buena Vista, coupled with his defeat by General Winfield Scott at the Battle of Cerro Gordo in April of that year, secured U.S. victory in the Mexican American War.
The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material associated with the Mexican War (1846-48), including manuscripts, maps, broadsides, pictures, sheet music, books, and government documents.
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed by the United States and Mexico on February 2, 1848, ending the Mexican War and extending the boundaries of the United States by over 525,000 square miles. In addition to establishing the Rio Grande as the border between the two countries, the territory acquired by the U.S. included what will become the states of Texas, California, Nevada, Utah, most of New Mexico and Arizona, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming. In exchange Mexico received fifteen million dollars in compensation for the territory and the U.S. agreed to assume claims from private citizens of these areas against the Mexican government.