James Polk Fast Facts

Eleventh President of the United States

President James K. Polk. President during the Mexican American War and era of Manifest Destiny.
President James K. Polk. President during the Mexican American War and era of Manifest Destiny. Hulton Archive / Stringer / Getty Images

James K. Polk (1795-1849) served as America's eleventh president. He was known as the 'dark horse' as he was not expected to beat his opponent, Henry Clay. He served as president during a period of 'manifest destiny', overseeing the Mexican War and the entry of Texas as a state. 

ere is a quick list of fast facts for James Polk. For more in depth information, you can also read the James Polk Biography.


November 2, 1795


June 15, 1849

Term of Office:

March 4, 1845-March 3, 1849

Number of Terms Elected:

1 Term

First Lady:

Sarah Childress

James Polk Quote:

"No President who performs his duties faithfully and conscientiously can have any leisure."
Additional James Polk Quotes

Major Events While in Office:

States Entering Union While in Office:

  • Texas (1845)
  • Iowa (1846)
  • Wisconsin (1848)


James K. Polk increased the size of the US more than any other president other that Thomas Jefferson due to the acquisition of New Mexico and California after the  Mexican-American War. He also completed a treaty with England that resulted in the US gaining the Oregon Territory. He was an effective chief executive during the Mexican-American War. Historians consider him to be the best one-term president.

Related James Polk Resources:

These additional resources on James Polk can provide you with further information about the president and his times.

James Polk Biography
Take a more in depth look at the Eleventh president of the United States through this biography. You'll learn about his childhood, family, early career, and the major events of his administration.

Chart of Presidents and Vice Presidents
This informative chart gives quick reference information on the Presidents, Vice-Presidents, their terms of office and their political parties.

Other Presidential Fast Facts:

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Your Citation
Kelly, Martin. "James Polk Fast Facts." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, thoughtco.com/james-polk-fast-facts-104736. Kelly, Martin. (2023, April 5). James Polk Fast Facts. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/james-polk-fast-facts-104736 Kelly, Martin. "James Polk Fast Facts." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/james-polk-fast-facts-104736 (accessed May 29, 2023).