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Conference Program

James K. Polk and His Time

A Conference Finale to the Polk Project

Friday and Saturday, April 12 and 13, 2019

East Tennessee Historical Society, Knoxville

A photo of Polk with his cabinet

Polk and His Cabinet (Polk Memorial Association)

Friday, April 12, 2019

8:30 to 9:15       Breakfast (for Registered Attendees) and Welcome

    Michael David Cohen* and Ernest Freeberg,* University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Scot Danforth, UT Press

9:15 to 10:45     Concurrent Sessions 1

Polk, War, and the Army

Chair and Discussant: Benjamin H. Severance,* Auburn University, Montgomery

“Young Hickory” Goes to War: Polk’s Approach to and Conduct of the Presidency in Wartime

Alexander V. Marriott, Alvin Community College

“The Whigs Generally are Obliged to be more Covert in their Thwarting Schemes”: The Federalist Party’s Shadow in the Era of Polk

Asaf Almog, University of Virginia

A Polk Man to the Core: John Fulton Reynolds, the Politics of Westward Expansion, and the Professionalization of the U.S. Army Junior Officer Corps in the Antebellum United States

Mitchell G. Klingenberg, Texas Christian University

Fort Ewell, Texas: A Borderlands Post of the Mounted Rifles, 1852–1854

William V. Scott, The University of Texas at San Antonio

Young Polk and Other Polks

Chair and Discussant: Connie L. Lester,* University of Central Florida

Reexamining the Ancestry of President James Knox Polk

John F. Polk, Clan Pollock and Polk-Pollock-Pogue DNA Project

Manifest Destiny’s Prehistory: The Polk Family’s Colonization of Indigenous Lands along the Duck River in Early Tennessee

Lucas P. Kelley, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Young Hickory’s Apprenticeship: James K. Polk in the Bank War

Thomas Coens, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Enslaved & Entrenched: The Complex Life of Elias Polk

Zacharie W. Kinslow, Austin Peay State University and President James K. Polk Home & Museum

10:45 to 11:00   Break

11:00 to 12:30   Concurrent Sessions 2

Polk’s Colleagues and Rivals

Chair and Discussant: Laura-Eve Moss, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

James K. Polk and John Quincy Adams

Neal Millikan, The Adams Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society

Young Hickory, the Little Giant, and the Democratic Party in the Age of Manifest Destiny

Michael E. Woods, Marshall University

“. . . That Timid, Shifty and Selfish Politician, Buchanan . . .”

C. S. Robinson, Versailles, Kentucky

Give ’em Jessie! Jessie Benton Frémont and the Presidential Campaign of 1856

Lorraine Dias Herbon, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Land, Sovereignty, and Religion

Chair and Discussant: Daniel Walker Howe, Oxford University and University of California, Los Angeles

Environmental Footprints in President Polk’s Thickly Forested Interior

Michael Gunther, Georgia Gwinnett College

Federal Mining Policy in James K. Polk’s America: National Authority, Small Government, and the Public Lands, 1807–1872

Patrick Allan Pospisek, Grand Valley State University

Indians Nations, Slavery and Congressional Power in the Post–Civil War and Antebellum Period: Reconsidering the Impact of the Thirteenth Amendment and Its Influence on Congress and Tribal Governments

Aaron L. Mason, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Alva

“Religion is the Very Best Possession in the World, and the Last to be Spoken Of”: James K. Polk and Jacksonian Religion as Enlightened Rational Christianity

Daniel N. Gullotta, Stanford University

12:30 to 1:45     Lunch (for Registered Attendees)

1:45 to 3:30       Featured Roundtable on the Many Sides of Polk

                           Polk, Van Buren, and Democratic Leadership in 1844

                           Mark R. Cheathem, Cumberland University

                           Arresting Achievements of the Overshadowed: The Perilous Reemergence of

James Knox Polk

                           Aaron Crawford,* University of Tennessee, Knoxville

                           Polk and the Business of Slavery

                           Kelly Houston Jones, Arkansas Tech University, Russellville

                            Polk as a War President

                           John C. Pinheiro,* Aquinas College (Chair)

                           Polk, John Catron, and the Executive-Judicial Relationship

                           Rachel A. Shelden, University of Oklahoma

3:30 to 4:00       Break

4:00 to 5:00       Reception

    Remarks by Holly Mercer, Newfound Press/UT Knoxville, and Charles G. Sellers, University of California, Berkeley

5:00 to 6:00       Keynote Address: “Lady First: The World of First Lady Sarah Polk”

                           Amy S. Greenberg, Pennsylvania State University

                           A signing of Dr. Greenberg’s book Lady First will follow the address.

Dinner on Your Own

Saturday, April 13, 2019

8:30 to 10:30     Breakfast (for Registered Attendees) and Screening of

    the Film James Polk

                           Brian Rose, Writer and Director

10:30 to 10:45   Break

10:45 to 11:45   You Can Visit a President: The Polk Historic Sites

    Chair: John Belohlavek, University of South Florida

     John Holtzapple, President James K. Polk Home & Museum, Columbia, Tenn.

     Scott Warren, President James K. Polk State Historic Site, Pineville, N.C.

11:45 to 1:00     Lunch (for Registered Attendees) and Valedictory

    “My manusc[r]ipt papers . . . are safe”: The James K. Polk Project, 1958–2019

    Michael David Cohen,* University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Names followed by * indicate participants who have worked at the Polk Project.