February 19, 1806
David Walker was born near Elkton, Kentucky, to Jacob Wythe Walker and Nancy Hawkins Walker. The Walkers were a politically prominent family in Arkansas, Kentucky, and Virginia. A spoiled child, Walker was known as “Devil Dave.” His father, “an indulgent master and poor farmer” with six daughters and two sons, once lost heavily at cards, and financial embarrassment clouded Walker’s childhood. Walker, who became a lawyer, a jurist, and an early settler of Fayetteville (Washington County), was the leading Whig in the state’s “great northwest” region for nearly fifty years. He began his career as a member of the convention that wrote the state’s first constitution in 1836. He chaired the 1861 convention, and he remained active in politics and law until shortly before his death.