President 1845-1849 / Master Mason 1820
Master Mason 1820. EA, FC, MM, in Columbia Lodge No. 31, Columbia, Tenn., 1820, exalted a Royal Arch Mason in La Fayette Chapter No. 4 at Columbia in 1825.
President Polk, as a Freemason and elected Commander in Chief, assisted in the cornerstone laying of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. on May 1, 1847.
In Polk’s career as president he oversaw the opening of the U.S. Naval Academy and the Smithsonian Institution, the groundbreaking for the Washington Monument, and the issuance of the first postage stamps in the United States.
Polk was an early supporter of westward expansion expressed in a term that Democrats would later call “Manifest Destiny.”