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James K. Polk

James K. Polk (1795-1849) was the eleventh president of the United States. His name is perhaps most closely associated with Manifest Destiny, as the term was coined by a fellow Democrat in 1843, th...

Winfield Scott

General Winfield Scott (1786-1866) was a prominent military figure through three wars and the unsuccessful Whig candidate for president in 1852. He fought in the War of 1812 and the Mexican-America...

Stephen W. Kearny

General Stephen W. Kearny (1794-1848) was commander of the Army of the West during the Mexican-American War.In August 1846, Kearny's force of about 1,600 soldiers occupied Santa Fe and organized a...

Zachary Taylor

General Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) commanded the northern campaign in the Mexican-American War and later became the twelfth president of the United States. President Polk ordered General Taylor to...

John C. Frémont

Captain John C. Frémont (1813-1890) was an American explorer, soldier, and the first (though unsuccessful) Republican Party candidate for the presidency in 1856. With the help of his powerful...

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau (1817-62) was an author, essayist, naturalist, and poet whose work went on to influence some of the greatest literary figures of the twentieth century. Thoreau expounded upon hi...

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was a prominent lecturer, poet, and essayist. He was a mentor and friend to Henry David Thoreau. Known as the "Sage of Concord" for his place of residence in Massach...

John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) was the eldest son of President John Adams, and himself the sixth president of the United States. The younger Adams gained a national reputation during his tenure as s...

Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) served as commander in chief of the Union army during the Civil War, leading the North to victory over the Confederacy. Grant later became the eighteenth President of t...

Antonio López de Santa Anna

General Antonio López de Santa Anna (1794-1876) was a Mexican president and general who capitalized on the upheavals of post-independence Mexico by siding with whatever the dominant faction ha...

Henry Clay

Henry Clay (1777-1852), who has been called the "Great Pacificator" and the "Great Compromiser," was a U.S. congressman, senator, statesman, and a twice-unsuccessful presidential candidate from the...
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