Joseph Marshall Walker
Born: July, 1786 in New Orleans, Louisiana
Political Affiliation: Democrat
Religious Affiliation: Unknown
Education: Local Schools
Career Prior to Term: State Representative; State Treasurer; State Senator; Delagate to Constitutional Convention of 1845
How He Became Governor: Elected in 1849
Career after Term: Cotton Planter
Joseph M. Walker became the first Governor inaugurated in the new state capitol in Baton Rouge.
The main event of Walker's administration, the adoption of the Constitution of 1852, shortened his term by one year. Besides bearing on Walker personally, the Constitution affected state politics by giving more power to parishes with large populations of slaves. It settled apportionment in both the House and Senate by emphasizing total population. Therefore, parishes with a few members of the white planter class and a large number of non-voting slaves could, and did, dominate the legislative process.
Walker was part of the planter class and returned to that vocation after exiting politics. He anticipated secession when he said, "We are prepared to make common cause with our neighbors of the slaveholding states, and pronounce the Union at an end."
Walker did not live to see the dissolution of the Union. He died in 1856.