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ject, that there is very little left to add to the accounts of the campaigns; and secondly, it would seem like claiming for Mr. Polk individually, the merit of transactions in which he had no direct participation, and therefore doing his memory a positive injustice.
Aside from all political considerations, there is something in the character of Mr. Polk, in his early struggles and in his triumphs, which is worthy of notice, and will challenge admiration. “There is nothing so interesting to me,” says Joanna Baillie, “as to trace the course of a prosperous man through this varied world. First, he is seen like a little stream, wearing its shallow bed through the grass, circling and winding, and gleaning up its treasures from every twinkling rill as it passes; further on, the brown sand fences its margin, the dark rushes thicken on its side; further on still, the broad flags shake their green ranks, the willows bend their wide boughs o'er its course; and yonder, at last, the fair river appears, spreading his bright waves to the light.”
For a great portion of the materials from which this book has been prepared, I am indebted to the kindness of many friends, all of whom I could scarcely enumerate; but each individually will please accept my sincere thanks.
* Comedy of the “Second Marriage”
Thomas Jefferson—Declaration of American Independence—Origin of the Movement—Early Settlers of North Carolina–Character—The Mecklenburg Resolutions—The Polk Family—Their History — Patriotic Conduct during the Revolution - - - - 17
Birth of James K. Polk — His Parents — Their Children — Removal to Tennessee—Early Life and Character of James—Youthful Ambition— His Education—Enters the University of North Carolina—Character as a Student—Graduates—Honors bestowed upon him by his Alma Mater - - - - - - - - 35
C H A PTER III.
Commences the Study of the Law in the Office of Felix Grundy—Secures the Friendship of Andrew Jackson—Admitted to the Bar—Success in the Practice of his Profession—His Political Associations—Style and Manner as a Public Speaker—Chief Clerk and Member of the Tennessee Legislature—Duelling Law—Internal Improvements—His Marriage—Mrs. Polk . * - - - - - 45
Position of the President—His Cabinet—The Washington Globe and The Union—Meeting of Congress—First Annual Message—The Oregon Boundary Question—History and Progress of the Negotiation—Ultimatum of the American Government—Proposition of Great Britain–Conclusion and Ratification of a Treaty - - 161
Opposition of Mexico to the Annexation of Texas—The Question of Boundary—American troops ordered to Texas–Attempt to Negotiate—Refusal to receive a Minister—Advance of General Taylor to the Rio Grande—Commencement of Hostilities—Incidents of the war—Repeated efforts to open negotiations—The Armistice—Treaty of Peace . 236
The Independent Treasury—Tariff of 1846—Course in regard to Appointments—River and Harbor Veto—Second Annual Message—Special Message on the Improvement Bill–Thirtieth Congress—President's Message—Refusal to Communicate Diplomatic Correspondence—Oregon Territorial Bill—Views of Mr. Polk—Presidential Election—Last Congress during his administration–Inauguration of his successor. 280
Return to Tennessee—Speech at Richmond—Arrival Home—Prospects for the Future—Vanity of Human Hopes and Expectations—His Death— Funeral Honors—Personal Appearance and Character—Conclusion 325