About Collecting James K. Polk Signatures
James K. Polk is probably the most underrated president, as he entered office with a vision of America’s “manifest destiny” and made it all come true in less than three years. This included a plan to annex Texas and wrest all of the vast lands north of the Rio Grande from Mexico, including California. A man obsessed with secrecy and criticized as devious, he generally wrote his letters himself and many were labeled as private or personal.
There are comparatively few good content letters, and significant letters relating to the Mexican War are quite rare. In fact, his correspondence is generally somewhat scarce and unrevealing, though in letters he wrote to trusted confidants, he was quite capable of saying what he really thought about events. Anyone looking to Polk's correspondence to learn something about the man and his personal motivations will come away disappointed.