Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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WALKER, Timothy, clergyman, born in Woburn, Massachusetts, 27 July, 1705; died in Concord, New Hampshire, 1 September, 1782. He was graduated at Harvard in 1725, studied theology, and was settled on 18 November, 1730, as first minister of the plantation of Penacook (now Concord, New Hampshire). He was soon called to lead his parishioners in a legal defence of the title to their farms, which they had paid for and wrested from the wilderness. Penacook, twenty-five miles beyond its nearest white neighbor at the time of its settlement, had been granted in 1726 by Massachusetts to 100 carefully selected settlers from her towns of Bradford, Andover, and Haverhill, who had at once improved their grant. The boundary-line between that province and New Hampshire was then undetermined, and the latter, claiming the same territory, granted it in 1727 to "the Proprietors of Bow," among whom were influential members of its government, who took no possession and made no improvements. When, in 1740, the settlement of this line threw the township into New Hampshire, the Bow claimants sought possession of it through suits brought in interested courts, which were uniformly decided in their favor, leaving, as their only hope, to the defendants of retaining their homes an appeal to the king in council. Mr. Walker, to prosecute an appeal, went to England three times, first in 1753, a second time in 1755, and a third in 1762, urging his cause as best he could until December, 1762, when the king in council decided that a change of provincial boundaries did not affect the title to private property that had been acquired in good faith. This decision substantially ended a controversy which had distressed his people for thirty years. Until the treaty of Paris in 1763 the situation of the town had exposed its inhabitants to the atrocities of the French and Indian wars. At times they lived in garrisons, and went armed to church, where their pastor preached to them with his gun in the pulpit. In his religious views Mr. Walker was a moderate Calvinist, approving the "half-way covenant" then in use, and opposing George Whitefield, against whom he preached a sermon (Boston, 1743). His scholarship was more than respectable, and his sermons and diaries show that he retained through life his early acquaintance with the classics. He acquired from necessity some knowledge of the law, and many of the early legal papers of his people are in his handwriting. He was an ardent patriot in the Revolution, and it was one of his greatest griefs that his son-in-law, Benjamin Thompson (afterward Count Rumford), embraced the Tory cause. He was the sole minister of Concord for fifty-two years.--His son, Timothy, jurist, born in Concord, New Hampshire, 26 June, 1737; died there, 5 May, 1822, was graduated at Harvard in 1756, studied theology, and preached several years, but was never settled. At the opening of the Revolution he became an active participant in the resistance to British rule. He was a member of the 4th and 5th New Hampshire provincial congresses and of the first house of representatives in 1776 under the state constitution, and was one of the committee of the council and house to draft a declaration of independence. He was a member of the committee of safety from July, 1776, till January, 1777, a state councillor in 1777, and a senator in 1784. In 1788 he did his utmost to render operative the constitution of the United States by its ratification by New Hampshire as the ninth state. Upon the reorganization of the state courts in 1777 he was made a justice of the court of common pleas for Rockingham county, which office he held for twenty-three years. He took an active part in the conventions of 1778, 1781, and 1791, for amending the state constitution, and was four times elected a delegate to the Continental congress, but never took his seat. He was an early member of the Republican party, and its first candidate for governor. As his judicial duties permitted, he shared the business activities of his town, serving twenty-one years as moderator of its annual meetings, twenty-four years as chairman of its board of select-men, and forty-three years as clerk of its proprietary. He loved agriculture, and was continually improving his paternal estate.--The first Timothy's great-grandson, Joseph Bur-been, agriculturist, born in Concord, New Hampshire, 12 June, 1822, was graduated at Yale in 1844, studied law at Harvard, and was admitted to the New Hampshire bar in 1847. Subsequently he left the profession and devoted himself to the care of inherited estates, an extensive farm, and general business. Mr. Walker has been a director in various financial companies, and in 1847 was appointed a member of the board of trustees of the New Hampshire asylum for the insane, and subsequently became its secretary and financial agent. He has been vice-president of the New England historic-genealogical society, and took deep interest in founding the New Hampshire college of agriculture and the mechanic arts. He represented his city in the legislatures of 1866-'7. As chairman of a special committee, he drew and reported the bill that established the college, and he has been a trustee and lecturer before the students on drainage and irrigation, to which subjects he gave observation and study during extended travel in Europe. He has contributed much to historical research and to the agricultural interests of the state, and has published "Land Drainage"(Nashua, 1871)" "Forests of New Hampshire" (Concord, 1872)" " Ezekiel Webster Dimond " (1877); " History of Town Meeting-House" (1881); "Prospective Agriculture in New Hampshire" (1883) ; Rogers, the Ranger" (1885); " Oats (Manchester, 1887); and other monographs.
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