Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BARKER, James William, merchant, born in White Plains, New York, 5 December 1815; died in Rahway, New Jersey, 26 June 1869. He began his business career in 1828 as a clerk in a large merchant house, and subsequently entered into business for himself, where his energy and good management soon made him wealthy. In 1859 he established an extensive house in Pittsburghh, and transacted annually a very large business. Mr. Barker took an interest in politics as an earnest and zealous Whig until the disorganization of that party. In 1.854 he was the " Know nothing" candidate for mayor of New York City, but was defeated in a closely contested election by Fernando Wood. He was very active in the founding of the "Order of the Star Spangled Banner," a secret organization, having for its object the prevention of the political ascendancy of the foreign-born inhabitants of the United States, and was its principal officer in 1853. In 1860 he united with the supporters of Mr. Lincoln, and was ever after a member of the republican party. From 1867 till his death he was president of the Eclectic Life Insurance company, :New York.
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