Jame K. Polk Original Historic Letters and Documents

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Topic

Human Aspect

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Manuscripts (7)

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Polk, Exhausted, Says He's Feeling Better Now That He's Out of Office, Then Dies a Month Later

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 244

Polk writes to say he's been given the respite he needed after the presidency and is feeling much better, only to die less than a month after writing this letter, in October of 1849.
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James K. Polk Gives Orders for a Fireproof Celebration for the Battle of Cerro Gordo in Washington

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1052

Here Polk-mindful of the dangers of unattended candles and oil lamps-gives orders not to illuminate public offices in honor of General Scott’s victory at the Battle of Cerro Gordo.
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Confined for Two Years to the White House, President James K. Polk Tries to Plan an Out of Town Visit

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1053

President James K. Polk, in desperate need of a respite from the White House, politely declines his friend's invitation to stay at his house in New York, citing the inconvenience of having the President stay in a private home.
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Dark-Horse James K. Polk Expresses Surprise at His

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1054

Here, James K. Polk repeats the astonishment he expressed in a June missive regarding his candidacy. He reitirates his pleasure in being the instrument for bringing unity to the Democratic party, and hopes to effect "so great a good."
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Polk, Surprised at His Candidacy, Declares the Presidency Too Important an Office to be Sought or Declined

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1055

James K. Polk, everyone's second choice, astonishingly won the Democratic nomination. Polk here is forthcoming that his candidacy was the result of a concession, adding that the office of the presidency is too important to be sought or declined.
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President-Elect James K. Polk Anxiously Queries His Tailor About New Clothes for His Inauguration

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1056

President-Elect Polk anxiously queries his tailor about a cloak and suit of clothes – assumedly to be worn at his inauguration - that has yet to arrive. He asks that they be sent as soon as they are ready. He would leave for Washington less than three weeks later.
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David Rice Atchison Denies Ever “For a Moment” Acting as President of the United States

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1738

This letter, written by David Rice Atchison, debunks the long-held erroneous idea that he acted as President of the United States for the 31 hours between the end of Polk's term and the beginning of Taylor's.
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