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James K. Polk Papers (1795 - 1849)

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James K. Polk

A selective edition of James K. Polk correspondence is currently being published by The Polk Project at the University of Tennessee Press. The editors' intent in their selection process is to publish all known significant correspondence to and from Polk. To date, 12 volumes of a projected 14 have been published. The editors of the project hope to complete publication of Polk's correspondence within the next 7-8 years. The first 7 volumes of correspondence were published at Vanderbilt University. The project was moved to the University of Tennessee with the publication of the 8th volume in 1993. In addition to Polk's correspondence, two editions of his diary have been published.

  • Correspondence of James K. Polk. The James K. Polk Correspondence project is currently in process. To date, 12 volumes have been published, covering the years 1817-1847.
  • Diary of James K. Polk during His Presidency, 1845 to 1849 4 vols. Edited by Milo M. Quaife and published in 1910. The comprehensive edition of Polk's diary.
  • Polk: The Diary of a President, 1845 to 1849. Edited by Allan Nevins and published in 1952. Abridged but more readily available than the Quaife edition.

The best source for unpublished material is the Library of Congress microfilm collection. The microfilm is available at a number of institutions throughout the United States, including Alderman Library at the University of Virginia through which the Scripps Library has access.

  • Papers (Library of Congress, 67 reels).

For the official papers of Washington during his Presidency, see James Richardson's Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents. This retrospective compilation was published in several different editions. The final edition was published in 1918 in 20 volumes. This edition covers the Presidencies of Washington through Taft and includes a significant portion of Wilson's Presidency. The contents of the Compilation are typically limited to official proclamations, addresses, and messages.

Please visit the Scripps Library's online bibliography of James K. Polk for more information on resources on the Polk Presidency.

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