Age of Jackson
Jackson Capitol DD Buried 04 Will Strickland Jackson Capitol DD Buried 03 Samuel Morgan Jackson Capitol DD Buried 02 James Bolk Jackson Capitol DD Buried 01 Sarah Childress

Dig Deeper: Who is buried at the Tennessee State Capitol?

There are four people either buried inside the capitol walls or on the grounds.

William Strickland became ill while the capitol was being constructed. Since he considered it his finest achievement, Strickland asked to be buried in the Capitol building. Strickland did die before the construction was complete, and he is buried in a crypt on the north wall.
 
Later, after Samuel Morgan’s death, his family also asked that he be buried in the capitol. As a way to honor Morgan, the state agreed. He is buried in a crypt on the south wall. 
 
In the East Garden of the capitol, President James K. Polk and his wife Sarah Childress Polk are buried in a tomb designed by William Strickland. The tomb was originally located at the Polk home a few blocks from the capitol. 
 
The Polks did not have any children and left their home to the people of the state of Tennessee. Their more distant relatives challenged the will in court and won. They took possession of the home and made plans to sell it. To protect the Polk graves, the state moved their bodies and the tomb to the capitol grounds. The Polk home was sold and resold and eventually torn down.



Picture Credits:
  • Painting of Sarah Childress Polk by George Dury. This painting was made in 1878. Tennessee State Museum Collection, 1.882
  • Painting of James K. Polk by Edward Page. This painting was made in 1950. Tennessee State Museum Collection, 73.62
  • Painting of Samuel Dold Morgan by T. J. Odell. This painting was made in 1842. Tennessee State Library and Archives
  • Painting of William Strickland by William Cooper. This painting was made sometime between 1840 and 1854. Tennessee State Library and Archives


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