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Polk's America

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Leading scholars from across the nation introduce our small Tennessee town to artisans and abolitionists, poets and politicians, scientists and suffragists. We’ll see what the past has to say to our present. Continue Reading >>
Leading scholars from across the nation introduce our small Tennessee town to artisans and abolitionists, poets and politicians, scientists and suffragists. We’ll see what the past has to say to our present. << Show Less
Featured Audio
Tiffany Momon & Victoria Hensley | Black Craftspeople Digital Archive The BCDA, a nationally-celebrated project changing the face of decorative arts and material culture scholarship, recently expanded the archive into Tennessee. Founders Dr. Tiffany Momon and Victoria Hensley share their research and the reasons why identifying and studying black craftspeople is so important.
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Top Snippets from Polk's America
The Conspiracy Theory Host Thomas Samuel and Professor Erick Schmeller describe the elaborate conspiracy theory surrounding the infamous bandit John Murrell.
The Stories in the Objects Host Thomas Samuel and curator Candice Candeto speak to the ways in which everyday objects and people teach us about our history.
April 21, 1858 Katherine Hughes imagines a day in the life at the Edgefield Stoneware Pottery where David Drake, a.k.a. Dave the Potter, created his massive works and inscribed them with poetry.
The Rise of Lithography Master Printer Phil Sanders explains how the rise of lithography in Polk's America shaped the ways in which Americans received information.
Slavery and Museum Collections Curator Candice Candeto explains how museum objects of the 19th century are intertwined with the institution.
False Narratives for White Supremacy Zach Kinslow demonstrates how narratives about faithful slaves were used to advance white supremacy and paint the institution of slavery in a better light after emancipation.
John James Audubon's Last Big Adventure Katie McKinney tells the story of the artist Audubon's final trip west in search of specimens for the Quadrupeds of North America.
The Log Cabin Composer Musicologist Douglas Shadle introduces Anthony Philip Heinrich, the eccentric American composer who fancied himself the "Log Cabin Composer" and wrote some of the first American symphonies.
Playlists
Episode Highlights Sharing curated moments from selected episodes to showcase the talents and expertise of our presenters and special guests. Polk's America
Fan Favorites Here we highlight some of the best performing episodes from the Polk's America series. Polk's America
Newest Audio
Tiffany Momon & Victoria Hensley | Black Craftspeople Digital Archive The BCDA, a nationally-celebrated project changing the face of decorative arts and material culture scholarship, recently expanded the archive into Tennessee. Founders Dr. Tiffany Momon and Victoria Hensley share their research and the reasons why identifying and studying black craftspeople is so important.
Sally Givens | South Union Shaker Village The Shakers' American utopian experiment succeeded in creating an egalitarian culture contrary to societal norms in Polk's America. In 1807 the Shakers established a village in frontier KY that eventually would be home to over 300 followers. Curator and Educator Sally Givens introduces the people and material culture of the South Union Shaker Village in Auburn, KY.
Brenda Hornsby-Heindl | Creating the Kitchen Garden Consultant Brenda Hornsby Heindl shares her research behind the creation of a c. 1820 kitchen garden at the President James K. Polk Home & Museum. The garden provides a tangible connection to the people who lived and labored on the property. Special guests include chef Paul Jensen, brewmaster Zac Fox, and curator Candice Candeto. Musical performances by The Grateful Bluegrass Band.
John Holtzapple | The Fate of Mary Rogers On July 28, 1841, Mary Rogers was found dead in the Hudson River at 20 years of age. Speculation swirled: Was it gang violence? A botched abortion? Was she murdered by her fiancé, who later committed suicide? Mary Rogers' murder was never solved, although its sensationalized presence in the media (even brought to literature by Edgar Allan Poe) ensured Mary's story never truly died.The President James K. Polk Home and Museum director John Holtzapple's presentation, The Fate of Mary Rogers: How a 19th Century Murder Mirrored Polk's America, details the case of the Rogers murder and contextualizes it in the historical changes of the early 19th century.
Episode 4: Barry Gidcomb | The Governorship of James K. Polk In 1839 James Polk was elected the 9th governor of Tennessee. Polk's tireless campaigning led the Democrats to a stunning victory that thrust Polk into the national spotlight. On this episode Dr. Barry Gidcomb of Columbia State Community College discusses the governorship of James K. Polk and how Polk's national ambition affected his ability to govern on the state level.
Episode 2: Mark Cheathem | Presidential Campaigning in the Age of Jackson Dr. Mark Cheathem is an award-winning author and the project director and co-editor of the Papers of Martin Van Buren. His most recent book, The Coming of Democracy: Presidential Campaigning in the Age of Jackson, examines the presidential campaign of 1840 and the impacts this consequential election has had on modern campaign strategies and public perception. featuring musical performances by historical interpreters Mark and Debbie Lewis
Episode 1: Candice Candeto | Crafted by Conscience In the inaugural episode of the Polk's America Podcast, James K. Polk Home and Museum curator, Candice Candeto, explains the new exhibit, Crafted by Conscience: Material and Belief in Polk's America. Also, the host takes you on a walk through the gallery highlighting some of the objects on loan from over 16 different museums and institutions. Crafted by Conscience runs until the end of September 2019.