H.R. 443 directs the Department of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of the James K. Polk Home and adjacent property in Columbia, Tennessee. In conducting this study, Interior shall evaluate the national significance of the site and determine the suitability and feasibility of designating it as a unit of the National Park System.
James K. Polk, the 11th president of the United States, lived in Columbia, Tennessee, from 1819 until 1824. Nominated as the first “dark-horse'' presidential candidate, Polk unified a split Democratic Party to defeat Henry Clay of the Whig Party, assuming office in 1844. Despite only serving one term, Polk is considered by some to be the most efficient President, accomplishing all the domestic and foreign policy goals established during his campaign. Although frequently overshadowed by his predecessor, Andrew Jackson, Polk is credited with a wide range of policy accomplishments, most notably expanding the western territorial holdings of the United States through the Mexican-American War and the establishment of the U.S. Naval Academy. Polk left office in 1849, returning to Nashville, Tennessee, where he lived for three months before his death.
The James K. Polk home in Columbia, Tennessee, was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1961. In April 2015, the National Park Service (NPS) completed a reconnaissance survey of the home and determined that the site warrants a special resource study to analyze the suitability, feasibility, and need for NPS to manage the James K. Polk home. NPS recommended that Congress consider authorizing a special resource study for the site. The James K. Polk home is the only surviving residence of President Polk, and contains original artifacts from his estate.