Walker, James, 1794-1874. Papers of James Walker : an inventory
Harvard University Archives
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: UAI 15.888
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Walker, James, 1794-1874.
Title: Papers of James Walker
Quantity: 1.2 cubic feet (5 document boxes, 3 microfilm reels)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: James Walker (1794-1874) was President of Harvard University from February 10, 1853
to January 26, 1860. Walker was also a Unitarian minister and religious philosopher.
The Papers of James Walker were acquired by the Harvard University Archives through
donation and purchase. Whenever possible the archivist noted the terms of acquisition
in the folder list below. The acquisitions are as follows:
1875 James Walker
1919 Henry Wilder Foote II
1930 Harold P. Johnson
1935 Friends of the Library
1936 Philip Spaulding
1946 Emily Hallowell
1952 Edward J. Berrays
1961 Mrs. Henry J. Wheelwright
Accession number: 11345; 1988 March 4
Accession number: 12010; 1990 July 20
Accession number: 13251; 1995 December 11
Accession number: 13352; 1996 June 26
Accession number: 13745; 1998 April 21
Most of this material was first classified and described in the Harvard University
Archives shelflist prior to 1980. In June 1999, Barbara Meloni processed accession
number 13352 and created an online finding aid. In 2005, Dominic P. Grandinetti re-processed
the entire collection. Re-processing included the integration of unprocessed accessions,
the rearrangement and rehousing of the material in appropriate containers, the establishment
of a folder list, and the modification of the 1999 finding aid.
Published versions of the documents in this collection are noted in the folder lists.
Permission of the University Archives is required for access to the Papers of James
Walker. Researchers are advised to use published versions of these papers, both because
of the fragility of the originals and their nineteenth-century orthography, which
may make them difficult to read for those who are unaccustomed to it. Please consult
the reference staff for further details. Additional restrictions may apply.
- Records of the Harvard Corporation.
Citations to published versions of the documents in this collection are noted in the
Additional Harvard collections and publications relating to James Walker can be discoverd
through searching HOLLIS, the Harvard University Online LIbrary Information System.
James Walker (1794-1874) was President of Harvard University from February 10, 1853 to January 26, 1860. Walker was also a Unitarian minister and religious philosopher.
James Walker was born to John Walker and Lucy (Johnson) Walker on August 16, 1794 in what was then Woburn,Massachusetts (later to become a part of Burlington). Walker attended the Lawrence Academy in Groton, Massachusetts (1807-1810) and graduated from Harvard University in 1814. After graduation, Walker
taught for one year at the Phillips Exeter Academy and then returned to Harvard University to study at the Divinity School (A.M. 1817).
Walker spent the next twenty years as a Unitarian minister for the Harvard Church in Charlestown,Massachusetts. A well respected preacher, Walker became a leader in the Unitarian movement. He helped organize the American Unitarian Association (1825), contributed to American Unitarian Tracts, and edited the Unitarian movement's journal, the Christian Examiner, from 1831 to 1839. In his writings, Walker discussed various philosophical questions
involving ethical theory, natural religion, and phrenology. His most important work was The Philosophy of Man's Spiritual Nature in Regard to the Foundation of Faith (1834), a combination of several philosophical arguments supporting the existence of God.
Walker married in 1829 to Catherine Bartlett (1798-1868). They had no children.
- ___College Letters
- ___Loose Harvard Correspondence
- ___Personal Correspondence
- Library Catalogues
- Lectures on the New Testament
- Battle of Lexington
The Papers of James Walker touch upon his activities as a Unitarian minister and as
President of Harvard University.
These papers include letters, sermons, lecture materials, catalogues, and a poem.
This document last updated 2016 November 2.
- Series: Correspondence, .21 cubic feet (1 document box, 1 volume, and 3 microfilm reels)
Processing Information: The letters in this series were gathered together and arranged from various accessions
by the archivist.
Arrangement: The Correspondence series has three subseries: College Letters, Loose Harvard Correspondence
and Personal Correspondence.
Scope and Contents: This series contains outgoing correspondence.
- Series: Sermons, .35 cubic feet (1 document box)
Custodial History: Several sermons in this series were annotated and presented by the Reverend William
Orne White (A.B. 1840) in the years 1874 and 1875.
: Published versions of some of James Walker's sermons were compiled by the Reverend
William Orne White and can be found in:
- Walker, James. Sermons Preached Chiefly in the College Chapel. Edited by William Orne White. vol 1., Reason, Faith, and Duty; vol. 2, Sermons. Boston:Harvard University 1884.
Processing Information: The sermons in this series were arranged alphabetically by the archivist.
Scope and Contents: The sermons in this series trace James Walker's religious and philosophical beliefs
from his earliest days as a preacher to his later years in retirement.
- The Christian Scholar, 1845 July 14 Box 3
- Christian Views of Suffering, 1857 November 15 Box 3
- Decay of Reverence, 1839 March 3 Box 3
- Divine Influences, 1827 January 1 Box 3
- I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me, 1826 February 12 Box 3
- Man's Power of Resisting Sin is Unlimited, 1834 October 12 Box 3
- On Cultivating a sense of our Moral and Spiritual Wants, 1837 October 15 Box 3
- The Power of Circumstances, 1828 September 23 Box 3
- Public Amusements and Diversions, 1846 December 13 Box 3
- Religion Considered as Reinforcing the Motives and Sanctions of Morality, 1846 December 20 Box 3
- Secret Prayers, 1851 December 21 Box 3
- The Spirit and the Letter, 1835 January 18 Box 3
- The Value of the Bible as a Book for Common Reading, 1836 April 17 Box 3
- What of the Night? A New Year's Discourse, 1854 December 31 Box 3
- Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Liberty, 1828 December Box 3
- Series: Library Catalogues, 2 Volumes Box 4
Date: 1839, 1872
Immediate Source of Acquisition: James Walker bequest, 1875.
Biographical Note: James Walker's library, consisting of more than 3500 volumes, was brought to Gore
Hall which housed the College Library, on March 22, 1875.
Scope and Contents: This series documents the holdings in James Walker's personal library and illustrates
the depth of his religious and philosophical studies.
- Series: Lectures on the New Testament, 1 Volumes Box 5
Immediate Source of Acquisition: James Walker bequest, 1875.
Scope and Contents: This volume contains a series of lectures presented by James Walker on the New Testament
while he was a minister at the Harvard Church in Charleston, Massachusetts. The lectures
begin on October 23, 1832.
- Series: Battle of Lexington, 1 document (1 folder) Box 1
Immediate Source of Acquisition: Donated by Harold P. Johnson, 1930.
Scope and Contents: This series contains a poem written presumably by James Walker about the Battle of Lexington in Lexington, Massachusetts (1775). It was written after Walker visited an eye witness
to the battle, a Mrs. Rebecca Howe Fisk Merriam.