James Polk was not a typical politician. In fact, in today's politically correct atmosphere he would have little chance of any success. He was outspoken, frequently counter to public opinion, and his family background obviously displayed a strong sense of stubborn individuality. He only served one term and didn't want a second. He died of Cholera just a few weeks after he left office.

The Mecklenburg Chapter of the Daughters of The American Revolution erected a monument at the site of Polks birth in 1904 and in 1968 the site was again reworked and rededicated as a NC State Historical Site. The re-dedication was conducted by President Lyndon B Johnson.

The visitor center houses a small museum that seems more centered on the era of Polk, rather than the man himself. The few exhibit artifacts teach about this area of the Carolinas and gives some insight into the background of Polk and why he was so outspoken as president. A particularly interesting piece of the collection are some campaign materials from his election. We may be more technically sophisticated in the 21st century, but the methods of getting elected haven't changed much.

08/2006