Correspondence of JAMES K. POLK
My Dear Sir:

I have received your letter of the 6th Instant, informing me that you have collected for me, for rents and for lands sold, six hundred and sixty five dollars ($665.00), and enquiring what disposition I desire to have made of it. If you have an opportunity, and can purchase an additional hand and a mule for me, and send them to my plantation in Mississippi it would suit me best. My manager ( Mr John A. Marrs ) informs me that he has near 100. acres of land open, more than his present force can cultivate this year.1 If you can make the purchase, I desire that it shall be done in time for this year’s crop. For the reasons stated in my correspondence with you two or three years ago, it will be unnecessary that you should make it known that you are purchasing for me.2 You can take the title in your own name and transfer it to me as you did in a former case. I wish the same description of property you then bought; I mean young and effective. If you purchase you can employ some trust-worthy man to take the property down, writing yourself a letter to Mr Marrs . If the price should be either greater or less, than the amount in your hands, we can settle it hereafter.

In answer to the enquiries you make in relation to the time of my return home; whether I will visit my plantation in the Spring &c I have to state, that I expect to leave here on the 6th of March, taking the Southern route, by way Charleston, Mobile & New Orleans. This will of course bring me by the way of Memphis on my way up the river, at which point, if you have any business there, I should be happy to visit you. It is impossible to say, on what day I may pass Memphis, but as I may meet with some detentions on the route, it will probably be about the 22nd or 23rd of March. I cannot tell until I reach home, whether I will visit my plantation in the Spring or not. If I do I will certainly spend a day or two with my relations in Bolivar.

I am sincerely rejoiced as the period approach[es]3 when I will be relieved, from public cares and responsibilities. I will very soon cease to be a servant and become a sovereign. I am very sure that as a pivate citizen, exercising a part of the sovereign power of my country, I shall have more contentment and happiness, than in the high position which I at present occupy.

With kind regards of Mrs. Polk and myself to your wife and daughter; . . . .


ALS, press copy. DLC–JKP. Addressed to Bolivar, Tenn., and marked “(Private).”

  1. Polk possibly refers to John A. Mairs to Polk, January 4, 1848.
  2. Polk to McNeal, November 8, 1846; Polk to McNeal, December 22, 1846.
  3. Letters missing, light ink transfer.