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Remembering JKP

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  • rule62ken
    On June 15, 1849, a mere 161 years ago today, President James K. Polk died at his home in Columbia, Tennessee. His death marked the shortest retirement for any
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 15, 2010
      On June 15, 1849, a mere 161 years ago today, President James K. Polk died at his home in Columbia, Tennessee. His death marked the shortest retirement for any president out of office, a scant 103 days. Polk had the shortest life of any President except for John F. Kennedy and James Garfield, both of whom were assassinated during their term as president.

      Although cholera is given as his cause of death, it is believed by many historians that Polk's workaholism and micromanaging took their toll on his health. Full of enthusiasm and vigor when he entered office, Polk left the White House on March 4, 1849, exhausted by the demands of the presidency. He lost weight and had deep lines and dark circles on his face. When he and his wife Sarah headed home to Tennessee, they embarked on a good will tour of some of the southern states, where Polk was quite popular. He is believed to have contracted cholera in New Orleans, Louisiana.

      According to author Walter Borneman in his 2008 book entitled "Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency", Polk died after just 13 days in his new home of Polk Place, the former home of his legal mentor Felix Grundy. Borneman writes "In the end cholera was the likely cause of death, but stress and strain of the presidency had lowered his resistance to any foe."

      Borneman goes on to write:

      "As Polk faded, his elderly mother rushed from Columbia to be at her son's bedside. She watched as the man who as a baby had been denied baptism in the Presbyterian Church amidst his grandfather's antics now chose on his deathbed to receive the sacrament from the Methodist Church.

      "At twenty minutes before five on the afternoon of June 15, 1849, James Knox Polk breathed his last. Reportedly, his final words were 'I love you Sarah, for all eternity, I love you.' Even if this utterance was embellished, there was nothing in Polk's life to suggest that the sentiment behind it was not true."

      Polk, who was always diligent about keeping a diary, made his last entry in that diary on June 2nd. The next day, a Sunday, he felt too ill to attend church and summoned Dr. Felix Robertson. For days Robertson and other physicians treated Polk unsuccessfully. Two of Polk's friends, John B. Johnson and V.K. Stevenson, took turns sitting with him at night.

      Polk's funeral was held at McKendree Methodist Church in Nashville, presided over by Rev. John McFerrin. The funeral sermon was preached from Peter 1:3-5. Reverend McFerrin preached that Polk "seemed a man of destiny. His success in life was remarkable." McFerrin said that Polk achieved success while maintaining "an untarnished reputation. Against his moral character, no charge was ever brought. No man in the United States, filling the high offices that he has occupied, ever maintained a purer character for sound morality. His Christian principles were genuine, his belief in God and the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures was firm and unshaken."

      Sarah Polk lived at Polk Place for over forty years after her husband's death, a retirement longer than that of any other First Lady of the United States. She died on August 14, 1891. The Polks are buried in a tomb on the grounds of the Tennessee State Capitol Building, in Nashville.
    • Marabou
      Thanks for being still around at anniversaries and for the article you posted. See what longwinded speech you got from Europe for that. Nice summertime to all
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 16, 2010
        Thanks for being still around at anniversaries and for the article you posted. See what longwinded speech you got from Europe for that.

        Nice summertime to all members of this here group.

        Evelyn


        --- In James_K_Polk_Appreciation@yahoogroups.com, "rule62ken" <rule62ken@...> wrote:
        >
        > On June 15, 1849, a mere 161 years ago today, President James K. Polk died at his home in Columbia, Tennessee. His death marked the shortest retirement for any president out of office, a scant 103 days. Polk had the shortest life of any President except for John F. Kennedy and James Garfield, both of whom were assassinated during their term as president.
        >
        > Although cholera is given as his cause of death, it is believed by many historians that Polk's workaholism and micromanaging took their toll on his health. Full of enthusiasm and vigor when he entered office, Polk left the White House on March 4, 1849, exhausted by the demands of the presidency. He lost weight and had deep lines and dark circles on his face. When he and his wife Sarah headed home to Tennessee, they embarked on a good will tour of some of the southern states, where Polk was quite popular. He is believed to have contracted cholera in New Orleans, Louisiana.
        >
        > According to author Walter Borneman in his 2008 book entitled "Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency", Polk died after just 13 days in his new home of Polk Place, the former home of his legal mentor Felix Grundy. Borneman writes "In the end cholera was the likely cause of death, but stress and strain of the presidency had lowered his resistance to any foe."
        >
        > Borneman goes on to write:
        >
        > "As Polk faded, his elderly mother rushed from Columbia to be at her son's bedside. She watched as the man who as a baby had been denied baptism in the Presbyterian Church amidst his grandfather's antics now chose on his deathbed to receive the sacrament from the Methodist Church.
        >
        > "At twenty minutes before five on the afternoon of June 15, 1849, James Knox Polk breathed his last. Reportedly, his final words were 'I love you Sarah, for all eternity, I love you.' Even if this utterance was embellished, there was nothing in Polk's life to suggest that the sentiment behind it was not true."
        >
        > Polk, who was always diligent about keeping a diary, made his last entry in that diary on June 2nd. The next day, a Sunday, he felt too ill to attend church and summoned Dr. Felix Robertson. For days Robertson and other physicians treated Polk unsuccessfully. Two of Polk's friends, John B. Johnson and V.K. Stevenson, took turns sitting with him at night.
        >
        > Polk's funeral was held at McKendree Methodist Church in Nashville, presided over by Rev. John McFerrin. The funeral sermon was preached from Peter 1:3-5. Reverend McFerrin preached that Polk "seemed a man of destiny. His success in life was remarkable." McFerrin said that Polk achieved success while maintaining "an untarnished reputation. Against his moral character, no charge was ever brought. No man in the United States, filling the high offices that he has occupied, ever maintained a purer character for sound morality. His Christian principles were genuine, his belief in God and the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures was firm and unshaken."
        >
        > Sarah Polk lived at Polk Place for over forty years after her husband's death, a retirement longer than that of any other First Lady of the United States. She died on August 14, 1891. The Polks are buried in a tomb on the grounds of the Tennessee State Capitol Building, in Nashville.
        >
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