Join Riverfront Times Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Polk, It Is Your Destiny 

James K. Polk was a one-term president who didn't rate highly enough with later generations to warrant the honor of having his visage grace any of our folding money. And yet, Polk added more to America in his four years in office than any president other than Jefferson. Polk successfully negotiated a diplomatic compromise with England that gained America the Oregon Territory (which became the states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho, plus parts of Montana and Wyoming), and he successfully led the country through the Mexican-American War, which resulted in the country's acquisition of the land that became California, Nevada, Utah, much of Arizona, and little bits of Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. All this in four years — and he entered office with the stated intent of not running for a second term. How did Polk achieve so much in one term? Robert W. Merry chronicles the four-year whirlwind of activity that fulfilled America's Manifest Destiny in his new book, A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk and the Conquest of the American Continent. Merry discusses his book at 7 p.m. at St. Louis County Library Headquarters (1640 Lindbergh Boulevard, Frontenac; 314-994-3300 or Admission is free.
Mon., Nov. 16, 2009

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.

Latest in Night & Day

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2020 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation