Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869

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Secretary of the Treasury.

From the description of Robert J. Walker letters, 1846-1848. (Mystic Seaport Museum, G W Blunt White Library). WorldCat record id: 47279343

From the description of Letters, 1846-1848. (Mystic Seaport Museum, G W Blunt White Library). WorldCat record id: 70958262

U.S. Senator, 1836-1845, and secretary of the treasury, 1845-1849.

From the description of Papers, 1842-1866. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 39522065

Robert J. Walker was a Mississippi senator between 1835 and 1845, and later served as the Secretary of the Treasury under the James Polk Administration between 1845 and 1849. He was born in Northumberland, Pennsylvania on July 19, 1801, the son of Jonathan Hoge Walker. Walker graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1819 and began practicing law in Pittsburgh after being admitted to the bar in 1821. In 1826, Walker moved to Natchez, Mississippi where he continued to practice law. While in Mississippi Walker partook in land speculation, accumulating large amounts of debt in the process. It was during these years that Walker became associated with such leading Mississippi political figures as Joseph Davis, Henry Stuart Foote, John A. Quitman, and William M. Gwin. With these men, Walker shared common political beliefs supporting Jacksonian Democracy. Walker, Foote, and Quitman had additional ties from practicing law in Natchez. In 1833, a scandal surrounding Walker's association with public land sales in Mississippi was brought to light by the anti-Jacksonian Mississippi Senator George Poindexter. Mississippi obtained 15,000 square miles of land in northern and central Mississippi from the Choctaw Indians in the 1831 treaty of Dancing Rabbit. Walker organized a group of moneyed individuals interested in purchasing sections of the land, and created a secret agreement in which no member of this organization would bid against another. Walker had a similar arrangement with small farmers and squatters not to enter into competition which ensured that they too obtained land. He charged one dollar per acre above the government minimum for this service, securing large tracts of land for the organization at very low prices. In an attempt to make this land deal a political issue, Poindexter attacked Samuel and William Gwin, as well as Walker, in an effort to harm his political rivals in Mississippi. Poindexter accused them of collusion with the speculators and of defrauding the government. Walker issued a public address in his defense and no consequential actions were taken. It was through the resulting scandal that Walker became interested in politics. Brothers Samuel and William Gwin, supporters of Andrew Jackson, were determined to see George Poindexter defeated in the election for Mississippi senator. The Gwin brothers chose Walker to oppose Poindexter, and after a vigorous campaign, won the endorsement of the Democratic Party as its senatorial candidate. Walker began his career as a Mississippi senator in 1835 and served until 1845. Walker, a Unionist Democrat and expansionist, gained political prominence during the Nullification Crisis of 1832. He supported the independent treasury system and constantly attacked the protective tariff, the distribution of the surplus, and abolitionists. He also voted to recognize the Republic of Texas in 1837, and strongly argued in favor of the Annexation of Texas in 1845. Walker's strong presidential endorsement of James Polk in 1844 would later result in his appointment to serve as the Secretary of the Treasury between 1845 and 1849. As Treasury Secretary, Walker financed the Mexican-American War and drafted the 1849 bill to establish the United States Department of the Interior. His first major achievement was the establishment of the Independent Treasury System of 1846, whereby the Treasury Department was made solely responsible for the handling of public monies. Walker's greatest work was the preparation of the famous Treasury report of December 3, 1845, regarded as the most powerful attack upon the protection system ever made in an American state paper. The resulting Walker Tariff of 1846 significantly lowered import duties. After serving in the Polk administration, Walker was appointed governor of the Kansas territory by President James Buchannan in 1857. Disagreements with fellow Democrats over the issue of slavery in Kansas led to Walker's resignation. During the Civil War, Walker supported the maintenance of the Union and traveled to Europe to sell Federal bonds to support the war effort. He died on November 11, 1869.

From the description of Papers of Robert J. Walker, 1833-1848. (University of Pittsburgh). WorldCat record id: 302424861

From the description of Papers of Robert J. Walker, 1833-1848 [electronic resource]. (University of Pittsburgh). WorldCat record id: 671395933

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.

From the description of Robert James Walker letter, September 27, 1847. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 34420390

Note on the fly-leaf states: "Vol. belonged to M.B.B--? Probably Mary B. Walker, wife of the Hon. Robert J. Walker, U.S. Senator, Gov. of Kansas." Walker married Mary Blechynden Bache in 1825. (D.A.B.).

From the description of Poems, 1817-1835. (Brown University). WorldCat record id: 122598578

U.S. secretary of the treasury, senator, and governor of Kansas territory.

From the description of Papers of Robert J. Walker, 1815-1936. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 80759075

Robert John Walker (1801-1869) was an American economist and statesman. He was a United States Senator from Mississippi (1835-1845) and Secretary of the Treasury under President Polk, from 1845-1849.

From the guide to the Robert J. Walker Correspondence, 1845-1849, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

American statesman.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Washington City, to Col. William Cook, 1865 May 19. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270586340

Walker's name is sometimes given as Robert James. He was U.S. Senator, 1836-18(45; secretary of the treasury, 18115-1849; and governor of Kansas Territory, 1857. (For mere biographical information, see Dictionary of American Biography.)

From the guide to the Correspondence, and notes front speeches., 1845-1846, 1857, (University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library Kansas Collection)

Born in Northumberland, Pennsylvania, Robert James Walker (1801-1869) graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1819. Following his graduation, he studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1821, and moved to Natchez, Mississippi, in 1826. From 1835 to 1845, Walker served as a U.S. Senator from Mississippi and subsequently was appointed Secretary of Treasury by President James K. Polk from 1845 through 1849. After resuming his law practice, Walker was elected Governor of the Kansas Territory in 1857, though serving only for a few months. Additionally, Walker was the United States financial agent to Europe between 1863 and 1864, again returning to his law practice until his death in 1869.

Source:

Walker, Robert John., (1801-1869). Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed March 11, 2011. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=W000067 .

From the guide to the Walker, Robert John, Letter AR 87-321., 1845, (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin)

Born in Northumberland, Pennsylvania, Robert James Walker (1801-1869) graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1819.

Following his graduation, he studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1821, and moved to Natchez, Mississippi, in 1826. From 1835 to 1845, Walker served as a U.S. Senator from Mississippi and subsequently was appointed Secretary of Treasury by President James K. Polk from 1845 through 1849. After resuming his law practice, Walker was elected Governor of the Kansas Territory in 1857, though serving only for a few months. Additionally, Walker was the United States financial agent to Europe between 1863 and 1864, again returning to his law practice until his death in 1869.

From the description of Walker, Robert John, Letter, 1845 (University of Texas Libraries). WorldCat record id: 773727527

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Melville, Herman, 1819-1891. Papers of Herman Melville [manuscript] 1814 (1847-1890) 1975. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Correspondence, and notes front speeches., 1845-1846, 1857 University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library Kansas Collection.
referencedIn United States. President (1845-1849 : Polk). Letter : to the Hon. R. J. Walker, Secretary of the Treasury / by President Polk, 1846. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869. Robert J. Walker letters, 1846-1848. G. W. Blunt White Library
creatorOf Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869. Robert James Walker letter, September 27, 1847. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Morton, Marcus, 1784-1864. Letterbooks, 1845-1864. Massachusetts Historical Society
referencedIn William L. Marcy Collection, 1821-1857 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
creatorOf United States. Dept. of the Treasury. Letter : [Washington, D.C.], to Messrs. Howland and Aspinwall, New York, 1849 Jan. 9. Texas Christian University
referencedIn Autograph File, E, 1564-1961. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Field, David Dudley, 1805-1894. Letter : New York, to Robert John Walker, [Washington, D.C.], 1847 Oct. 2. Texas Christian University
referencedIn United States. Dept. of the Treasury. Records, 1839-1847. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Seddon, James Alexander, 1815-1880. Autograph letter in pencil signed : [n.p.], to R.J. Walker, [n.d.]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Buchanan, James, 1791-1868. ALS, 1849 June 27 : Wheatland, near Lancaster [PA], to John Y. Mason. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
referencedIn Autograph File, F, 1447-1994. Houghton Library.
referencedIn James K. Polk Papers, 1775-1891, (bulk 1830-1849) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Rush, Richard, 1780-1859. Richard Rush papers, 1805-1852. Library of Congress
referencedIn Chase, Salmon P. (Salmon Portland), 1808-1873. Collection, 1824-1881. Historical Society of Pennsylvania
referencedIn W. W. Corcoran Papers, 1791-1896, (bulk 1849-1888) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf William L. Clements Library. Lewis Cass papers, 1774-1924. University of Michigan, William Clements Library
creatorOf Walker, Robert John, 1801-1869. Walker, Robert John, Letter, 1845 University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Lincoln Room collection of miscellaneous papers, 1837-1924. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869. Papers of Robert J. Walker, 1833-1848 [electronic resource]. University of Pittsburgh
creatorOf Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869. Poems, 1817-1835. Brown University, John Hay Library
creatorOf Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869. Letters, 1846-1848. G. W. Blunt White Library
referencedIn Hamilton, James, 1786-1857. Letter : Oswichee Bend, [Ala.] to R.J. Walker, Washington, D.C., 1847 Feb. 6. South Carolina Historical Society, SCHS
referencedIn Polk, James K. (James Knox), 1795-1849. Papers of James K. Polk, 1790-1889 (bulk 1845-1849 and 1883-1889). Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Buchanan, James, 1791-1868. Letter : to Mr. Appleton, [1857?]. University of Chicago Library
creatorOf Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869. Letters to Augustus Dodge. Washington, DC. 1846. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn United States. Dept. of the Treasury. Letter : [Washington, D.C.], to John A. Purnance, Harrisburg, Pa., 1847 Apr. 8. Texas Christian University
referencedIn Silas Wright, Jr. letters and documents, 1828-1866, 1917 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn B. A. G. Fuller autograph collection, 1620-1920. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Thompson, Jacob, 1810-1885. Letter : [Washington], D.C., to Robert J. Walker, [Washington, D.C.], 1846 Mar. 23. University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Autograph File, D, 1586-1975. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Robert J. Walker Correspondence, 1845-1849 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
referencedIn Claiborne, J. F. H. (John Francis Hamtramck), 1809-1884. J.F.H. Claiborne papers, 1818-1885. Library of Congress
creatorOf Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869. Papers of Robert J. Walker, 1833-1848. University of Pittsburgh
referencedIn Barrow, Alexander, 1801-1846. Alexander Barrow letter, 1845 Mar. 6. Louisiana State University, LSU Libraries
creatorOf McLean, John, 1785-1861. Autograph letter signed : Washington, to Robert J. Walker, Secretary of the Treasury, 1847 Dec. 7. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Walker, Robert John, Letter AR 87-321., 1845 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
referencedIn George W. Collamore papers, ca 185_-1869, 1854-1869 University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library Kansas Collection.
referencedIn Buchanan, James, 1791-1868. Letter : n.p., to Mr. Appleton, n.p., [1857?]. Texas Christian University
creatorOf Gordon, Maurice K. Maurice K. Gordon papers, 1844-1857. Detroit Public Library, Detroit Main Library
referencedIn Frederick M. Dearborn collection of military and political Americana, Part I: The Revolution and the Administration, 1669-1958. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Dallas, George Mifflin, 1792-1864. George Mifflin Dallas diary, 1848-1849. Southern Methodist University, DeGolyer Library
referencedIn New York State Library. Manuscripts and Special Collections Unit. Autographs of American authors and statesmen collection, ca.1770-1865. American Periodical Series I
referencedIn Polk, James K. (James Knox), 1795-1849. Papers of James K. Polk, 1775-1891 (bulk 1830-1849). Library of Congress
creatorOf Walker, Robert J., 1801-1869. Autograph letter signed : Washington City, to Col. William Cook, 1865 May 19. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Richard Rush Papers, 1805-1852 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Lewis Cass papers, Cass, Lewis, papers, 1774-1924 William L. Clements Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Thompson, Jacob, 1810-1885. Letter : [Washington], D.C., to Robert J. Walker, [Washington, D.C.], 1846 Mar. 23. Texas Christian University
creatorOf Grier, Robert Cooper, 1794-1870. Letters, 1847, 1860. Harvard Law School Library, HLS Library
referencedIn Hay, John, 1838-1905. Miscellaneous manuscripts, 1864. University of Pennsylvania Library
creatorOf Minor, John B. (John Barbee), 1813-1895,. Miscellaneous papers from the attic of Pavilion X [manuscript] 1767 (1824-79) 1917. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Albert Stephens Borgman autograph collection, 1600-1950. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869. Papers, 1842-1866. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Corcoran, W. W. (William Wilson), 1798-1888. W.W. Corcoran papers, 1791-1896 (bulk 1849-1888). Library of Congress
referencedIn United States. War Dept. Letter : Washington, D.C., to R.J. Walker, [Washington, D.C.], 1848 July 7. Newberry Library
referencedIn Washington Square Park (New York, N.Y.), Washington Square Area, and Campus Buildings Image Collection, 1850-1990 New York University. Archives.
referencedIn Hunter, R. M. T. (Robert Mercer Taliaferro), 1809-1887. Letters of R.M.T. Hunter [manuscript], 1846, 1857. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Autograph File, M, 1648-1985. Houghton Library.
referencedIn James, Joshua. Correspondence, 1863-1868. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869. Papers of Robert J. Walker, 1815-1936. Library of Congress
Role Title Holding Repository
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correspondedWith Corcoran, W. W. (William Wilson), 1798-1888. person
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Place Name Admin Code Country
Texas
Yalobusha County (Miss.)
Natchez (Miss.)
Mississippi
Texas
United States
Texas
Texas
Mackinac Island (Mich.)
Yalobusha County (Miss.)
United States
Washington (D.C.)
New York (State)--New York
Adams County (Miss.)
United States
New York (State)--New York
United States
United States
Adams County (Miss.)
Natchez (Miss.)
Washington (D.C.)
Mississippi
Subject
Embargo
Speeches, addresses, etc., American--19th century
Customs administration--Texas
Elegiac poetry, American
Politics, government and public administration
Kansas. Politics and government. 1856-1861
Revenue
American poetry--1801-1850
Customs administration
Presidents--History--19th century
Tariff
U.S. Politics and government
Love poetry, American
Legislators--Correspondence
Land speculation
Customs administration--Officials and employees
Customs administration--United States
Occupation
Public officers
Politicians
Function

Person

Birth 1801-07-19

Death 1869-11-11

English

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