Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

James Barr Walker


William Turner Coggeshall, The Poets and Poetry of the West: With Biographical and Critical Notices 277 (Columbus, Ohio: Follett, Foster and Company, 1860):

JAMES BARR WALKER is a native of Philadelphia. He was born on the twenty-ninth day of July, 1805. His father was a machinist. James B. came to the West when a young man. He began life as a printer; read law, then spent four years in study at Western Reserve College, Hudson, Ohio, and after several years of successful mercantile business, entered the Christian ministry, in which he now labors. He was pastor of the Congregational Church in Mansfield, Richland county, Ohio, for many years, and lately preached to a congregation in Sandusky City. He is now a lecturer in the Theological Seminaries of Oberlin, Ohio, and Chicago, Illinois.

Mr. Walker has published but little poetry, but a volume of poems from his pen is to be issued in England the present year. He is better known as the author of philosophical works, treating of nature and revealed religion, than as a poet. "The Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation," a little book originally published in Cincinnati, but which has passed through many editions in England, and has been translated into nearly all the languages of the continent of Europe in which the Christian religion is taught, may be recorded as one of the most successful of American publications.

Another work by Mr. Walker, "God Revealed in Creation and in Christ," first published in London, in 1857, and republished in Boston, has been widely circulated. In addition to other literary labors, Mr. Walker has conducted in the West four newspapers-one political, one temperance, and two religious. The volume which he is now preparing for the press will contain two poems of considerable length, widely differing in subject and treatment-one "On the Immortality of the Soul,"—the other, "Ten Scenes in the Life of a Lady of Fashion."

Walker's father died when he was a child and he and his mother moved to Pittsburgh, where James worked in a factory and as an errand boy in a country store, and finally in a print shop. At the age of twenty he left for New York, where he clerked in the office of Mordecai M. Noah. He then took up a teaching post in New Durham, New Jersey but left to study law in Ravenna, Ohio. He graduated from Western Reserve college in 1831.

Walker was editor, successively, of the Ohio Observer at Hudson, Ohio, the Watchman of the Valley at Cincinnati, and the Watchman of the Prairies at Chicago, all papers with a religious orientation. Walker gave up his newspaper work to become a minister and was licensed to do so in 1841. He took up residence in Mansfield, Ohio where he established a private asylum for orphans. He was a lecturer on science and religion at Oberlin College and Chicago Theological Seminary.

James Barr Walker


James Barr Walker, Poetry of Reason and Conscience: Immortality and Worth of the Soul; Ten Scenes in the Life of a Lady of Fashion; and miscellaeous pieces (Chicago: Henry A. Sumner, 1871)


James Barr Walker, Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation. A Book for the Times (Boston: John P. Jewett & Co., 1841)(Edinburgh: Robert Ogle and Oliver & Boyd, 1845)(Boston: Gould & Lincoln, 1853)(Cincinnati: Hitchcock and Walden, 1855)(Boston, New York: Gould and Lincoln; Sheldon and company, 1860)(Cincinnati: Walden and Stowe, 1855)(Boston: Gould & Lincoln, 1867)(Chicago: Griggs, 1874)(Cincinnati: Walden and Stowe, 1881)(New York: Chautauqua Press, 1887) [online text]

______________, God Revealed in the Process of Creation: and by the manifestation of Jesus Christ, including an examination of the development theory contained in the "Vestiges of the natural history of creation" (Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1855)(Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1856)(Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1872) [online text]

______________, Philosophy of Skepticism and Ultraism, wherein the opinions of Rev. Theodore Parker, and other writers are shown to be inconsistent with sound reason and the Christian religion (New York: Derby & Jackson, 1857) [online text]

______________, Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation (Boston: Gould and Lincoln) [online text]

______________, Living Questions of the Age (Chicago: J.N. Clarke, 1869)(Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1877) [online text]

______________, The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, or, Philosophy of the Divine Operation in the Redemption of Man (Chicago: Church and Goodman, 1869)(Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1870)(Chicago: S.C. Griggs and Co., 1874) [online text]

______________, Experiences of Pioneer Life in the Early Settlements and Cities of the West (Chicago: Sumner, 1881) [online text]

______________, God's Wisdom in the Plan of Salvation (Butler, Indiana: Higley Press, 1958)