Walker, Francis Amasa

Walker, Francis Amasa

Walker, Francis Amasa, 1840-97, American economist, statistician, and educator, b. Boston, grad. Amherst; son of Amasa Walker. In the Civil War he was brevetted brigadier general. Walker's activities in the U.S. government included service as director of the 10th Census (1880) and as U.S. commissioner of Indian Affairs (1871-72). From 1872 to 1880 he was professor of political economy at Yale, and from 1881 to his death he was president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As an economist, Walker is especially known for his theories on wages and profits (promulgated in The Wages Question, 1876) and for his advocacy of international bimetallism. Other works by him include Money (1878), Political Economy (1883), Land and Its Rent (1883), and International Bimetallism (1896).

See biography by J. P. Munroe (1923); study by B. Newton (1968).

Francis Amasa Walker (July 2, 1840January 5, 1897) was a United States economist and educator, as well as an officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

Biography

Walker was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Amasa Walker. He graduated from Amherst College in 1860, where he studied law. During the Civil War, he rose from the rank of sergeant-major to that of brevet brigadier general of volunteers—awarded him at the request of General Winfield Scott Hancock. He was particularly adept at analyzing enemy troop strength and their position. Walker was wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville, and captured at Ream's Station, where he was sent to Libby Prison.

Walker's activities after the war included stints as editor of the Springfield (MA) Republican, chief of the government bureau of statistics, director of both the 9th and 10th Census (1870 & 1880) and as U.S. commissioner of Indian Affairs (1871–72). From 1872 to 1880 he was professor of political economy at the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale; In 1878 he represented the United States at the Monetary Conference in Paris; from 1885-92 he served as president of the American Economic Association; and from 1881 to his death he was president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Walker Memorial, a students' clubhouse and one of the Technology buildings on the Charles, was dedicated in 1916. As an economist, Walker is especially known for his theories on wages and profits. He was a prolific writer, especially on economic topics, and is regarded as an original and powerful thinker. He helped to design the Stanford University campus. FA Walker is buried at Walnut Grove cemetery in North Brookfield, Massachusetts.

Principal works

  • The Indian Question (1874)
  • The Wages Question (1876)
  • Money (1878)
  • Money in its Relation to Trade and Industry (1879)
  • Political Economy (1883)
  • Land and its Rent (1883)
  • History of the Second Army Corps (1886)
  • Political Economy (third edition, 1888)
  • Life of General Hancock (1894)
  • The Making of the Nation (1895)
  • International Bimetallism (1896)

See also

References

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