President James K. Polk State Historic Site

Pineville, North Carolina

The site is the birthplace of the 11th president of the United States. It features exhibits on Polk’s childhood, rise to fame in politics and the Mexican-American War. Polk, a great orator known as “Napoleon of the Stump,” was elected president in 1844. Polk expanded America’s reach, acquiring Oregon from the British through a treaty and California, Arizona, and New Mexico from Mexico in a war. After repeated battlefield losses, Mexico allowed the U.S. to buy California, Arizona, and New Mexico for $15 million. This acquisition precipitated a bitter quarrel between the North and the South over expansion of slavery. Polk, leaving office with his health compromised from hard work, died in June 1849.

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