Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Walker, James

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WALKER, James, president of Harvard, b. in Burlington, Mass., 16 Aug., 1794; d. in Cambridge, Mass., 23 Dec., 1874. He was graduated at Harvard in 1814, studied theology at Cambridge, and was pastor of the Unitarian church in Charlestown for twenty-one years. During this period he was active in his parochial duties and in advocating the cause of school and college education, lectured extensively and with success, and was a close student of literature and philosophy. In 1831-'9 he was an editor of the “Christian Examiner.” He resigned his pastorate in July, 1839, the following September became professor of moral and intellectual philosophy in Harvard, was elected its president in 1853, and held office till his resignation in 1860. He devoted the remainder of his life to scholarly pursuits, and left his valuable library and $15,000 to Harvard. That college gave him the degree of D. D. in 1835, and Yale that of LL. D. in 1860. He published numerous sermons, addresses, and lectures, including three series of lectures on “Natural Religion,” and a course of Lowell institute lectures on “The Philosophy of Religion”; “Sermons preached in the Chapel of Harvard College” (Boston, 1861); a “Memorial of Daniel Appleton White” (1863); and a “Memoir of Josiah Quincy” (1867). After his death a volume of his “Discourses” appeared (1876). He also edited, as college text-books, Dugald Stewart's “Philosophy of the Active and Moral Powers” (1849), and Dr. Thomas Reid's “Essays on the Intellectual Powers, Abridged, with Notes and Illustrations from Sir William Hamilton and Others” (1850). See “Memorial” (Cambridge, 1875), and “Services at the Dedication of a Mural Monument to James Walker in the Harvard Church in Charlestown” (1884).