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James K. Polk: A Short Life Full of Major Accomplishments

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Wed, Dec 09, 2015 @ 10:30 AM

james k polk 

JAMES K. POLK (1795-1849)
OUR 11TH PRESIDENT (1845-1849)  

President James K. Polk is perhaps best remembered with the slogan, “54° 40’ or fight.” After all, if it wasn’t for Polk’s leadership and tenacity in promoting geographic expansion, Texas and the Pacific Northwest may never have become part of the United States. Nonetheless, our 11th president accomplished several other “firsts” and was unique in many lesser-known ways.

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A MAGNIFICENTLY PRESERVED 9" DESSERT PLATE PURCHASED AND USED BY PRESIDENT JAMES K. POLK - NOW IN THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION OF OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA

Polk was a one-term President, serving from 1845 to 1849. It may have been his personal toughness that enabled him to lead the country through this tumultuous period. When he was only 17, he had surgery to remove gallstones that had bedeviled him throughout his childhood. The surgery was performed without benefit of either sterilization or anesthesia, because neither existed at that time, though anesthesia was invented while Polk was President.

Home-schooled as a young boy, James Polk had no formal education until the age of 18. Nonetheless, he was accepted as a sophomore to the University of North Carolina in 1816. He graduated in just two years, earning top honors in the classics and mathematics.

james k polk

WELL EDUCATED FORMER FIRST LADY SARAH CHILDRESS         (1803-1891) 

Polk’s wife, the former Sarah Childress, was also very well educated, a rarity for women in those days. As the daughter of a wealthy Tennessee plantation owner and merchant, she was privileged to attend the Salem Female Academy in North Carolina. Throughout their time together she helped her husband write letters and speeches and served as his confidential political and intellectual sounding-board and advisor.

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A PRISTINE 9.5" SHALLOW SOUP BOWL FROM THE JAMES K. POLK WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - NOW IN THE COLLECTION OF RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX

At the time he was elected, James K. Polk was the youngest person ever elected to the presidency – the first President under 50. He was also the youngest president to die, excluding assassinations. He was only 53 when he passed away, just three months after leaving office. That made him the only President to die before age 60, and the one to enjoy the shortest-ever presidential retirement. Some historians speculate Polk died of cholera, whereas others attribute his early death to lifelong frail health. As it turned out, he predeceased his own mother by three years.

james k polk

JAMES K. POLK INITIATED THE TRADITION OF PUTTING UP A CHRISTMAS TREE IN THE WHITE HOUSE  
 
James K. Polk was the first and only President who had previously served as Speaker in the House of Representatives. He was the first President to win an election without carrying either his home state or his state of residence. And he was the only president to use a law book instead of the Bible for his swearing-in ceremony. Polk was also the first President to put up a Christmas tree in the White House.
 
Overall, James K. Polk is highly regarded to this day for his achievements, especially his work to enlarge the territory of the United States. In a study jointly published in the year 2000 by the Wall Street Journal and the Federalist Society, James K. Polk was voted as one of the "near-great" Presidents of the United States. (There were only three Presidents listed in the "Great" category: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.)

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RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR 

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired a remarkable number of scarce or rare pieces of official White House china. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical artifacts has been his sole focus for more than 35 years. Mr. Amyx's collection is the largest privately-owned collection of extremely high-quality, as well as the rarest, Official White House China as well as Presidential China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

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Accomplishments of President James Knox Polk (1795-1849)

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Oct 02, 2014 @ 06:41 PM

After securing the presidency with the closest election in US history, the 49-year-old James K. Polk set clear goals for his term including his promise to only serve one term (1845–1849). Those goals were to reestablish the independent treasury system, reduce tariffs, and significantly expand the borders of the United States. Unlike many presidents before and since, James K. Polk succeeded in his objectives.

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PRESIDENT JAMES K. POLK

Walker Tariff

After gaining Congressional approval for the nomination of Robert J. Walker as the Secretary of the Treasury, James K. Polk commissioned a nationwide study of tariff levels. The results of the study were used to support the passage of the Walker Tariff of 1846, which significantly reduced the former Tariff of 1842. The most significant change was that the tariff rates were independent of the value of the imported merchandise, and some duty-free categories.

Treasury System

After his success in improving the Tariff status, James K. Polk moved on to the issue of establishing an independent treasury that would require government funds to be received and held by treasury deposit offices, not banks. President Martin Van Buren had signed the Independent Treasury Act into law in 1840 but it had been repealed by Congress the following year. James K. Polk enhanced the former legislation by requiring that disbursements were backed by gold or silver. In 1846, James K. Polk established the treasury system and it remained in place until 1913.

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JAMES K. POLK'S PRESIDENTIAL CHINA - SOUP BOWL
THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION 

Border Expansion

Because slavery was a highly-debated issue, James K. Polk was careful to pursue acquisition of lands that both forbid and embraced the practice of slavery. Adding more than a million square miles, James K. Polk was responsible for adding Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, most of New Mexico, and parts of Colorado, Montana, Texas, and Wyoming to the United States.  After threatening war with Britain, Polk secured the land that now forms Idaho, Oregon, and Washington in addition to the Columbia River.

The Mexican War began with a dispute concerning Texas’ southern border. Congress supported James K. Polk with a declaration of war. An actual fact, President Polk's Mexican War policy was a highly controversial topic in America. After sixteen months, in September 1847, US forces captured Mexico City. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo established that the Texas border would be at the Rio Grande, and the US would acquire California and New Mexico for a sum of 15 million USD.  In all, more than 13,000 American soldiers died during the Mexican War. Strangely, only 2,000 were lost in battle; the remainder were lost to disease. Mexico lost nearly 50,000 soldiers.

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MAJOR BORDER EXPANSION OF THE UNITED STATES

Department of the Interior

After securing numerous lands, James K. Polk signed the bill creating the Department of the Interior on March 3, 1849, his last full day in office. This cabinet position was one of the first additions. Polk himself did not fully support the idea of the federal government having so much power over the states’ lands but he had run out of time to negotiate any alternatives; thus the President did sign this legislation into law.

Retirement

As promised, James K. Polk did not seek re-election and left the presidency after having accomplished the objectives he had set. Only three months after leaving office, 53-year-old James K. Polk died on June 15, 1849 at his home in Nashville, TN. Although Polk had had numerous health problems throughout his life, his death was attributed to Cholera that he likely contracted during a tour of the South after leaving the White House. Polk was survived by his wife Sarah Childress Polk, and his mother. The Polks had no children. Today, James and Sarah Polk are buried in a tomb on the grounds of the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville.

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HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR - RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX

Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has been an avid historian and collector for much of his life. His extensive collection has long been admired throughout the world. The knowledge he has acquired has been called upon by the highest industry and government officials. Serious collectors who would like to discuss museum quality historically significant items are invited to contact Mr. Amyx for a confidential discussion.

ATTENTION: SELL YOUR WHITE HOUSE CHINA  AND/OR PRESIDENTIAL CHINA.

Tags: James K. Polk

PREVIOUSLY MISSING WHITE HOUSE CHINA PIECE - JAMES POLK DESSERT PLATE

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Tue, Nov 08, 2011 @ 08:07 AM

Featured in this writing, from The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection (a.k.a.) The American Heritage Collection, is the elegant White House China of America's 11th President -  James K. Polk.

In particular, note below the recently located example, that until november 2011,  had been kept through generations of one family -  since a White House Dinner hosted by President Polk, circa 1847- 48 - over one-hundred years ago.  It was at that White House State Dinner that either the First Lady or The President is said as to gift this never before identified example of one of the original 36 hand-painted Polk Dessert Plates. Each Polk Dessert Plate featured different examples of State flowers in The United States of America. To, over one-hundred years later, uncover one of the original 36 Polk plates is a fortunate historic find indeed.

pok white house china|offical white house china|white house china|james k. polk china|the raleigh degeer amyx collection|raleigh degeer amyx|the american heritage collection|THE BREATHTAKING 9" DESSERT PLATE FROM THE POLK PRESIDENTIAL SERVICE OF 1846 - WITH HAND-PAINTED STATE FLOWERS - REPRESENTING THE 36 AMERICAN STATES

polk white house china|polk dessert plate|raleigh degeer amyx|the american heritage collection|white house porcelain|A VIVID CLOSE-UP OF THE ORNATE SHIELD AND RIM OF THE 1846 PRESIDENTIAL SERVICE OF JAMES K. POLK

President Polk and his First Lady, Sarah Childress Polk, received at The White House this impressive 9.5" Official Presidential Dinner Plate, in 1846. There were ONLY 36 in this original Official White House China Order.  This example is one of those 36. And although President Tyler or Fillmore did reorder  a few pieces of The White House China Service of Polk, there were nuances of variation in the Dessert Plate reorder. 

This elegant  Presidential Service was manufactured by Edouard D. Honore' of Champroux, France.  Take special note of the "American Shield" at the top center – the very first time Red, White & Blue colors were ever used on Official White House State Dinner China.  Shortly after Polk's Inauguration on March 3,1845, President Polk asked his close friend, William Corcoran (1798 to 1888), to supervise the furnishings of The White House. Thus it was Mr. Corcoran that spearheaded the purchase of the President's new Official State Dinner Service in 1846.

POLK DINNER PLATE|WHITE HOUSE CHINA|POLK CHINA|THE RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX COLLECTION|THE AMERICAN HERITAGE COLLECTION|

THE ORNATELY ELEGANT WHITE HOUSE CHINA & 9.5" DINNER PLATE OF PRESIDENT JAMES K. POLK - IN 1846

kames k polk|president polk|the raleigh degeer amyx collection|the american heritage collection|OUR 11TH PRESIDENT - JAMES K. POLK OF TENNESSEE (1795 - 1949)

The Polk White House China Service decoration includes, on the border of each impressive porcelain piece, a "Polychrome Shield", of the United States, behind the National Motto, "E. Pluribis Unum", on the eye-catching floating Ribbon/Banner. The Polk Dessert Service displays a Green Border with the American Shield, within gold borders; each with a hand-painted botanically accurate State Flower - each representing the individual States of America and featured in the center of each elegant piece.  It was in March of 1846, that the new Official Presidential Service arrived at The White House to begin its first Official State Dinner use in The East Room.

sarah polk|first lady polk|white hosue china|the raleigh degeer amyx collection|the american heritage collection|TENNESSEE'S FIRST LADY - SARAH CHILDRESS POLK (1803 -1891)

President James K. Polk served only One-Term as our President. But that Presidential Service is considered, by a host of American Historians, to be one of the most impressive of them all. This was a President that set firm goals and made concrete promises to the American people. Polk delivered on each and every one of them. That has not gone unnoticed by Historians. Today President Polk is ranked in the near-great category, along with Theodore Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and very few others.

Unfortunately, President James K. Polk lived only 103 days after his One-Term as our President, passing away at the age of only 53.  Thus, he was not around nearly long enough to continue his legacy or highlight his own achievements. It was left to later Americans to offer up a Clarion Call, to set straight the momentous achievements of James K. Polk.

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Tags: White House China, James K. Polk

THE RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX COLLECTION -WHITE HOUSE CHINA- JAMES K. POLK

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Mon, Apr 18, 2011 @ 07:06 AM

Featured in this writing, from The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection (a.k.a.) The American Heritage Collection, is the Elegant White House China of America's 11th President -  James K. Polk.

raleigh degeer amyx|the raleigh degeer amyx collection|white house china|presidential service|HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR - RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX 2010

President Polk and his First Lady, Sarah Childress Polk, received at The White House this Impressive 9.5" Official Presidential Dinner Plate, in 1846. There were ONLY 36 in this Official White House China Order. And, no subsequent President ever reordered The White House China Service of Polk.  This Impressive Presidential Service was manufactured by Edouard D. Honore' of Champroux, France.  Take Special Note of the "American Shield" at the top center – the very First time Red, White & Blue colors were ever used on Official White House State Dinner China.  Shortly after Polk's Inauguration on March 3,1845, President Polk asked his close friend, William Corcoran (1798 to 1888), to Supervise the furnishings of The White House. Thus it was Mr. Corcoran that spearheaded the purchase of the President's new Official State Dinner Service in 1846.

james k. polk white house china|white house china|raleigh degeer amyx|the raleigh degeer amyx collection|the american heritage collection|THE ORNATELY ELEGANT WHITE HOUSE CHINA & 9.5" DINNER PLATE OF PRESIDENT JAMES K. POLK - IN 1846

The Polk White House China Service decoration includes, on the border of each Impressive Porcelain Piece, a "Polychrome Shield", of the United States, behind the National Motto, "E. Pluribis Unum", on the eye-catching floating Ribbon/Banner.

james k. polk white house china|raleigh degeer amyx|offcial white house china|the raleigh degeer amyx collection|presidential china|the american heritage collection|A VIVID CLOSE-UP OF THE AMERICAN SHIELD AND ORNATE RIM OF THE 1846 PRESIDENTIAL SERVICE OF JAMES K. POLK

Also, recently uncovered in The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection is the Exquisite James K. Polk 1846 - 9" Dessert Plate – Mfg. in France & once again made by Edouard Honore' of Champroux, France.  Again, take special note of the - Red White & Blue " American Seal" - at the top center of the plate.  The Polk Dessert Service displays a Green Border with the American Shield, within Gold Borders; each with a hand-painted botanically accurate State Flower - each representing the individual States of America and featured in the center of each Impressive piece.  It was in March of 1846, that the new Official Presidential Service arrived at The White House to begin its First Official use in The East Room.

james k. polk white house china|raleigh degeer amyx|the raleigh degeer amyx collection|presidential service|the american heritage collection|THE BREATHTAKING 9" DESSERT PLATE FROM THE POLK PRESIDENTIAL SERVICE OF 1846 - WITH HAND-PAINTED STATE FLOWERS - REPRESENTING THE 36 AMERICAN STATES

President James K. Polk served only One-Term as our President. But that Presidential Service is considered, by a host of American Historians, to be one of the most Impressive of them all. This was a President that set firm goals and made concrete promises. Polk delivered on each and every one of them. That has not gone unnoticed by Historians. Unfortunately, President James K. Polk lived only 103 days after his One-Term as our President. Thus, he was not around nearly long enough to continue his legacy or highlight his own achievements. It was left to other Americans to offer up such a Clarion Call, to set his Historic Record straight.

president james k. polk|raleigh degeer amyx|the raleigh degeer amyx collection|jakes k. polk white house china|OUR 11TH PRESIDENT - JAMES K. POLK OF TENNESSEE

sarah polk|first lady sarah polk|raleigh degeer amyx|the raleigh degeer amyx collection|white house china|the americanheritage collection|TENNESSEE'S FIRST LADY - SARAH CHILDRESS POLK (1803 -1891)

 


Tags: White House China, The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection, James K. Polk

WHITE HOUSE CHINA--HUGE & ELEGANT COLLECTION FINALLY LOCATED IN USA

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Fri, Mar 04, 2011 @ 08:09 AM

One of the world's finest collections of Official White House China, that graces the Formal State Dinners of our American First Families has finally been located.  The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection, also known as The American Heritage Collection, has one of the Top-Two quality collections of Official White House State Dinner China outside the White House. Included in the collection are well over 100 Official pieces from the Administration's of many of our American Presidents, although the majority did not order any in the first place.

white house china collectionA SELECTION OF OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA AS DISPLAYED IN THE COLLECTION OF RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX

These Presidents include, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Benjamin Harrison, Harry S Truman, Ronald Reagan, Dwight D Eisenhower, Ulysses S Grant, James K Polk, Andrew Jackson, Rutherford B Hayes, Woodrow Wilson, James Buchanan, Franklin Pierce, Lyndon B.  Johnson, Jimmy Carter, James Monroe, U.S.S. Williamsburg Service Plates and Air Force One Official Presidential (forward-cabin) China.

raleigh degeer amyx white house china collection ADDITIONAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA SELECTIONS FROM THE COLLECTION OF RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX 

Official White House State Dinner China is considered to be a Rare collectible, as it is nearly impossible to obtain in authentic format.  However, in earlier White House days, Presidents such as Chester Arthur, would hold an auction on the White House lawn (hard for us to comprehend such an over the top act today) for items that were no longer in use, or met with President Chester Arthur's standards. Today, public auctions for White House furnishings? No way!  In the early 1890's, First Lady Caroline Scott Harrison, an accomplished painter of China herself, started preserving and inventorying the present Collection of White House China, which is now in use or on display at The White House.

white house china ANOTHER CASE OF OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA FOR YOU TO PERUSE - FROM THE COLLECTION OF RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX

Occasionally, Raleigh DeGeer Amyx sells a select few pieces of extra Official White House China -- Or perhaps a trade might ensue.  However, he is always in a serious mind frame, as he searches intensely for new historic additions to add to his prominent collection.

raleigh degeer amyxRALEIGH DEGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN & COLLECTOR - TO INCLUDE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA THAT CAN BE VIEWED ABOVE AS WELL BELOW THIS IMAGE

abraham lincoln white house chinaTHE ELEGANT WHITE HOUSE CHINA OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN - THIS DINNER PLATE IS IN THE RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX COLLECTION.

 

james monroe white house chinaTHE MAJESTY OF THE WHITE HOUSE CHINA OF JAMES MONROE - HIS DESSERT PLATE - FROM THE PRESIDENTIAL CHINA COLLECTION OF RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX

ronald reagan white house chinaTHE SUPREME ELEGANCE OF THE RONALD REAGAN SERVICE PLATE - AN EXAMPLE FROM THE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION OF RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX

raleigh degeer amyx collectionFOR FURTHER EXAMPLES SEE THE RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX COLLECTION AND ALSO BE CERTAIN TO PERUSE THIS MARVELOUS BOOK OF THE COLLECTION OF A GENTLEMAN, BUT RECENTLY DECEASED, ROBERT L. McNEIL

 


 


 


Tags: Presidential Memorabilia, White House China, The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection, The American Heritage Collection, Ulysses S. Grant, James K. Polk, Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, James Monroe

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