James K. Polk Memorial State Historic Site, North Carolina

James K. Polk was one of the most successful American presidents, at least in his own terms. He set out so complete the annexation of Texas, acquire California from Mexico, settle the boundary of the Oregon Territory, and lower the tariff. He accomplished these things, and went home at the end of one term to Tennessee. Unfortunately, his acquisition of the southwestern territories from Mexico ignited the last stage of the long dispute over the expansion of slavery, and resulted in Civil War just eleven years after Polk left office. Polk himself died less than four months after leaving office. This site is located on land once owned by Polk’s parents. The memorial commemorates significant events in the Polk administration: the Mexican War, settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute, and the annexation of California. Reconstructions of typical homestead buildings-a log house, separate kitchen, and barn-are authentically furnished. The Visitor Center features a film on Polk’s life and civic contributions.

The James K. Polk Memorial is located in near Charlotte, North Carolina. From Interstate 77 south of Charlotte take Interstate 485 east (Exit 2). At the Pineville exit take U.S. 521 south through the town of Pineville for about one and one-half miles. The Polk Memorial is on the left.

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