President James K. Polk's Tomb – Nashville, Tennessee - Atlas Obscura

President James K. Polk's Tomb

Tennessee State Capitol

The grave of America's 11th president is not in some grand monument but instead it's hidden away on the grounds of the Tennessee Capital. 


The tomb of the 11th United States President, James K. Polk, is not in a cemetery or national monument, but on the grounds of the Tennessee State Capitol in downtown Nashville.

Former Governor of Tennessee, James K. Polk served as POTUS from 1845 to 1849. Under his administration, the country would annex the Republic of Texas (as President elect) and the Oregon Country, as well as Alta California, and Nuevo Mexico as a result of the Mexican War. After he left office, he went on a goodwill tour of the Southern states, where he reportedly contracted cholera while in New Orleans. He died only 103 days after leaving office, on June 15, 1849, at his Nashville mansion, Polk Place. His wife, Sarah Childress Polk, was buried near her late husband when she died in 1891.

The Polks were originally buried at Polk Place, but both James’ and Sarah’s remains were subsequently disinterred and moved to the grounds of the Tennessee State Capitol on September 19, 1893. Polk’s life ended in almost the same place as his political life began. In addition to the significance of being buried at the Capitol, James and Sarah Polk were reburied just 300 feet away from the state’s statue of President Andrew Jackson, who had mentored Polk in his early career.

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