The Enduring Friendship of James Buchanan & First Lady Sarah Childress Polk

The Enduring Friendship of James Buchanan & First Lady Sarah Childress Polk

Join on Thursday, October 25, 2018 for The Enduring Friendship of James Buchanan and First Lady Sarah Childress Polk, featuring Dr. Amy Greenberg. Between 1845 and 1849 James Buchanan served as Secretary of State for President James K. Polk’s administration.  Nearly a decade later as Buchanan prepared for his own Presidential inauguration, newspapers were filled with speculations that the President elect had chosen a hostess for the Executive Mansion who already had experience in the role.  Dr. Greenberg will explore these rumors and Buchanan’s friendship with Sarah Childress Polk during her presentation for October’s Presidential Lecture series.

Image of Dr. Amy Greenberg.Dr. Amy Greenberg is the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of History and Women’s Studies at Penn State University, University Park. Dr. Greenberg received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1995, and B.A. from U.C. Berkeley in 1989. Her four books include Manifest Manhood and the Antebellum American Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2005), Manifest Destiny and American Territorial Expansion: A Brief History with Documents (Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2012), and most recently, A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico, (Alfred A. Knopf, cloth: 2012; Vintage Books revised paperback edition, 2013), which was awarded book prizes from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, the Western History Association, and the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. A recipient of Penn State University’s highest teaching award, she has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, and American Philosophical Society, and is currently a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. She is currently at work on two projects: a study of anti-imperialism in nineteenth-century America and a biography of First Lady Sarah Childress Polk that will be published by Knopf and available in January 2019.

Event Information: This event takes place in Ryder Hall at A social gathering begins at 4pm, followed by the lecture at 4:30pm. The event is free and open to the public. At this time, no advanced reservations are required.


October 25, 2018 Ryder Hall at, 230 N. President Avenue Reception 4pm | Presentation 4:30pm FREE