James K. Polk:Unjustly Obscure

Our Eleventh President has fared poorly in public memory, almost entirely forgotten.  This is a great injustice.  Polk was perhaps the hardest working man ever to inhabit the White House, laboring ceaselessly.  He resolved the Oregon dispute with the British, setting our northern boundary with Canada in the far West, and successfully prosecuted the Mexican War, adding vast new territories to the country.  Dry and colorless, Polk promised that he would only serve one term and he kept his word.  Indeed, there was no need for a second term, as he accomplished all he had set out to accomplish in one term.

Dying of cholera, and, I think, exhaustion, only three months after his term, Polk left a legacy of accomplishment matched by only a few other presidents.  He deserves better than obscurity, and I am pleased by the recent spate of biographies about him.  Go here to view a humorous, and unbelievably profane, paean to Polk.

Published in: on April 19, 2011 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on James K. Polk:Unjustly Obscure  
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