September 4, 2022
Sarah Childress Polk
September 4, 1803
Sarah Childress Polk — Born September 4, 1803 (Murfreesboro, TN). Died August 14, 1891 (Nashville, TN)
White House Years: 1845-1849
o Sarah Polk received an education rare for a woman of her time; she attended Moravians’ female academy, which was one of the few places to teach higher learning to women at the time.
o Well-studied in politics, it was no surprise that she married Andrew Jackson’s political protégé, James K. Polk in 1824; they had a marriage of equals.
o She served as her husband’s secretary and helped him with his speeches; she was always there to advise him.
o Sarah Polk was seen as having considerable power to influence policy, especially foreign policy.
o Sarah Polk was the first first lady to have no children.
o Sarah Polk was the first first lady to host an annual Thanksgiving dinner at the White House.
“If I should be so fortunate as to reach the White House, I expect to live on twenty-five thousand dollars a year, and I will neither keep house nor make butter.”