While James K. Polk’s administrative record as governor of Tennessee from 1839 to 1841 has been over shadowed by the more interesting partisan bickering of the era, his term in office saw continued legislative activity in the areas of banking, internal improvements and education. Throughout his single-term as governor, Polk was interested more in national affairs and was satisfied to correct abuses rather than to pursue new initiatives. He was active, however, in advancing ideas to get the state out from under the effects of the Panic of 1837. Polk adequately fulfilled his duties as governor but was not an outstanding governor. He primarily viewed the office as a stepping stone to higher office.
Pukl, Joseph M. Jr., "Governor James K. Polk of Tennessee: An Administrative Appraisal" (1976). History Publications and Other Works.