The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918 Page: 57
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Mississippi and the Independence of Texas 57
dently Walker was introducing new methods into Mississippi poli-
tics, but methods which have been well learned since his day:
among these were an unbecoming eagerness to influence members
of the legislature to vote for him; he had mounted the stump to
wage a tongue war against George H. Poindexter; he had shown
a lack of delicacy in reading in public a letter from the Presi-
dent to Colonel Campbell extolling Walker's virtues; and above
all he had traversed the whole State making stump speeches.
But however reprehensible such electioneering methods may have
been in those days, they were not without result. There were five
candidates before the legislature, Walker's principal rivals being
Poindexter and Plummer. On the fifth ballot, Walker secured
a majority of one, and was declared duly elected. Great was the
chagrin and disappointment of the Clinton Gazette when Walker's
election became known, for was not the newly-elected senator a
"time-serving, sycophantic demagogue ?" "a little, whining,
county-court lawyer, notoriously incompetent, ingorant and insig-
nificant?" Moreover, it was charged that his election was not
without taint, for one representative from Copiah, and one from
Scott had been instructed for Plummer, whom they had de-
serted.66 Some point was given to this charge by the admission
of Joshua A. Murray, of Jackson, that the night before the elec-
tion he had been visited by John H. Mallory, auditor of public
accounts, who suggested that he vote for Plummer first and then
switch to Walker: there was to be a vacancy in the land office at
Clinton in the spring, to which a salary of $3000 was attached,
and Murray might secure this. One representative, I. R. Nichol-
son, was hung in effigy for having voted for Walker.7 Such was
the manner in which Robert J. Walker became the representative
of Mississippi in the United States Senate.
The public documents containing Walker's speeches on the
Texas question are easily accessible, and it is not necessary to
rehearse them here. He was one of the ablest and shrewdest ad-
vocates of southwestern expansion in Congress during the decade
following the recognition of Texas independence. There is one
incident of his career not so well known, and which it may be of
"Issue of January 2, 1836.
'TIbid., January 16, February 6, 1836.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918, periodical, 1918; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101073/m1/63/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.