Joseph Walker Edit Profile
He was the 13th Governor of Louisiana, from 1850-1853. At that time Louisiana was a colony of Spain. In 1807, he went to Mexico and joined the Spanish army, serving as a lieutenant of dragoons, and later becoming master of a military school at Chihuahua.
After the outbreak of the War of 1812 he returned to New Orleans and enlisted in the Louisiana State Militia. He served fighting against the British in the Battle of New Orleans at Chalmette, Louisiana. Walker was reelected to the legislature in 1822, 1832, and 1836.
He was active in promoting the State Militia, and was credited with improving the organization and discipline of that force. In 1846 he served as State Treasurer. In 1849 he ran for Governor, winning against split Whig opposition from General Alexander De Clouet and Duncan F. Kenner.
On 28 January 1850, he became the first governor inaugurated in the new state capital at Baton Rouge. As governor he established a free public school system for white children. There was widespread opposition to the 1846 State Constitution, and a convention adopted a new one in 1852.
Walker strongly objected to this document, and resigned because of this the following year, and retired to a family plantation in Rapides Parish. He turned down offers from Democratic Party officials to be their candidate for the United States House of Representatives. Joseph Marshall Walker died three years later in 1856.
A member of the Democratic Party, he was first elected to public office in 1820, as a member of the House of Representatives of Louisiana. On January 22, 1822, he was made Brigadier General of the First Brigade of the State Militia, serving concurrently with his role as a member of the state house.