James K. Polk, eleventh president of the United States, was born in Mecklenburg County on November 2, 1795. Polk's life and career was divided between North Carolina and Tennessee. He was graduated from the University of North Carolina but lived thereafter in Tennessee. He served in Congress for fourteen years and became Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1835. Later he ran for president in 1844, campaigning on a pledge to serve just one term. As president, Polk championed the cause of westward expansion of the United States, settled the Oregon boundary dispute with England, and gained Congressional recognition of a state of war with Mexico and the annexation of Texas.