(11) Sarah Childress Polk


Sarah Childress Polk



Death date



James Polk

Dates of service


Relationship to president


Other marriages 




First Ladies National Library Biography of Sarah Polk

The White House: Sarah Polk

Papers/letters collections

Manuscripts for: Sarah Polk

Letter from Anderson Childress to Sarah Childress Polk About a Runaway Slave Woman

Historical sites

James K. Polk Historical Museum

Sarah Childress Polk Gravesite

Fascinating details

  • Sarah wanted to assume more than a social hostess role, turning much of her attention to catering to voters.
  • Aided the president when he experienced health issues by reading papers meant for him and marking important portions for his review.
  • She did not attend the Seneca Falls Convention but encouraged her husband to address the group.
  • Sarah Polk, a strongly religious woman, was adamant about restricting business conducted in the White House on Sundays. 
  • She disagreed with her husband’s implementation of a federal banking system. 
  • She referred to herself by the name “Mrs. James K. Polk” and restricted the use of the name Sarah Polk to legal documents only.