tv The Presidency James K. Polk Ancestry Politics Policies CSPAN August 6, 2019 11:06pm-12:32am EDT
polk -- cspan. listen live from wherever you are on the go, using the free cspan radio app. next, on american history tv are look at president james polk continues . this was part of a conference at the university of tennessee. that marked the completion of a 60 year project. events hosted by the east tennessee society. >> i think we are ready to begin. my name is connie i am associate advisor at the university of central florida. i have moved forward from polk. my area of expertise is from
the end of reconstruction to world war ii. i'm very happy to be here today. i want to be an introduction of our panel. we have a very tight timeline. i want to try to control our panelists. i want to make sure we have adequate time for everyone. when you get to five minutes left, i a five-minute card here and i will lay it up so you can see it and you can see where you are. you have time for everyone. catalyst introduced all at once people with their first panelist who is john f polk. he received his phd in
mathematics from university of delaware. in 1979. he served three he is retired from a 45 year career as a scientist and senior advisor at research collaboration at the u.s. army research laboratory. he is currently the clan historian for when polk international and publishes short articles on family history and the clan newsletter. he has published two books on historical topics, beyond the polk family of the chesapeake eastern shore in the colonial era. that was released in 2015. which received the society, and the second book set records 1692-6096. abstracts with transcriptions and the archives.
this was published in 2002. he also published an article in the journal of scotch irish history titled the chesapeake. that was published in 2008. dr. polk initiated the dna project in association with the ft dna. the tire of his presentation is re-examining the ancestry. >> i appreciate that introduction. thank you very much for the
introduction. as you see the title of my talk is re-examining the ancestry of president james j polk. the main point i want to talk but is the ancestry of the polk family that arrived from north carolina and 1750s is not as stated in the popular polk family history books. i'm referring specifically here to kinsman published 1912 by harrison polk. and polk family of tennessee is the popular ones on the polk family. the polk family they were they want to say, how i know they are correct, and i will. see
here his father is samuel polk, his grandfather was ezekiel polk. than theirs the grandfather. william polk. who is much more elusive figure. not much known about him. he would be the main focus of what i have to say right now. he came from. only know about him is we know a woman by the name of margaret taylor. they had five sons, and three daughters. nobody knows where he lives.
nobody knows where he was buried. in the course of the president was a fourth-generation, and by this time this is lost track of the early early history. with a new about it, the polk of raleigh. we talk about himself, and about how we pass this short statement about the family. you see on the chart. this is a third person autobiography. it says is a descendent of a family who immigrated from ireland about the year 1722.
they are moved the state of pennsylvania, and into the neighborhood. this is probably what president polk would have known about his family as far as its early roots. that's as far back as he would've known. he was far too busy running for office and pursuing his legal career. when he got to be reelected president and went on to washington, like any other president people claimed that they related to him. so, they've been paying a lot of attention to these. the two people that are important our position is almonds and specifically -- there was a colonel william wynder some people say winder.
both who lived in somerset county on the eastern shore of maryland. he said my family came from the eastern shoreline of maryland. it goes back to bella named robert polk. they had seven sons. and the oldest son john had a son named william. john died in 1708. there's no further record of him in somerset. they said this looks like it should be the right time. and he says yes, it must be our
connection of the maryland pokes. they put together a family tree. maybe some of you have seen this family tree. there is a picture of it. this is my own personal copy. it shows the main part of the tree at the top. in the lower part is maryland pokes. is looking at it a little more closely you can see here at the bottom and john goes up to the middle of the tree. that is william polk.
the grandfather of the crescent. you can see the sun is looking up to the left his son ezekiel samuel son the president james polk which is at the top left in the yellow oval you see there. up on the right is his cousin, actually second cousin. two of them are the ones who put this tree together. if you look in the very small print at the bottom of the tree is is entered by 1849. of course you know it is completely accurate. at any rate, this is accepted widely everybody.
robert polk of ireland came from donegal. this was fine. in 1908 something happened. william harrison polk was in the final days of finishing his monumental work on the polk family. the got a letter from earl polk in the eastern shore. william polk who lived here in 7023 he only made it into maryland near somerset. then he died. so, this caused a big problem for william harrison polk.
so, this is the situation going back to the sons of polk. there were seven of them. they go back and forth showing which son would've been the right one. should have picked someone else. they didn't have new information . all they could do is speculate. and for whatever reason he decided, east william, the second son. they ended up in north carolina. that's the way he wrote the book. he doesn't make any qualifications on it. that's the way the family history comes down to the last hundred years.
does when it came down to the present day. the problem is of course it was just a speculation, and he had no fax behind it. and it actually is wrong. that's what i want to mention now. have a couple of statements here . i don't need to read through my guess. i do want to mention he makes these payments. he relates to another person was a well-known who is in the. both of those are not to be incorrect. we know that in two ways. one is the traditional way of paper trail you. i spent many
days over the years at maryland state archives digging through every record in the colonial period. nowhere amongst his records you will find anything to backup the evidence of someone who might have ended up going up to north carolina to tennessee. so, unfortunately imagined the tax lists. the tax lists was probably the best piece of evidence. they went around collecting the names of the taxable's in the county. the taxable's were people were 16 years old. they had the names of the people in everyone's house. get to sons by the name of james, but none of them are
william charles. since nobody wants to accept something that is been believed for 100 years, and particularly if it's connected to the president of the united states. usually have a little bit better evidence. myself in the long term colleague of mine in the city many of you may know is a very excellent polk genealogy researcher. the dna of course is -- 250 numbers who have contributed dna. of those, 100 of them are polk males who contributed y
chromosome dna, that's what gets passed on from father to son without change. whatever he had would've been passed to his descendents. there is actually two different groups to the groups that emerged. in the descendents of robert polk of eastern shore are off one group. the great-grandfather belong to a different group known as to 69. there's no possibility that william polk could have been the sun or descendent of william polk his grandfather could not have been a descendent of the robert polk of eastern shore. that was shot down.
now the question is, where did he actually come from? is it was in somerset, we know he did come from the eastern shore of maryland. look elsewhere. i found if you go up a ways. is the very top part of the chesapeake bay. is on the chesapeake bay. you see the state called the new mustard plantation which was patented in 1680s. and a group of irish all moved into this area.
you find the whole cluster of the alexander family. who settled there in 1708. they purchased land in 1718. you can see various parts of where they settled. and of you who spent time in north carolina you know how prominent the family was. all his people in north carolina to sons and grandsons of the alexander's. they follow that path from eastern shore of pennsylvania. then down to north carolina. that's how he described his family. that's with the family did. if she little therapy this is a
piece of land purchased by a gentleman. he purchased it in 1727. arrived in 1722. that fits pretty well. and this is the original scottish fort form of polk. everybody spell the names very inconsistently. talented he live there? one minute remaining this is you left. probably followed the same pattern as the alexander's. his wife's name was margaret. the wife's name was margaret taylor. she's living right here. all the pieces really come together
to really point to the fact that this is in fact william polk who became the great-grandfather the president polk. i can tell you for my own research all the other possible counties that this looks like nothing else out there. other than this one. as far as i am concerned she's 100%. if you decide to agree with that. there is no smoking gun document of the pokes in north carolina. to me all the facts are pointing that way. until someone comes up with a better theory. i'm just going to look at this one. thank you for that. i whipped all of this up in a much lengthy paper. we have proceedings, if they
are not it will publish it in the appropriate journal. in the meantime this is my conclusion. this email my email address. you can contact. i guess that's it. to have any questions? okay. there's my book, i have several copies of it here. i can part with them which is called beyond published four years ago. it did get a price for book of the year. it has all the answers on the
eastern shore. is zero people not related to. had so much information i decided it was worth putting together. thank you. >> [ applause ] >> >> our second presenter is p kelly. he completed his undergraduate degree in history at central college. he is stellar for the public humanities carolina public humanities university of north carolina. he has main numerous presentations at conferences in virginia. he currently has papers or
conferences at his published two articles in east tennessee history. divided stay in the divided nation and exploration of supportive the union. this is published in 2013. and the noble's enterprise of modern times robert haynes, 1936 addressed to the knoxville conventions which was published in 2016. they also published an article in historian title gradual emancipator. the paradox of john floyd. that was published in 2016. does mr. kelly seem familiar to any of you? you may river he was a student assistant at east tennessee.
>> thank you for the introduction. i appreciated. happy to be here. >> is inauguration day. is on the u.s. capital and address and press the nation. outgoing president john tyler had a resolution. they bank casting their eyes. his address at only cheered an exception, but he used it to articulate for the nation. is a population has expanded the union has been cemented and strengthened.
our proposition has been spread over a large surface. we acquired additional strength and security. is a shall be extended, the bonds of our union so far for being we can will become stronger. the president polk strength dependent on expansion. the connection between polk had not gone unnoticed. and art of expansion, and expansion is present only a few ways historians have described. polk is the president associated with a belief shared by many by americans that united states possess a divine right to the north american continent. while recognizing the disaster consequences and north americans in the 1840s.
and how expansion contributed to the crisis of 1850s. this future effective overlooks the ability and benefit from prior expansions. he moved with his family in the final months. soon to be organized asmara county. they will be become one of the counties most politically influential and wealthy us slaveholding families. as much is the social prominence relied on it. pokes father, grandfather of the family speculate heavily in turkey. and ordered become middle and west tennessee. there after the territory that were built.
the collected rent, surveyed landfill and sold tracks to prospective buyers. a complete understanding of the expansion of legacy requires not only a focus on the executive office, but also recognition of how the family acquired land wealth through the dispossession along the tennessee frontier. investment began the 1780s. there is north carolina leaders that believe the states western land across the mountains could generate much-needed residue. >> the law was actually the child of the specular's. knowing this, they see the most
valuable tracts of land. within seven months they entered over 3 million acres in north carolina went off. taking little notice over claims over most of the region. they reach great rewards in the land law because their little connections. esses pasts the great uncle let across the mountains for the cherokee foundations. before the land office closed, they entered over 50,000 acres of land. much of it in the duck river valley. it serves as a foundation to the polk family wealth. they can be rented out for any revenue. it would take two decades before they could take advantage of this speculation. can see on this map the river is right there and the duck river is a line that separates the yellow portion from the pink
looking portion. leaders of the early knighted states or to prevent americans from emigrating. frontier threatened u.s. national security. promoted conflict and appeared willing to shed the citizenship. national leaders use the centralized power to control the expansion in the 1780s. federal recognition through treaty negotiations proved the most effective check on native territory. the family for example what i've been particularly distressed by series of treaties with the cherokee nation that located the duck river valley with indian country. officials enforced the boundary lines by prohibiting speculation and relocating white families
on chickasaw or cherokee land. many settlers possessed legitimate land claims to many. the failure misrecognized the damaging consequences of the federal government's recognition of sovereignty. only five years after the trip across the mountain to identify valuable tracts. what will become of our western map? is there any probability of it ever coming to maturity? the fortune in western lands were on the verge of collapse. yet they did benefit from their investment in indigenous territory. investors in native land including clean polk repeatedly petitioned congress to open for white settlement.
tennessee state got even more power. the new states congressional delegates allied with north carolinians to advocate for cherokee and chickasaw. the u.s. federal system provided whiteness garlands could more directly pressure access to the territory. they held economic significance for cherokee and chickasaw's. that was three number of years. there was which supplies of wild game. at the chickasaw bluffs. hunting was deeply invented gender practice within both nations. without the opportunity to supply game to their families, they would be forced to live in an agricultural pursuit. leaders were well aware of the
duck river land. ultimately american officials were able to rest three sessions in the cherokee nation's between 1805 and 1806. only after large nation. william polk attended the negotiations in person. you can see the sessions on the map. the yellow portion above was in 1805 and the land below it was 1806. the investment in the position played off. as they benefited from these land sessions. he said it, the land had been
entered by his father ezekiel. much single family income came from as the agent to the first cousin. they claimed that they became active property. and the social benefits. he had personal experience with the economic benefits. the region was a discovery with the native people. the title of numerous indian tribes to country have been
extinguished. the president robert his family's economic games. they make land similarly accessible for white immigrants to the american west. polk river sense united states commitment and their destiny. and expansion of the 1840s. he is just as powerful east of the river. thank you. >> [ applause ] >> thomas is our third presenter who received his phd from harvard university. in 2004. and wrote his on the formation of the jackson party. 1822-1825. he received another scholarship,
when james was elected speaker of the house, is widely seen as a reward for services lingered. polk offered an explicit minority report detailing bank steeds and during the following session, his chairman of the same committee outmaneuvered thanks and secured passages of the revolution. he gushed polk for the cause with the american people. he didn't receive the metal but the services were far more substantial.
and later the presidency. polk would place a prominent war on something that would've been hard to predict even beforehand. jackson interactions. polk continued to contribute nothing with the passage of legislation. he is interested in the subject of banking, something i was able to confirm by digitally searching volume one of the correspondence of james polk. it would be a mistake to see polk's war services as either optimistic or passive, or as a result of fun thinkings slavers
devotion to jackson. misleading about the story and of jackson eight camp against the war. limiting the title to regret my wording. they minimized the real contribution to the struggle. they defended the policy sent by others. in the time i left, i would like to highlight two assets of the services who help make that point. mainly during it emma he was much more of a obedient party functionary.
jackson had vetoed the thanks recharge, but the charter had for months to run. as we explained, as far as old hickory was concerned the corruption is only scotched. not dead. both before and after the veto, had been on the hunt for heart evidence that could bring the bank down once and for all. they can confirm what he saw in his heart to be true that the bank was corrupt. it interfered in a bribed congressman and placed moneymaking before public service. the house of early 232 had conducted an exhaustive investigation of the bank. other than evident that it made suspicious loans, little was proven beyond gavel. in november 1832 months after his veto, jackson wrote himself
a memory him about the desirability of one of the bank has not violated the charter and the present situation is require the safety of the government, if united states deposits be withdrawn from it. and they were delivered the following month. he expressed his concerns, and asked congress or told congress that the city deposits were worthy of their serious investigation. the task fell to the means of which he was a member, jackson wrote polk tips and plausible sources and discussed a report that would kill the bank. over the next few months he pursued and unsparing examination into the banks affairs. reviewing internal bank documents. unfortunately rather
than going along, he issued him a refund. they were to have a profound effect on the course. is the center of the indictment of the bank with a scandal relating to 3% that in his retirement. a scandal so complicated and so recognized, so boring, but it's guaranteed to put you right to sleep. were up to her eyeballs. the gist of it is, in 1832, the government told the bank to pay off 8 1/2 million dollars of 3%
revolutionary stock. this was stock of low yield, and they could pay it off or not whenever it wanted. as long as it made interest payments. they wanted off. the bank had other ideas. claiming they didn't want to be calling at that they made arrangements with boulders and stuff of europe to delay redemption for your with a bank agreement to make interest payments in the meantime. for one thing it's what they're trying to do. to make matters worse he tried to keep this hidden. he only must've when he was late to the press. why did the bank do this?
well, those of you who remember their economics one-on-one would recall, the price of money , and it makes no sense when you can lend that money out at five or 6%. you're better off continuing the 3% interest. the try to make it look as if they were nonsense. the were pretty shady as you can see as the bank was solid. jack was even more pleased about the report. which was issued on march 1. boston globe of the administration sing the praises
on the powerful document. the corrupting institution is sheltered itself. in a matter so clear and convincing. by the time we ordered of september 23. this is a report from directors re-revealing bank expenditures on the publication of pro-bank propaganda during the election. i don't think that the charges a dark rotation are so's devastating compile. it's the first time you made the deposit removal. mentioned earlier that jackson had been with and extend. there have later had removal
but bear out the attention. their starting to do so. in a matter early draft, it's impossible to miss. jackson's final september 16 paper, we find the paraphrasing. the banks effort to fork the government, that it might retain public money to be used for their private interest. retaliated by notoriously unfounded nuisance here.
have two points to make. my second and final point is that his vision within the context of politics, this is an example of many colleagues in the congressional delegation. when you look at polk's decision within the context, what you see is that there is nothing inevitable about both polk -- while the boat was pending before congress a meeting attended by 100 people was held in columbia tennessee that eventuated a resolution constructing polk to vote for the charter. weeks later the grand jury set a national bank of the upmost utility to the government and the people of the united states.
surely these were troubling signs. polk wasn't receiving letters in the seductions telling him to vote against the bank. >> it more controversial than the vote against rechargeable among the constituents. he wades a wager. which i talked about earlier. among the charges that they level against the bank they hit and overextended into the west. surprisingly, many tennesseans left because the region and business community so described would further worsen. meeting was held at the national
courthouse. they had been misrepresented and mostly humiliated. two weeks later polk had new no choice. to the imperiled efforts to produce an excitement to my little in my immediate constituents, but the state in general. in the end these meetings were in a good sense that the state would support him. that gamble paid off. is most likely a combination of the two.'s decision proved to be the right one. in august of 33 he won
president homan museum in columbia tennessee. he published two articles enslaved and entrenched the complex lives of elias polk. and eight, 11, 61 martin van buren, and the second party system. he has a forthcoming from the university of tennessee. is the complicity. they contributed research and writing to the first lady. the presentation is enslaved and entrenched the complex life
of polk. >> all right. in the 1952 novel invisible man , it opens unknown unnamed narrator proclaiming i am an invisible man. i'm a man obsessed substance, flesh and bones, fiber and liquids, and i might even be said to possess a mind. i am invisible, understand simply because people easy to see me. and eat everything, and anything except me. for intensive purposes elias polk is an invisible man which struck me as kind of odd. he was a man enslaved by james polk. is not that he is some hidden
figures that no one had ever talked about, in fact almost every single biography of james polk features alliant at some point whether it's a paragraph, a sentence, whether it is just passing information. but, to truly understand who elias polk was and what he did with his impact not just of the state, but nationally, and understand with understand the loss cause. and the impact of the school on reconstruction. prior to emancipation there's not much known. what's written on comes in passing from james polk himself. there's nothing at all about him and james is diet. at several points in the course
in the loss cause is because what people have written about elias polk. prior to the patient's. it's for the most part a fabrication beginning around 19:49. she's very upfront in the book and she says it is friction. it's based on the life of james polk. that is very catch that news introduction. they repeated it. made worse by 88 years by sarah polk uses morale source. we do see it being repeated quite often. is prior to the civil war. comes right after james polk was elected. it says that in
the wyoming valley. they were alone, and while touring the area they stopped for the night at a local hotel. and a group of men walk up and say don't you know you're in a free state, you can lead if you want. elias polk is written the same. no way i'm going to go back on the president like that. according to the smith, he hears it offers is freedom, and he still turned it down. that never happened. when you look at what he's doing as president. we understand he is not in this part of pennsylvania at this time. when he does go, he is not there. you see elias