The story

Joseph Walker

Joseph Walker was born in Tennessee on 13th December, 1798. He moved to Missouri in 1818 and two years later was involved in taking trade goods to Santa Fe. He was imprisoned by the Spanish authorities in New Mexico but was released to help fight against the Pawnees.

Walker returned home to Missouri and in 1827 he was elected the first sheriff of Jackson County. He served two terms but eventually left because of the low pay. Walker was involved in buying and selling horses until he was recruited by Captain Benjamin Bonneville as field commander of an expedition to the West. Bonneville's party spent two seasons trapping beavers on the Salmon River.

In 1833 Bonneville suggested to Walker that he should take a party of men to California. The beaver appeared to be decline in the Rocky Mountains and it was thought that new trapping opportunities would be found in this unexplored territory.

Walker and his party of forty men left Green River on 20th August, 1833. Each man took four horses. One to ride and three to carry supplies. This included 60 pounds of dried meat per man. When he reached Salt Lake he met with local Bannock Indians to discover the best route west. After these consultations Walker decided to follow the Humboldt River into Nevada. In September, 1833, around 800 Digger Indians surrounded Walker's party. They had never seen guns before and after 39 had been killed they decided to retreat.

Soon afterwards they reached the Sierra Nevada mountains. The climb was difficult and with a shortage of food, several men argued that they should be allowed to go back. Walker insisted that they should continue and after killing and eating some of the horses, they came out of the Sierra after three weeks. Soon afterwards they became the first Americans to explore the Yosemite Valley.

While in California Walker and his men experienced their first earthquake. They also discovered the giant redwood trees. At the end of November the party reached the coast and saw the Pacific for the first time. Walker now headed southward toward Monterey. They were well received by the Spaniards and they spent the next three months building up their strength. Six of the party enjoyed it so much that they got permission from Walker to stay in California.

The Spanish authorities offered Walker a 50 square-mile tract of land if he agreed to stay on and bring in fifty families to settle in Monterey. Walker refused the offer and on 14th February, 1834, Walker's party headed east. At the base of the Sierra he turned south in search of a easier crossing than the one he used on the westward trip. He found it and it was later named the Walker Pass.

Once again the Nevada desert caused the party problems. They ran out of water and a large number of animals died of thirst. To survive the men were forced to drink the blood of these dead animals. In the Humboldt Sink the Diggers once again attacked Walker's party. A battle took place in June and 14 Diggers were killed. The party, without the loss of any men during the journey, arrived at Bear River on 12th July, 1834. One of the members, Zenas Leonard, wrote that the government should take control of California as soon as possible: "for we have good reason to suppose that the territory west of the mountain will some day be equally as important to a nation as that on the east."

In 1835 Walker became brigade leader of the American Fur Company. However, with the decline in the fur trade, Walker became involved in horse and mule trading trips. He also guided wagon trains to California and explored the Mono Lake area.

Joseph Walker died on his Contra Costa County ranch in California on 13th November, 1872.

Who Was Joseph Walker?

Joseph Rutherford Walker was one of America’s greatest Mountain Men, scouts and trailblazers. Artist Alfred Jacob Miller used Walker as a model for some of his Old West paintings.

Born in Tennessee on December 13, 1798, Walker first headed down the Santa Fe Trail to New Mexico Territory when he was 22, trapping the beaver streams of the Southwest.

In 1832, he accompanied Benjamin Bonneville into Wyoming. The next year, Walker led a winter expedition over the daunting Sierra Nevada range, becoming the first to accomplish that feat and the first white person to see what became Yosemite National Park.

Around 1836, he married a Shoshone girl, who would bear him several children. They spent the winter of 1837 trapping in central Arizona Territory along the Mogollon Rim.

During the 1840s, he and Kit Carson scouted on two of John C. Frémont’s historic expeditions to California.

In 1862-63, in his mid-60s, Walker led his final expedition: a party of gold
seekers to the rugged and remote mountains of central Arizona Territory. They found placer gold in the streambeds at the headwaters of the Hassayampa River in the Bradshaw Mountains. One tributary, Lynx Creek, became the richest streambed in Arizona history.

In 1867, Walker returned to California, where he died on October 27, 1876. For more information, I recommend you read Bil Gilbert’s excellent biography, Westering Man: The Life of Joseph Walker.

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and vice president of the Wild West History Association. . His latest book is Arizona’s Outlaws and Lawmen History Press, 2015. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at [email protected]

Even in his 60s, when Joseph Rutherford Walker was photographed by Mathew Brady, circa 1860, the Mountain Man still had plenty of adventure left in him. – True West Archives –

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Joseph Reddeford Walker

Joseph Reddeford Walker was born in Virginia shortly before his parents migrated to Roane County in eastern Tennessee. In 1819 he moved to Independence in western Missouri, then the farthest west of all American settlements and the center for the Western fur trade and what was to become the Santa Fe Trail.

Walker became a fur trapper and trader and took part in the first attempt that the Americans made to travel to Santa Fe and open trade with what was then a Spanish colony. For a while Walker was sheriff of Jackson County, Missouri. On May 1, 1832 Walker set out with Benjamin Bonneville on a fur-trading expedition to the West. After a year of trapping, Walker met up with Bonneville in July 1833 at the annual fur rendezvous on the Green River in eastern Utah. Bonneville then sent Walker west to look for furs and/or find a trail to the Pacific Ocean.

Walker and his party traveled for a month over the desert west of the Great Salt Lake before reaching the Humboldt River in northern Nevada that had been found by Peter Skene Ogden in 1828. They followed the river to the Humboldt Sinks, a series of marshy lakes in the desert where the Humboldt River disappears. There, Walker and his group of 60 men were approached by a band of curious Digger tribesmen. The Americans opened fire and killed "several dozen" of them within a few minutes. From there, Walker traveled up the Walker River to Walker Lake and then crossed over the Sierra Nevada Mountains at Mono Pass between the Merced and Tuolumne Rivers. They entered what is now Yosemite National Park and were the first Westerners to see its famous waterfalls.

Traveling through California, Walker and his party were amazed by the redwood forests they saw, experienced a major earthquake, and witnessed a meteor shower. They traveled to San Francisco Bay and then down the coast to Monterey, the capital of Mexican California. The Americans were well received and stayed there from November 1833 until January 13, 1834. On the return east, Walker went down to the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and traveled through Walker's Pass, which was to be one of the main gateways for Americans moving into California.

The Americans then turned north through the desert where they almost died of thirst before reaching the Humboldt Sinks once again. Again, they fired on defenseless Digger Indians, this time killing 14 of them and wounding many more. From there, the Americans headed north from the Humboldt River to the Snake River in southern Idaho, thereby avoiding the desert west of the Great Salt Lake. Walker and his men met up with Bonneville on the Bear River on July 12, 1834. The route that Walker had found was to become the main trail to California in following years.

Walker continued to trap and trade in the Rocky Mountains for the next nine years, making one trip to Los Angeles to buy horses in 1841. In 1843 he led a group of American settlers to California via Walker's Pass and met up with John Charles Frémont on his return. He then served as guide for Frémont's 1845-1846 expedition to California. In 1849 he joined the flood of Americans heading west during the Gold Rush and went into business selling cattle to the miners as well as leading several prospecting expeditions. He led a group of prospectors to Arizona in 1861 and finally retired and settled down with his nephew in Contra Costa County near San Francisco in 1868, where he died eight years later. □

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Joseph Walker - History

AF Banta, a bull-whacker who arrived with the first Ft. Whipple soldiers pointed out: "Captain Joe Walker, with a few followers, started eastward from California, gathering new members in route, until he reached Colorado. He had no intention of going to Arizona when he left California otherwise he would've gone south from California and entered Arizona either at La Paz or Yuma, and certainly would not have gone eastward through several states and territories if Arizona had been his subjective point of destination."

It was Union Gen. James H. Carleton (for whom the street in Prescott is named,) who held jurisdiction over central Arizona. His interest in the Walker party began in 1862 when they were preparing to leave Pueblo, CO., supposedly to prospect for gold in central Arizona.

On May 17, 1863, Carleton wrote Maj. Gen. SR Curtis an official letter in which he states concern about the possible march of Confederate forces:

The Union had reason to be suspicious. "If Carleton's statement says the purpose of the rebel force was believed to be 'the conquest of the territory of Arizona as well,' then who else might be suspect but the Walker party since their expedition was the only organized body of armed men in central Arizona at that time? Carleton, as a responsible military commander, must've been concerned about the intent of the armed Walker party to the west and rear as well as to those rebel forces that might attack his Eastern front."

Indeed, Confederate General Sibley "had undertaken the conquest of New Mexico, and the capture of Fort Union, the great depot of supplies of the US Government. However, the defeat of the Sibley expedition at Apache Canyon changed the aspect of affairs." This defeat "was an unexpected event which Walker had not thought possible, and Sibley's complete evacuation of New Mexico left the territory in the hands of the Union troops."

"Capt. Walker, feeling that his movements were under military surveillance, decided to make a strategic movement and hoped by the ruse to deceive the US military. Instead of going down the Rio Grande, he struck westward from Albuquerque over the old Immigrant Trail leading from that place to Los Angeles."

Having reached the present site of Flagstaff, Walker turned southward and discovered a vast amount of gold, "which was merely an accidental incident," according to Banta. "The Walker party were loath to leave the 'real thing' to go gallivanting after such an unsubstantial product as (the) 'empty glory'" of the battlefield--particularly when the main Confederate force had abandoned the territory. Indeed, Walker had enough on his plate simply dealing with the Indians.

It was then the Walker party truly metamorphosed into a "prospecting party."

The theory that Fort Whipple was initially founded not to protect the southern-leaning miners, but, rather, to keep an eye on them is bolstered by the fact that in the early years, Fort Whipple troops did little to protect them. DE Conner complained "that the military gave them no aid and that when the Walker party did meet with a few small elements of the military in the wilderness, the soldiers were there 'not to fight the savages, but to detect any possible seeds of organized rebellion against the government.'"

For the first few years of Fort Whipple's existence, the limited number of troops stationed there demanded the majority of them protect only the fort itself. As months turned into years and Prescott grew larger, this became a matter of contention and consternation among the citizenry. During that time, the need for civilians to protect themselves was palpable.

Joseph Walker - History

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Bishop Joseph Warren Walker, III, D. Min. – Presiding Bishop of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship, International

Bishop Joseph Warren Walker, III, is the Senior Pastor of the historic Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Nashville, Tennessee. He was born in Shreveport, Louisiana to Deacon Joseph and Mrs. Rosa Walker.

Bishop Walker received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. He holds two honorary Doctorates from Meharry Medical College and Southern University, respectively. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Meharry Medical College and Citizens Savings Bank in October 2016, he was appointed by TN Governor Bill Haslem to serve as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Tennessee State University. He is also a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the Kappa Kappa Psi Band Fraternity.

Bishop Walker currently serves as the International Presiding Bishop in the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship, International. In July 2013, he was chosen to succeed the founding International Presiding Bishop Paul S. Morton, Sr.

In 1992, at the age of 24, Bishop Walker began his pastorate at Mt. Zion with 175 members. Presently, the ministry has grown to over 30,000 and continues to grow at a phenomenal rate of over 2,000 souls per year. Under his leadership, Mt. Zion has expanded beyond its original location on historic Jefferson Street to eight weekly services in three physical locations and also includes a worldwide virtual church location which ministers to millions around the world, as well as a weekly broadcast on BET that reaches over 25 million viewers worldwide.

A prolific writer, “Bishop,” as he is fondly called, is the author of eleven books. He and his wife, Dr. Stephaine, co-authored book number eight, Becoming A Couple of Destiny. His latest book was released in January 2018, entitled, No Opportunity Wasted: The Art of Execution. From the ivory halls of the academy to corporate boardrooms, even to the hallowed pews of our places of worship, NOW inundates you with practical strategies about how to execute vision. Your vision means nothing if it is dormant in some theoretical space but never comes down to the real world of practicality and implementation.

In 2017, The City Council approved the naming of a bridge in Nashville to be called the Bishop Joseph Walker, III Overpass, making Bishop Walker the only living pastor to have such an honor.

His inspiring messages make him a sought-after university commencement speaker. Bishop Walker is a regular guest on the Rickey Smiley Radio Show as well as a host of other nationally syndicated radio shows that reach millions across the United States. He also has been a guest on CNN, The CBS Morning News, The Roland Martin Show and authors a monthly Op-Ed in the Tennessean Tribune, entitled, Reset.

He is married to the former Dr. Stephaine M. Hale, who is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Neonatology at Vanderbilt University. Both agree that their most joyous accomplishments to date has been the birth of their daughter, Jovanni Willow, who was born in May 2012, and their son, Joseph Warren Walker, IV, born February 2018.

History & Heritage

The Walker’s story begins in 1898 when the twenty-one-year-old Joseph Walker opened the doors of his own bakery with a loan of £50 and the ambition to bake ‘The World’s Finest Shortbread’.

In the first year of business, Joseph used every spare moment to perfect his shortbread recipe. It was time well spent. Soon, shooting parties from the local estates were making detours just to visit Joseph’s bakery.

As word spread and demand for his quality shortbread increased, Joseph took the first steps to expanding the business by moving to a larger shop in the Speyside village of Aberlour and investing in a horse and cart to deliver his baking further afield.

1930-1950 / The War Years

During the 30s, the business – like Joseph’s family – was expanding. Two of his sons – James and Joseph – joined the company, bringing fresh ideas with them.

By 1936 they had introduced three valuable additions to the Walker’s setup: a range of cakes, a selection of confectionery and…the company’s first delivery van. Now that Walker’s produce could be sold at ever-greater distances the prospects for expansion were looking promising. Then came the war.

Wartime rationing and their commitment to the Home Guard meant that Joseph’s sons couldn’t develop the business or their range of products as they would have liked. Despite these adversities, however, they kept the business going and their customers happy by supplying them with the same tasty breads and oatcakes to which they had become accustomed.

1950-1970 / From Aberlour to Harrods

While some manufacturers began to cut corners by using margarine instead of butter, Joseph believed that people still appreciated the care that went into making a superior product like Walker’s Shortbread. And he was right. That’s why, even after Joseph Walker died in 1954, his sons knew better than to alter a winningly simple recipe consisting of just four ingredients: flour, pure creamery butter, sugar and salt.

As demand grew so did the business. By 1961, all three of James’ children – Joseph, Marjorie and James – had joined the company, making the third generation of Walker’s working for the family firm.

The workforce was now almost one hundred, and Walker’s had a fleet of 14 vans as well as shops in Grantown and Elgin. Local grocers began stocking Walker’s products, and the family had to invest in bakery machinery to help them meet demand. Naturally, they baked to the same high standards, simply on a larger scale. Soon their shortbread was on the shelves of fine food stores all over Britain.

By the 1970s, Joseph’s grandchildren had begun exporting Walker’s Shortbread to over 60 countries around the world – all of it still baked to his original recipe, of course.

1970-1990 / Growing Success

By 1975 Walker’s had outgrown their extended bakery and moved to a custom built factory. This gave them the extra space and facilities needed to develop new products such as our delicious Chocolate Chip Shortbread and speciality biscuits.

Many of the people who worked for Walker’s during this time are still with us today most are local folk who often come from the same family – mothers working alongside daughters, fathers and sons. Community values have always been central to life in the Scottish Highlands and the same is true of our business. Now, as a hundred years ago, Walker’s test every new product in Aberlour’s Village Shop. Though today our customers are based all over the world, our products are still given their first seal of approval by the villagers of Aberlour. That way we can ensure that each cake and biscuit offers a real taste of Scotland.

1990-2008 / Delivering Goodness

Whether it’s enjoying one of our traditional varieties or new products like our luxurious almond, ginger and chocolate covered shortbread, Walker’s reputation has continued to grow as new customers the world over discover the quality of our baking.

This has been recognised by industry over the years too, with Walker’s picking up numerous international accolades including five gold Mondiale medals and the Food from Britain Innovation Award.


The business was founded by Joseph Walker in the village of Torphins, Aberdeenshire, in 1898. [2]

In 2006, Walkers announced that the bakery in Aberlour would be closing and turning into a research facility for the company. [5]

The company has received the Queen's Award for Export Achievement three times, "the highest accolade given to British exporters." [6] Walkers Shortbread is also still owned and managed by the Walker family. [7]

In 2017 Walkers Shortbread was granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment from Her Majesty The Queen for the supply of Shortbread to the Royal Household. [8] Walkers Oatcakes had previously received the Royal Warrant in 2002. [ citation needed ]

In 2018 the company's profits were diminished by a global increase in the price of butter by around 50% [9] due to global supply shortages and demand increases, resulting in the company seeing a 60% drop in operating profit. [10]

Walkers Shortbread have their headquarters at Aberlour House in Aberlour and have a production site in Elgin.

Joseph Walker - History

The Forest Hills Historic District is significant as an excellent example of early twentieth-century planned suburban residential development. Forest Hills reflects suburban development trends dating back to “the era’s most notable experiment in planned suburban development,” Forest Hills Gardens on Long Island designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. in 1909. The interstices of the City Beautiful Movement and the new vision of the Arts and Crafts Movement inspired efforts across the country to provide beautiful housing in a natural, park-like setting free from the ugliness, congestion, and unsanitary conditions of urban living. This was the vision pursued by developer Joseph Walker and landscape architect Harlan Kelsey in the first phase of Forest Hills’ development. Later phases of development followed the more traditional urban grid pattern that had well-established precedents in other early Columbia suburbs. Forest Hills is also significant for its association with a person of local importance. Joseph Walker, a Columbia cotton merchant and developer, acquired and developed the approximately 100 acres formerly known as Abney Park into Forest Hills. His vision for the land he acquired in 1925 is still evident today. And finally, Forest Hills is significant as an excellent example of trends in residential planning and architecture for the first half of the twentieth century as well as representing the work of masters in planning and architecture. The district contains 215 residences, a designed landscape with 9 “little parks,” and a historic monument dedicated to Wade Hampton, III that contribute to the historic character of the district. Thirty residences are non-contributing. The historic resources of the district date from 1903 to 1957. One residence predates the development of Forest Hills. All others properties were constructed after 1927. The district features excellent examples of Tudor Revival, Colonial Revival, Neoclassical Revival, Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival, French Renaissance, Craftsman/Bungalow, Western Stick, International, Monterey, minimal traditional houses, and homes with an Art Deco influence. Listed in the National Register September 28, 2007.

View a map showing the boundaries of the Forest Hills Historic District.

View the complete text of the nomination form for this National Register property.

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Joseph A. Walker

Joseph Albert Walker (February 20, 1921 – June 8, 1966) (Capt, USAF) was an American World War II pilot, experimental physicist, NASA take a look at pilot, and astronaut. He was considered one of twelve pilots who flew the North American X-15, an experimental spaceplane collectively operated by the Air Force and NASA.

Walker was the primary American civilian to make any spaceflight, [3] and the second civilian general, preceded solely by the Soviet Union’s cosmonaut, Valentina Tereshkova [4] one month earlier. Flights 90 and 91 made Walker the primary human to make a number of spaceflights based on the FAI definition of larger than 100 km (62 mi). [5] [6] [7] Flight 77 on January 17, 1963 additionally certified Walker as an astronaut, based on the US Department of Defense definition of larger than 50 mi (80 km). [8] [9]

In 1958, Walker was one of many pilots chosen for the U.S. Air Force’s Man In Space Soonest (MISS) challenge, however that challenge by no means got here to fruition. That identical 12 months, NACA turned the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and in 1960, Walker turned the primary NASA pilot to fly the X-15, and the second X-15 pilot, following Scott Crossfield, the producer’s take a look at pilot. On his first X-15 flight, Walker didn’t understand how a lot energy its rocket engines had, and he was crushed backward into the pilot’s seat, screaming, “Oh, my God!”. Then, a flight controller jokingly replied “Yes? You referred to as?” Walker would go on to fly the X-15 25 instances, [2] together with the one two flights that exceeded 100 kilometres (62 miles) in altitude, Flight 90 (on July 19, 1963: 106 km (66 mi)) and Flight 91 (on August 22, 1963: 108 km (67 mi)).

Walker was the chief challenge pilot for the X-3 program. Walker reportedly thought of the X-3 to be the worst airplane that he ever flew. In addition to analysis plane, Walker flew many chase planes throughout take a look at flights of different plane, and he additionally flew in applications that concerned the North American F-100 Super Sabre, McDonnell F-101 Voodoo, Convair F-102 Delta Dagger, Lockheed F-104 Starfighter and Boeing B-47 Stratojet. [ citation needed ]

Other analysis plane that he flew had been the Douglas D-558-I Skystreak #3 (14 flights), Douglas D-558-II Skyrocket #2 (three flights), D-558-II #3 (two flights), Douglas X-3 Stiletto (20 flights), Northrop X-4 Bantam (two flights), and Bell X-5 (78 flights). [ citation needed ]

Walker served for 15 years on the Edwards Flight Research Facility – now referred to as the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center. By the mid-Nineteen Fifties, he was a Chief Research Pilot. Walker labored on a number of pioneering analysis tasks. He flew in three variations of the Bell X-1: the X-1#2 (two flights, first on August 27, 1951), X-1A (one flight), X-1E (21 flights). When Walker tried a second flight within the X-1A on August 8, 1955, the rocket plane was broken in an explosion simply earlier than being launched from the JTB-29A mothership. Walker was unharmed, although, and he climbed again into the mothership with the X-1A subsequently jettisoned. [ citation needed ]

After World War II, Walker separated from the Army Air Forces and joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory in Cleveland, Ohio, as an experimental physicist. While in Cleveland, Walker turned a take a look at pilot, and he carried out icing analysis in flight, in addition to within the NACA icing wind tunnel. He transferred to the High-Speed Flight Research Station in Edwards, California, in 1951. [ citation needed ]

During World War II, Walker flew the Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter and F-5A Lightning picture plane (a modified P-38) on climate reconnaissance flights. Walker earned the Distinguished Flying Cross as soon as, awarded by General Nathan Twining in July 1944, and the Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters. [ citation needed ]

Born in Washington, Pennsylvania, Walker graduated from Trinity High School in 1938. He earned his Bachelor of Arts diploma in physics from Washington and Jefferson College in 1942, earlier than getting into the United States Army Air Forces. He was married and had 4 youngsters. [1]

In 1963 Walker made three flights above 50 miles, thereby qualifying as an astronaut based on the United States definition of the boundary of house. The latter two, X-15 Flights 90 and 91, additionally surpassed the Kármán line, the internationally accepted boundary of 100 kilometers (62.14 miles). Making the latter flights instantly after the completion of the Mercury and Vostok applications, Walker turned the primary particular person to fly to house twice. He was the one X-15 pilot to fly above 100 km throughout this system.

Joseph Walker - History

Captain Joseph R. Walker, was one of the greatest mountain men that ever lived. Captain Walker, a lover of horses, had for over 30 years provided livestock - and much, much more - to the Federal Government. After an adventure filled career, he lived out his final years in Contra Costa County.

Young Joe began his career at the age of 15 as a horse boy and express messenger during the War of 1812. Serving under the Command of General Andrew Jackson, Joseph Walker was seen as a very patriotic American of unusual character, known to be honest, sensible and diligent. He was perfect for what lay ahead. As early as 1775, President George Washington recognized the need and necessity of an intelligence gathering operation, composed of elite specialists, who could travel freely in foreign territories, using a variety of covers and disguises in both overt and covert operations to gather and maintain secret records relative to military information.

Born in Tennessee on December 13, 1798, Captain Walker became one of the most powerful and most knowledgeable man alive in the West. He possessed the qualities and unusual character of a true pathfinder, explorer, guide, trapper, smuggler, Indian fighter, commander and spy. He was a soft-spoken man, never a bragger, kind and affable, with the ability to establish and maintain discipline with men who were sometimes no better than gangsters. He never ran from a fight and seldom had to pull his gun to stop a fight. When dealing with Indians, he had a very simple policy - negotiate or be punished. He never was one to drink more than a toast, but he did like his tobacco.

The Captain never did things in halves and could take his men and pass anywhere in the wilderness without fear or favor. A true John Wayne of indomitable bravery, it was recorded that he only lost one man in all his adventures. He died at his ranch in Contra Costa County, California on October 27, 1876. Now buried in the old Alhambra Pioneer Cemetery in the City of Martinez, he is known to only a few lovers of Western lore and intrigue. This Shadow Master, who left his name at Walker's Pass Walker Lake the Walker Rivers Walker Trail Walker Basin Walker Mining District Walker, Arizona and Yosemite, has proven how good he really was, yet still, who was he?

To understand Captain Walker it is important to realize that he was a true believer in Manifest Destiny, Thomas Jefferson's dream of joining the entire United States together, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. But, this dream would not manifest itself without a little undercover help. Most, if not all U.S. Presidents, had a secret fund set aside for the enlistment of scouts, agents, smugglers and bribe money to provoke or to support revolutions. Well-known men like Lewis and Clark, Joel R. Poinsett, Zebulon Pike, Sam Houston, Jim Bridger, Christopher Carson, Benjamin Louis Bonneville and John Charles Fremont were but a few of those men within this system. Both Andrew Jackson and James Polk were known to send agents, acting as trappers or smugglers, into Spanish and Mexican-held territories to create or supply such revolutions that would, in the end, put California, Texas and all the southwest into U.S. possession.

As far back as 1821, and later in 1833, when Captain Walker and his men were camping above the Yosemite Valley watching the stars and awe-struck by the giant Redwood trees, their true mission was to locate new routes into and out of California. From Fort Osage in Missouri, to the Great Salt Lake in Utah and beyond to Oregon, knowledge of trails, forts, water, and establishing friendly relations with Native Americans were the goals to be achieved for the United States.

In 1846, Captain Walker drove over 500 horses from California to Santa Fe, New Mexico (over trails he discovered) to sell to the Army of the West and to Colonel Alexander Doniphan's Missouri Mounted Volunteers for the use in the War against Mexico (1846-1848). We already know that, as an outcome of this war, more people were needed to settle this vast area. The discovery of California gold in 1848 would provide the new pioneers needed to settle the newly conquered Mexican territories.

Most mountain men and trappers, having worked the waterways, knew of gold yet gave it little importance. Beaver pelts had a much greater value to them. But by 1845 beaver hats, now going out of style, forced many trappers to become guides or scouts. Yet many men, like Captain Walker, remembered where they had seen traces of gold during their wilderness explorations throughout the Southwest.

On October 31, 1848, General Stephen Watts Kearny died. A 34-year old army officer named James Henry Carlton began using Walker's talents. By 1858, Carleton found himself stationed at Fort Tejon, California, as Commander of the First Dragoons and on July 26, 1861, he was appointed to Colonel of 1st Infantry, California Volunteers and later to General of the California Column. General Carlton was ordered to march his 2,350 men from Wilmington, California to El Paso, Texas (one of the longest marches in U.S. infantry history) to secure the territory against Confederate intrigue and later to subdue hostile Indians. At the same time, (now in his 60's), Captain Walker also received orders to secretly explore the purposed route and provide detailed maps of trails, watering holes, grazing areas for the horses and any othe. useful information to General Carleton and the Union army. As part of the cover, a Union journalist, A.F. Banta, published in southern newspapers that Captain Walker and his party were not Union scouts but rather Confederate soldiers. The ploy worked and valuable information was acquired for the war effort.

General Carleton and Captain Walker had been friends for over 20 years and had worked on many operations together. The General requested other favors of Captain Walker, one being the capture of Mangas Coloradas, the great Chief of the Mimbreno Apaches, father-in-law of Cochise and, secondly to locate and secure more gold fields. The capture of Mangas Coloradas would solve two problems as his band had infested the region surrounding the Pino Alto gold mines in New Mexico. Captain Walker had one ace-in-the-hole, for he had in his employment the young Indian boy, Pena, who had been a seven-year captive of Mangas Coloradas's band until liberated by the Captain in 1851. The lad was more than happy to guide the party and as a result, Mangas was taken prisoner, executed by the Army and several days later, his head was removed to be sent back East for display. This done, Captain Walker and his men headed west to Arizona to open several gold mines in the Tucson area. Afterwards, he then disbanded the expedition.

This story is only one of the many accomplishments of Captain Joseph R. Walker. He lived a full life as few western heroes ever have, yet still his life is still hidden in the shadows of our Western history. After an action packed career, his final resting place is our own Alhambra Cemetery in Martinez.

Watch the video: He Made a Believer Out of Me-Bishop Joseph Walker III (November 2021).