Correspondence of JAMES K. POLK
Dear Sister:

Mrs. Polk has received your letter, in which you inform her that Addison had left my place in Mississippi and was at your house.1 I am glad that you had determined to send him back immediately. His account of my overseer must be exaggerated, and I have no doubt is false. Mr Leigh who is a highly respectable old gentleman, and who lives adjoining my farm, writes to me that he is a humane man, that he treats all my people well, and that he has never known a better manager.2 He has certainly attended well to my interests during my absence. Addison ’s story is probably made up, to excuse himself for leaving. Mr Leigh was here last year, and told me the same thing which he has since written to me. I wish you as soon as you receive this letter, if it has not been done before, to hire some faithful man to take Addison back to my place. I will write to the overseer not to treat him harshly. As one of my mules is dead and another will be needed on the place, if Addison has not gone when you receive this letter, I wish you to request your son James to buy a mule for me, or get some one in the neighborhood to buy one for me, and let Addison ride it down to the place. I wish you to call on Samuel P. Walker of Memphis, (to whom I will write) and he will pay you all the expenses you have been or may be at, on account of Addison including the price of the mule if one is bought. This is the first instance of any of my people running back to Tennessee, since I left, and I was in hopes they, had abandoned or forgotten their old tricks. I will be at my plantation next year, and will put all right which may be wrong.


ALS, press copy. DLC–JKP. Addressed “To Mrs. Eliza L. Caldwell/Haywood County/Tennessee.”

  1. Caldwell’s letter to Sarah Childress Polk not found.
  2. John T. Leigh’s letter not found.