north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



Marker Text:

      The family home of Captain James Knox, grandfather of President James Knox Polk, built in the 1770s, stood near Cleveland, North Carolina, until claimed by fire in 1960. James Knox, born in 1752 in what was at the time Rowan County, served in the American Revolution as a captain in the North Carolina militia, participating in the skirmishes at Hanging Rock and Charlotte in 1780. His father, William Knox, the president’s great-grandfather, had been killed fighting as a North Carolina militiaman at Ramsour’s Mill.

      After the war Knox fathered several children by his wife Lydia Gillespie Knox. His daughter Jane Knox subsequently married Samuel Polk, a farmer from the Little Sugar Creek community of Mecklenburg County. The couple possibly lived at the Knox farm for a few years before settling on their own piece of land south of Charlotte on a bend in Little Sugar Creek. James Knox Polk, the eleventh president of the United States, was born to them on November 2, 1795. Eleven years later, Samuel Polk followed his father Ezekiel into Tennessee, settling in Maury County.

William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, V, 107-109—sketch by J. Isaac Copeland
John Seigenthaler, James K. Polk (2004)
Paul H. Bergeron, The Presidency of James K. Polk (1987)
Location: County:

Original Date Cast:




north carolina highway historical marker program

James Knox Polk

© 2008 North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources