Senate votes for Polk body relocation (Getting ‘cart before the hearse?’)

The Senate voted 20-6 with three abstentions Monday evening in favor of a resolution calling for disinterring the bodies of President James K. Polk and his wife, now in entombed on the state Capitol grounds, and moving them to his parents’ home in Columbia.

From WPLN’s report:

Some family members are objecting, but Senator Joey Hensley, whose district includes Columbia, says Polk will get more attention if he’s buried there.

“This is a first process,” he says. “We want to honor James K. Polk and his wife, and honor his legacy. Have him somewhere where every day people can talk about him and see what all he accomplished.

In addition to state lawmakers, the courts and the Tennessee Historical Commission have to sign off on the move.

In his will, Polk asked to buried at his home in Nashville. But after his widow, Sarah, died in the 1890s, his home was torn down, and his body was moved to the Capitol grounds.

Some relatives say he should remain there. But the James K. Polk Home & Museum says a burial on its grounds would hew to his wishes.

Note: One of those voting no, Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville, probably had the most notable comment. He said the language of the resolution (SJR141) struck him as “presumptuous on our part” — by suggesting relocation would be Polk’s preference, for example – and that Legislative approval should come after the matter has been through the court system, the Tennessee Historical Commission and the State Capitol Commission  — the last step, not the first.

“We may be getting the cart before the hearse in this case,” Norris said.

(Most recent previous post HERE.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *