Correspondence of JAMES K. POLK
Before this letter reaches your hand the memorable administration over which it has been your fortune to preside, will have closed, leaving to the Country, as a perpetual memory of its glorious period, a new empire, larger, richer, more fertile than that which, the Rome of the Consuls, and that of the Casars, conquered during five centuries; An Empire obtained in a just defensive war, which did not last more than one year, and at the expence, only, of a debt not equal to one fifth of the annual peace-budget of France.
In the home to which you will soon return, that where I sat at your hospitable board, you will find, in the proud consciousness of having fulfilled all that the Democracy expected at your hand, when it’s delegates, at Baltimore, proclaimed you it’s Candidate, and in the gratitude of American Democrates, the only reward you ever sought, or would accept.
Allow me, respected friend, to add to these felicitations on your well earned renown, addressed to the first Magistrate but, which, in all probability, will be read by the private Citizen, my fervent wishes that your future life may be as happy as your public career has been fortunate to our Common Country.
Will you have the goodness, Sir, to present me, most respectfully, to Mrs. Polk, and to receive the assurances of the sincere esteem with which I have the honor to be, . . . .
ALS. DLC–JKP. Marked “Private” on the cover. Postmarked Washington City, March 27; forwarded to Nashville. From Polk’s AE: received April 6, 1849.