The New Student's Reference Work/Walker, Robert James

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Walker, Robert James, American statesman and financier, was born at Northumberland, Pa., July 19, 1801, and died at Washington, D. C., Nov. 11, 1869. Graduating at the University of Pennsylvania in 1819, he studied law and practiced first at Pittsburg, Pa., and then at Natchez, Miss. Here he came into notice as an opponent of nullification, and from 1836 to 1845 was United States senator from Mississippi. In 1845 he was secretary of the treasury in Polk's cabinet, and prepared and carried what was then known as the Walker tariff (q. v.). In 1857 he became governor of Kansas, and in 1863-4 was financial agent of the United States in Europe. Throughout the Civil War he remained loyal to the Union and advocated vigorous measures for the suppression of the rebellion. In later years he practiced law at the capital.