In A Reversal, Tennessee Lawmakers Vote To Move Polk's Tomb | Nashville Public Radio

In A Reversal, Tennessee Lawmakers Vote To Move Polk's Tomb

Apr 9, 2018

Tennessee lawmakers have voted to begin the process of moving President James K. Polk's body, after all.

The state House approved a resolution Monday night authorizing the relocation of the tomb of the nation's 11th president and his wife, Sarah, reversing a vote taken last month that appeared to decide that the Polks would stay put.

A museum in Columbia has asked to have the tomb. But it's still not clear when — or if — that will happen. 

"I want to make very, very clear," the measure's sponsor, Dickson Republican Michael Curcio told legislators. "This resolution does not move the tomb, but rather it allows the Capitol Commission, the Historic Commission and the Chancery Court to look at this.

Polk has already been moved two other times. A year after his death in 1849, he was taken from his original resting place in the Nashville City Cemetery to his downtown home, Polk Place.

Then when that building was torn down in the late 19th century, the legislature authorized his reinternment at the Capitol.

Polk was a political ally of President Andrew Jackson. He served just one term in the White House, but during his tenure, Polk prosecuted the Mexican-American War, completed the annexation of Texas and backed the westward expansion of slavery.