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James K. Polk
Date: 1795 - 1849
Remarks: James K. Polk, a graduate of the University of North Carolina, began his political career by serving in the Tennessee legislature, as the governor of Tennessee and in the House of Represenatives. In the election of 1844, Polk intially sought the bid to be the Democratic candidate for vice president. However, a close friend, Andrew Jackson, recognized Polk's opinions to be popular with the country and urged him to instead run for president. Once elected, Polk took action, working to expand the United States. Under his administration, New Mexico and California were acquired from Mexico, and the border of Canada was set with the British. Polk died in June of 1849, relatively soon after leaving office. While Polk's administration and its expansions were successful and popular, the additions to the nation caused trouble down the road in terms of slavery. -Source: