Arago: Polk Issue

Polk Issue

The Postal Service honored James K. Polk on the 200th anniversary of his birth with the issuance of a 32-cent commemorative stamp on November 2, 1995 in Columbia, Tennessee.

James Polk served as the eleventh President of the United States (1845-1849), the youngest successful presidential candidate under age 50 up until that time, and was perhaps the most successful President at fulfilling his campaign promises. During his term, he cut tariffs to expand trade, strengthened the federal treasury, settled the Oregon boundary dispute, and expanded the territorial gains along the Pacific coast and in the Southwest. Polk is also regarded as the first "dark horse" nominee in the history of the presidency.

Born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, on November 2, 1795, Polk accompanied his family to Tennessee as a young boy. He later returned to North Carolina and graduated from the University of North Carolina at the head of his class. He then returned to Tennessee, where he began practicing law. His political career included serving in the Tennessee House of Representatives, the US House of Representatives, and as the Governor of Tennessee. At the end of his presidential term, Polk settled into a quiet retirement in Nashville where he fell ill only 3 months after leaving office. He died in June of 1849.

The stamp was engraved through intaglio process by the Banknote Corporation of America.

Reference: Postal Bulletin (September 28, 1995)

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