Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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WALKER, Thomas, planter, born in Gloucester county, Virginia, 25 January, 1715; died at Castle Hill, Albemarle County, Virginia, 9 November, 1794. His progenitor, Thomas, was an early settler of Virginia, and a member of the Provincial council in 1662. The younger Thomas was educated at William and Mary, adopted the profession of medicine, and settled in Fredericksburg, Virginia. In 1750 he went on an expedition to the west, and was probably the first white man that entered Kentucky, preceding Daniel Boone by thirteen years. His hatchet with which he marked the trees that divided the lands that he had bought from the Indians was discovered a few years ago, and is preserved in the Louisville, Kentucky, museum. Walker mountains in southwestern Virginia are named in his honor. He was commissary-general of Virginia troops under George Washington in Braddock's army, and was at that general's defeat in 1755. In 1768 he was a commissioner with Andrew Lewis on the part of Virginia to treat with the Six Nations of Indians at Fort Stanwix, New York He was a member of the Virginia house of burgesses in 1775, organized a plan of defence, and served on the second general committee of safety. With his son, Colonel John Walker, he was commissioned to treat with the Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Indians in 1777, in order to conciliate them toward the colonists during the Revolution, and in 1778 he was president of the board of commissioners to determine the boundary-line between Virginia and North Carolina. General Walker was the intimate friend of General Washington, both his wives being near kinswomen of the latter, and he was the guardian of Thomas Jefferson. By his marriage with the widow of Nicholas Merriwether he came into possession of one of the most valuable landed properties in Virginia, known as the Castle Hill estate, which subsequently became the property of his relative, William C. Rives.--His son, John, senator, born at Castle Hill, Albemarle County, Virginia, 13 February, 1744; died in Orange county, Virginia, 2 December, 1809, was carefully .educated, settled on his estate, Belvoir, Albemarle County, and engaged in planting. During the Revolution he was extra aide to General Washington, who, in a letter addressed to Patrick Henry, dated Morristown, New Jersey, 24 February, 1777, explains his post as one of great trust and importance, and recommends him for " ability, honor, and prudence." In 1790 he was appointed by the governor United States senator in place of William Grayson, deceased, serving from 4 May, 1790, to 6 December of the same year, when the senator that was chosen by the legislature took his seat. He married Elizabeth Moore, granddaughter of Governor Alexander Spotswood. See the " Page Family in Virginia," by Richard C. M. Page (New York, 1883).
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