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156James K. Polk and the 15th of June.

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  • Marabou
    Jun 14, 2011
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      The 15th June was not only the day on which James Polk died in 1849.

      There were two previous 15th days of June which had some distiction:

      On 15th June, 1846 the President, rather in the middle of his entry, wrote in his diary:

      "About 3 P. M. to-day the Secretary of State and the Brittish Minister concluded & signed a convention for the settlement of the Oregon question, being the same submitted by the latter on the 6th Instant, by me submitted to the Senate for their advice on the l0th, and by that body advised on the 12th Instant. Mr. Buchanan brought the convention to me, and my Private Secretary started with it, accompanied with a message from me, to the Senate, but before he reached the Capitol the Senate had adjourned for the day."

      It seems the date had not too much meaning to HIM, as he made no further comment. It may be that he regarded the signing of treaty as a mere formality and marked the day of agreement on it as important in his memory. History books mark this day, though.

      On 15th June, 1848 we read no more than:

      "The Secretary of War left this morning for Frederickton, Md., where he had been summoned to testify before the military Court of Enquiry in Gen'l Pillow's case, and of which Brevet Brig. Gen'l Tomson is President. Many persons called as usual this morning. In the course of the day I saw the Secretaries of State and the Navy and transacted business with them. I nominated to the Senate to-day the Hon. Isaac Toucey of Connecticut, as Attorney General of the U. S., and the Hon. Arthur P. Bagby of the Senate, from Alabama, as En. Ex. & Minister Plenipotentiary to Russia, vice R. I. Ingcrsoll, recalled at his own request. I transacted business in my office as usual to-day. To-night Maj'r Graham of the U. S. army arrived bearing a despatch from Messrs. Sevier & Clifford, U. S. Commissioners in Mexico. They write from the City of Queretero on the 25th of May, and announce their arrival at that City on that day, and that the Treaty had been ratified by both branches of the Mexican Congress. The exchange of ratifications would probably take place a day or two afterwards."

      The mentioned despatch was the first reliable message which arrived at Washington that the treaty was actually concluded. One might assue that Polk marked the day in his memory. And though he does not even give the event its own paragraph in his diary. Maybe in this case he regarded the news as too preliminary to ascribe much importance to it.

      On James K. Polk's next 15th June there was no to-night. He left a completed life at about 4.40 p.m. that day.
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