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Title Sara Whitsett Childress Polk
Collection First Lady Dolls
Catalog Number 2015.017.013
Description Sarah Childress Polk (1803-1891)
Wife of James K. Polk - First Lady from 1845-1850

Sarah Childress was 5' 3" tall with brown hair and gray eyes. She attended a finishing school for daughters of elite New York families and studied music, French literature, ancient history, arithmetic and composition.
On January1, 1824 Sarah Childress married James Knox Polk, Rutherford County, Tennessee.
An orthodox Christian, Sarah Polk's incumbency of the White House was marked by a sober tone. Known as a strict "Sabbatarian," she refused to permit any business to be conducted on Sundays, famously once having the new Austrian Minister turned away when he came to present his credentials to the President.
Sarah also barred dancing in the White House. Music for dancing or other entertainment of invited guests was not provided at the White House. Another factor which affected entertaining at the White House was the fact that Sarah Polk had no previous experience running a large household or entertaining on a large scale.
Sarah accompanied her husband to Washington whenever she could. She was constantly but privately helping her husband with his speeches, copying his correspondence, and giving him advice. It is established that Mrs. Polk worked as her husband's personal secretary.
James Polk died of cholera, three months after leaving office. Sarah found herself as a widow at the age of 45. She lived at 'Polk Place' for nearly four decades after his death. Sarah Childress Polk died the 14th of August 1891.
Event Bicentennial First Lady Doll Exhibit - Community Project
Creator Park, Phyllis Juhlin
Costume Costume by Ann Weist King
Given Given by Zions First National Bank
Source Uintah County Library