James K. Polk Monument
UNC (Chapel Hill)
Description: This monument, made of bronze, is a full-body sculpture of James Knox Polk, the 11th president of the United States (1845-1849). He was the only graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to become president. The statue depicts Polk as a young man holding folded papers in his right hand; his left arm is outstretched as if he is gesticulating to a crowd during an oration. He stands atop a carved outline of the United States.
Dedication date: 10/12/1997
Creator: Stephen H. Smith, Sculptor
Materials & Techniques: Bronze
Unveiling & Dedication: The monument was dedicated on University Day, 1997 at 3:30pm.
Subject notes: James Polk served as President of the United States from 1845-1849. As a Democrat, he had previously represented Tennessee in the House of Representatives and as governor. He won the 1844 election against Henry Clay and as President is remembered for his successes in foreign policy, his victory in the Mexican-American War, establishing a treasury system which lasted for over half a century, and securing passage for the Walker tariff of 1846.
Polk was born and raised in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, and graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1818.
Location: The statue stands in the center of the Genevieve Morehead Memorial Art Rotunda surrounded by portraits from Mrs. Morehead's private collection.
Landscape: The rotunda where the Polk statue is located is inside Morehead Planetarium, the first of its kind in the Southeast.
City: Chapel Hill
Subjects: Educational Institutions,Historic Political Figures