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Monday, 22d February, 1847.
About nine o'clock P.M. I was waited upon by a committee consisting of Senators Sevier and Houston and Mr. Kaufman of the House of Representatives, and was conducted by them to the birthnight ball at Carusi's Saloon, where I remained about half an hour, and from thence I was conducted to Jackson Hall, where there was another ball. The assembly at Carusi's was small. That at Jackson Hall was numerously attended. I took supper at the latter, attending Mrs. Dallas to the table. After supper and about twelve o'clock I retired and returned to the President's mansion. It has been customary for the President to attend the birth-night ball, and thus pay his respect to the memory of the father of his country. Wednesday, 3d March, 1847.
In the course of the evening I tendered the office of Major-General in the army to Senator Houston of Texas, who declined accepting it. I then tendered the same office through Mr. Houston and Mr. Kaufman of the House of Representatives, to Senator Rusk of Texas, who also declined accepting it, as Mr. Kaufman reported to me. I saw Senator Benton and had a few minutes' conversation with him. He knew that I had intended to appoint him Lieutenant-General if a law had been passed creating that rank. As no such law had passed, he said to me that if I chose I could nominate him as Major-General. I told him I would do so. I did so accordingly and he was confirmed by the Senate with the other general officers whom I nominated tonight.
- Polk: The Diary of a President, 1845-1849, Covering the Mexican War, the Acquisition of Oregon, and the Conquest of California and the Southwest-Book by Allan Nevins, James Polk; 1929