Nobody goes there? House panel OKs Polk move

Gov. Bill Haslam attends a ceremony at the James K. Polk tomb in Nashville on Nov. 2, 2012. (Image credit: Gov. Bill Haslam’s office)

Supporters of moving the body of President James K. Polk body say he never wanted to be buried on the grounds of the state Capitol, a site about 500 feet from where his will called for him to be interred. So they want to move him about 50 miles south to Columbia, a city where he lived as a young man.

A favorite argument for moving the Polk tomb is that it is tucked away at a part of the Capitol complex that people rarely go to. That claim was repeated in testimony in the House State Government Committee on Tuesday, ignoring that many of the relocated legislative offices in the Cordell Hull building offer a direct view of the tomb — and of the regular foot traffic along the walkways.

The panel on Tuesday advanced the resolution to a full floor vote. The Senate approved the measure on a 20-6 vote last year. Supporters say the expression of support is needed for historical commissions and the courts to evaluate whether to approve the move.

Gov. Bill Haslam speaks to reporters at the tomb of President James K. Polk on Nov. 2, 2015. (Image credit: Gov. Bill Haslam’s office)

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