Correspondence of James K. Polk Volume 13 Published

Michael Cohen Discussion

The James K. Polk Project, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is delighted to announce the publication of Volume 13 of the Correspondence of James K. Polk. This penultimate volume in the series, covering August 1847 to March 1848, sheds new light on the end of the Mexican-American War and the origin of the current U.S.-Mexico border. Letters discuss the war's final battles and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ceded California and the Southwest from Mexico to the United States.

Edited by Michael David Cohen and published by the University of Tennessee Press, the new volume also features letters on persecuted Mormons' journey from Illinois to Utah, U.S. interest in annexing Cuba, and Americans' reactions to the revolutions that shook Europe in 1848.

The James K. Polk Project publishes the thousands of letters that Polk wrote and received. Crucial resources for scholars and students, they offer a glimpse into war, politics, diplomacy, economics, society, and culture in antebellum America.

Volume 13 includes 224 full-text letters, 450 letter summaries, and more than 1,500 footnotes. Polk's correspondents include Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Lawyer Aaron Palmer advocates enhanced trade with Russia and China. Medical student William Gamble expounds on the evils of slavery. Federal worker Barbara Hume stresses the need of employment to support her children. Dakota Indians warn of the suffering and starvation caused by the government's withholding food and money promised in a treaty. Letters deal with Polk's purchases and sales of slaves and the attempt by one enslaved man to escape from the president's cotton plantation.

The Polk Project is supported by grants from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Tennessee Historical Commission.