James Knox Polk was the 11th president of the United States. See President Polk for biography.
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Upon completion, Polk, a side-wheel steamer built for the Revenue Cutter Service at Richmond, Va. in 1845 and 1846, by J. R. Anderson, was turned over to the Navy by the Treasury Department 13 January 1847 for service in the Gulf of Mexico during the war with Mexico. The revenue cutter steamed down the James River and arrived Norfolk 12 March, and commissioned the same day Lt. W. S. Ogden in command.
Polk stood out from Hampton Roads 31 March and headed for the gulf; but engine trouble forced her to stop at Okracoke Inlet, N.C. for temporary repairs. She returned to Norfolk 5 April and was transferred to the Treasury Department at Brooklyn Navy Yard 5 May.
From that fall, she spent a year supporting experiments with new type guns before she was taken to Cold Springs, N.Y. and transformed into a bark.
Polk sailed via Cape Horn 5 April 1850 and arrived San Francisco 17 September. Following operations on the California coast, Polk was sold at San Francisco to Daniel Gibbs 29 December 1854.