Reading Room: President Polk Visited by 200 Unannounced Foundry Youth

On the afternoon of July 4, 1846, President James K. Polk was having an early dinner. In the midst of the meal the White House porter announced that a large number of Sabbath school children were at the door. They were from Foundry Church and had come in a procession, led by their instructors.

The President "immediately repaired to the Circular parlour" (now the Blue Room) where he received them. One of the teachers made a speech to Polk who "responded in a brief address." The children, some two hundred "of both sexes under 12 years of age," sang a hymn and "retired in good order."

Polk commented that these young people were being brought up "under lessons of moral instructions, which is well calculated to make them good citizens."


This article, originally titled "A Visit to the White House" is provided and used with permission from Papers of Homer Calkin, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.