Lady First: The World of First Lady Sarah Polk (Review)
College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Center for Judaic Studies
Sarah Childress Polk, First Lady, Jewish history
Lady First examines the life of Sarah Childress Polk, an often-overlooked yet powerful political player who became the First Lady of the United States when her husband, James K. Polk, became the nation's eleventh president in 1845. Born to a well-to-do Tennessee slaveholding family, Sarah was uncommonly well-educated for a woman of her era. Her early political instincts were honed with her marriage to the rising politician, who served as a congressman and then as governor of Tennessee. According to the historian Amy S. Greenberg, the Polks, who never had any children, “were above all else a team of two, in politics as in life” (p. 113). Certainly, American politics had long been a family affair, starting with the Adamses and the Madisons.
Abrams, J. (2020). Lady first: The world of First Lady Sarah Polk. Journal of American History, (106)4, 1060. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/jahist/jaz730