Portrait of Mrs. James K. Polk
- Creator:George P.A. Healy, (1813-1894)
- Title:Portrait of Mrs. James K. Polk
- Description:In this portrait, a woman looks to her right wearing a red off the shoulder gown and a tassel-like hair ornament. She is posed in front of a landscape seated in a red chair with a wood frame. There is what appears to be a brown curtain at left.
- Historical Note:Sarah Childress was raised in Rutherford County, near Murfreesboro, the daughter of a successful merchant, tavern keeper, and land speculator. Sarah and her sister were educated at the Daniel Elam School and were tutored by the principal of the Bradley Academy, and so their instruction was on a level with that given to boys. At around age 12 the girls were sent to Nashville's Abercrombie School and then finished their education at the Moravian Female Academy in what is now Winston-Salem. The James K. Polk Ancestral Home has a lovely piece of needlework that Sarah completed while in school. After returning to Murfreesboro, Sarah married James K. Polk on January 1, 1824. Sarah supported her husband by accompanying him to Washington on almost every occasion and by highlighting interesting articles in the newspapers for him to read. During Polk's four years as president, 1844-1848, Sarah opened the White House twice weekly to the public. George Peter Alexander Healy, 1813-1894, painted this image of Mrs. Polk, one of a pair of portraits, while President Polk was in office. The paintings, along with furnishings used by the Polks at the White House and later at Polk Place, were donated to the ancestral home of James K. Polk by Mrs. Polk's niece.
- Institution:James K. Polk Ancestral Home
- Publisher:Digital Initiatives, James E. Walker Library, Middle Tennessee State University
- Rights:Images reproduced on this website are intended for individual, educational use only. For research inquiries about specific objects or requests for high resolution images, contact James K. Polk Ancestral Home.