Polk, James Knox, 1927, Biographical Sketch

THE SECOND of the country's presidents of Irish stock, Polk was the first "dark horse" to win the Presidential nomination. So far as known, no one had ever breathed his name in relation to the Presidency until within twenty-four hours of his nomination. It was the first year of the telegraph, and when the news of the nomination was ticked off in Washington, the political wiseacres there, who still regarded Morse as an impostor, were more than ever convinced that he was a fraud, and refused to believe the report until it was later confirmed by mail. Polk's administration (1845-1849) marked the greatest territorial conquest in American history, involving the acquisition of what is now California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and parts of New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming, a total of 522,568 square miles. It also marked the prosecution of the so-called Mexican War, and the extension of the Texas border to the Rio Grande, as well as the establishment of the Oregon border line on the forty-ninth parallel.
1. Brief Biographies of our Presidents and the First Ladies of the Land, 1927, American Weekly, Inc., page 12.

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