Polk, Leonidas Lafayette

Life Span
to
Full name
Leonidas Lafayette Polk
Place of Birth
Birth Date Certainty
Exact
Death Date Certainty
Exact
Gender
Male
Race
White
Sectional choice
South
Origins
Slave State
No. of Spouses
1
No. of Children
7
Family
Andrew Polk (father), Serena Autry (mother), Sarah Pamela Gaddy (wife, 1857)
Education
Other
Other Education
Davidson College, NC
Occupation
Politician
Military
Farmer or Planter
Relation to Slavery
Slaveholder
Political Parties
Constitutional Union (1860)
Other
Other Political Party
Opposition Party
Government
State legislature
Military
Confederate Army

Leonidas LaFayette Polk (American National Biography)

Scholarship
Nothing in Polk's early life predicted his rise to prominence in a movement of angry farmers. The son of a planter, a moderately successful politician within the bounds of traditional southern politics, and a failed businessman, Polk nevertheless possessed remarkable organizational skills, and he had a knack for getting people to accept his leadership. He did not enrich himself at the expense of the movement he led; in fact, he died in debt, unable even to collect the salary owed him as president of the alliance. Polk was not the most advanced ideologue of the Populist movement, but he saw clearly the necessity of subjugating issues of section and race in order to give the new political movement of farmers and workers a chance to succeed.
Robert McMath, "Polk, Leonidas LaFayette," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/05/05-00624.html.
How to Cite This Page: "Polk, Leonidas Lafayette," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/6416.