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William Walker Collection

 Series
Identifier: MSS 80-44
William Walker II (1812-1864) was the son of an Irish immigrant who landed in Virginia about 1770 and later settled in Wilkes County, NC. Walker migrated to Valley Town in Cherokee County, NC, in 1839. He married Margaret Scott, a cousin to General Winfield Scott. They had six children: Charles Agnew, William Pitt, Alfred McLean, George Benjamin, Rufus Jarrett, and Richard (who died in infancy).

Walker established an Indian trading post and later served as first postmaster of Valley Town. He was a justice of the peace during the Civil War. He also served as Judge of the County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions. Walker was captured in 1864 during a Union raid in western North Carolina and later died at Camp Douglas, Illinois, of remittent fever.

Walker's fourth child, George Benjamin, moved to Graham County, NC, where he bought a trading post, served as first postmaster of Robbinsville, and was elected the first representative to the N. C. General Assembly, in 1883. He married Martha Barker and the couple had four children. Their youngest child was Margaret Walker Freel (1895-1982). For additional information on Mrs. Freel, see the Margaret Walker Freel collection, MSS 80-40, and the Margaret Walker Freel Addition #1, MSS 80-41.

The collection consists of the correspondence and family records of the Walker family, including letters from Charles Agnew Walker concerning his Civil War experiences.

The collection is grouped as follows:

1. Correspondence (1841 - 1945) -- The series begins with correspondence of a business and personal nature to William Walker II, including several letters regarding his capacity as judge. From the 1860s and onward most of the correspondence is from Charles Agnew Walker to his family. Charles Walker mentions the quality of life in east Tennessee, and his Civil War experiences. His remaining letters were written from Missouri and Kansas, where he migrated to begin a career in business and banking.

2. Business papers and advertisement (1866-1874) -- The business papers are primarily bills and receipts for goods and services received by the Walker family. The advertisements are circulars and handbills of the late 1800s.

3. Family legal papers containing family deeds, wills, probates, powers of attorney, tax receipts, and licenses to sell liquor. 1837-1905.

4. Valley Town Post Office records, containing records of arrival and departure of the mail, business accounts and correspondence. 1863-1891.

5. Non-family legal papers, miscellaneous papers, and photograph book. Non-family legal papers include copies of legal papers acquired while William Walker served as justice of the peace and judge of the county Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions. Miscellaneous materials include a brief biography of Margaret Walker, some collected poems, a brochure on handwriting, a catalogue from a fireworks company, a religious tract, a photograph album. Some of the pictures are of the Walker Inn in Valley Town (now Andrews, NC).

Dates

  • 1837 - 1945

Condition Description

Good

Conditions Governing Use

No publication fee is made for use of Western Carolina University Library special collections material in scholarly publications. The Library retains sole right to judge what constitutes a non-scholarly or commercial publication. Permission to publish commercially, in circumstances where the Library is qualified to grant it, requires proper authorization. Please contact Special Collections at SpecialCollections@email.wcu.edu for more information.

Extent

1.25 Linear Feet