WALKER, ROBERT JAMES, an American financier; born In Northum berland, Pa., July 23, 1801; was gradu ated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1819; practiced law in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1822-1826, and in the latter year re moved to Mississippi. There he entered politics and was elected to the United States Senate in 1836 and 1840. While in the Senate he opposed the distribution of the surplus revenue, advocating, in stead, its application to public defenses; introduced the celebrated "Homestead" bill; sustained the treaty for the sup pression of the slave trade; and drafted and supported the resolution recognizing the independence of Texas. On the ac cession of James K. Polk to the presi dency in 1845, he was appointed Secre tary of the Treasury, and continued in that office till March, 1849, during which period he prepared and carried through the tariff bill of 1846, various loan bills, the warehousing system, the Mexican tariff, and a bill to organize the Depart ment of the Interior. Subsequently he
was governor of Kansas, in which office he defeated the attempt to force corrupt measures on the territory; was actively occupied in the support of the National Government prior to the Civil War, ad vocating the immediate re-enforcement of Southern fortifications and the mainte nance of the Union by force; and in 1863 was sent as financial agent of the United States to Europe, where he negotiated the sale of $250,000,000 in 5-20 bonds. On his return in 1864 he applied himself to the practice of law and to literary work, writing extensively for the "Con tinental Review." He died in Washing ton, D. C., Nov. 11, 1869.