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Felix Walker (American politician)

Felix Walker (American politician)

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Felix Walker was a Democratic-Republican U.S. Congressman
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 from North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 between 1817 and 1823.

Walker was born near the Potomac River
Potomac River
The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. The river is approximately long, with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles...

 in what was then Hampshire County, Virginia, now part of West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

. His family moved to near Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia is the state capital and largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The population was 129,272 according to the 2010 census. Columbia is the county seat of Richland County, but a portion of the city extends into neighboring Lexington County. The city is the center of a metropolitan...

 and then to Lincoln County, North Carolina
Lincoln County, North Carolina
-Demographics:As of the census of 2010, there were 71,498 people, 24,041 households, and 18,174 families residing in the county. The population density was 214 people per square mile . There were 25,717 housing units at an average density of 86 per square mile...

 and finally to present-day Rutherford County, North Carolina
Rutherford County, North Carolina
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 62,899 people, 25,191 households, and 17,935 families residing in the county. The population density was 112 people per square mile . There were 29,535 housing units at an average density of 52 per square mile...

.

In 1769, he was hired as a merchant's clerk in Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is the second largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It was made the county seat of Charleston County in 1901 when Charleston County was founded. The city's original name was Charles Towne in 1670, and it moved to its present location from a location on the west bank of the...

. He worked as a farmer briefly and later joined Daniel Boone
Daniel Boone
Daniel Boone was an American pioneer, explorer, and frontiersman whose frontier exploits mad']'e him one of the first folk heroes of the United States. Boone is most famous for his exploration and settlement of what is now the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which was then beyond the western borders of...

's company, which established the settlement of Boonsboro, Kentucky in 1775. He was named clerk of the court of Washington district of North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 in 1775 and held that post until 1778 (Washington district lay mostly within the boundaries of contemporary Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

 and was organized as a county in 1777.

Walker fought in the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

, then returned to Rutherford County, North Carolina, where he was clerk of the county court there from 1779 to 1787. He was sent to the North Carolina House of Commons on several occasions—in 1792 from 1799 to 1802, and 1806. He worked as a trader and land speculator in Haywood County
Haywood County, North Carolina
-National protected areas:* Blue Ridge Parkway * Great Smoky Mountains National Park * Pisgah National Forest -Major Highways & Roads:* Interstate 40* U.S. Highway 19* U.S. Highway 23* U.S. Highway 74* U.S...

 before being elected to Congress.

In 1816, Walker was elected to the 15th United States Congress
15th United States Congress
-Leadership:- Senate :* President: Daniel D. Tompkins * President pro tempore:** John Gaillard , elected March 4, 1817** James Barbour , elected February 15, 1819- House of Representatives :*Speaker: Henry Clay -Members:...

 as a Democratic-Republican. He was re-elected twice and failed in a bid for the fourth term in 1822. In 1824, Walker moved to Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

 and died in Clinton
Clinton, Mississippi
Clinton is a city in Hinds County, Mississippi, United States. Situated in the Jackson metropolitan area, it is the tenth largest city in Mississippi. The population was 23,347 at the 2000 United States Census.-History:...

 in 1828.

In 1820 Felix Walker, who represented Buncombe County, North Carolina
Buncombe County, North Carolina
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 206,330 people, 85,776 households, and 55,668 families residing in the county. The population density was 314 people per square mile . There were 93,973 housing units at an average density of 143 per square mile...

, in the U.S. House of Representatives, rose to address the question of admitting Missouri as a free or slave state
Missouri Compromise
The Missouri Compromise was an agreement passed in 1820 between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States Congress, involving primarily the regulation of slavery in the western territories. It prohibited slavery in the former Louisiana Territory north of the parallel 36°30'...

. This was his first attempt to speak on this subject after nearly a month of solid debate and right before the vote was to be called. Allegedly, to the exasperation of his colleagues, Walker insisted on delivering a long and wearisome "speech for Buncombe." He was shouted down by his colleagues His persistent effort made "buncombe" (later respelled "bunkum") a synonym for meaningless political claptrap and later for any kind of nonsense. Although he was unable to make the speech in front of congress it was still published in a Washington newspaper.