National Geographic : 1965 Jan
Profiles of the Presidents: The second of four articles ROM ANDREW JACKSON through James Buchanan, a generation of Pres idents faced westward. In this age of "manifest destiny," ambitious, restless settlers surged ever farther beyond the old frontiers. It became the task of Presidents to push the national boundaries to the Pacific-an Amer ican dream finally realized by James K. Polk. Presidents of this era also faced the hope less task of mediating the bitter quarrel between South and North over whether west- ern areas should become slave states or free. Jackson was the first westerner in the White House; three other Presidents of the period Harrison, Polk, and Taylor-also came from the West. Their nicknames suggest the aura of western informality that surrounded them: "Old Hickory," "Old Tippecanoe," "Young Hickory," and "Old Rough and Ready." Three first won renown as Indian fighters on the frontier; the fourth, Polk, gained election by advocating sweeping expansion.