Walker, Amasa

Walker, Amasa,

1799–1875, American economist, b. Woodstock, Conn. He became a merchant in Boston but retired from business in 1840. He lectured (1842–48) on political economy at Oberlin CollegeOberlin College,
at Oberlin, Ohio; coeducational; opened 1833 as Oberlin Collegiate Institute, became Oberlin College in 1850. It includes a college of arts and sciences and a well-known conservatory of music.
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, which he was influential in founding. He was a delegate to the peace congresses at London (1843) and Paris (1849). An abolitionist, he was elected secretary of state (1851–53) for Massachusetts by the Free-Soil party, and filled out a term (1862–63) as U.S. Congressman. Walker taught economics at Harvard (1853–60) and Amherst (1859–69). His Science of Wealth (1866) was long a popular economics textbook.
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Walker, Amasa

(1799–1875) businessman, economist, U.S. representative; born in Woodstock, Conn. Retiring from business (1840), he devoted himself to study and public service. He was president of the Boston Temperance Society (1839), founder and first secretary of the Boston Lyceum, and a founder of Oberlin College where he lectured on economics (1842–49). He attended two International Peace Congresses (England 1844, Paris 1849). A specialist in the monetary system, he wrote widely on this topic. He was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives (1848, 1859) and the state Senate (1849); he was secretary of the state of Massachusetts (1851–53); and he filled out a term in the U.S. House of Representatives (1862–63), where he continued to exert influence on monetary issues. His Science and Wealth (1866) was a popular textbook in economics for many years.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.