Thomas Walker (slave trader)

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Thomas Walker
Born 1758
Henbury, Bristol, England
Died 1797
at sea
Cause of death
Occupation Slave trader
Spouse(s) Catherine (McLelland) Walker
Children 2 sons, 1 daughter, including George E. Walker

Thomas Walker (1758–1797) (a.k.a. Beau Walker) was a British slave trader and a member of the Bush family.


Early life[edit]

Thomas Walker was born 1758 in Henbury, now a suburb of Bristol, England.[1][2]


He worked as a slave trader, when Bristol was one of the three major slave trading ports in Britain.[2] He served as a slave ship Captain and was resident slave trader who operated in the Sierra Leone region of West Africa.[2]

He did much of his slave trading at Bunce Island, a British slave castle in the Sierra Leone River, owned at that time by the Company of John & Alexander Anderson, based in London.[2] He was involved in at least eleven slave trading voyages between 1784 and 1792, taking African captives from Sierra Leone to the British West Indies and the United States.[2]

Personal life[edit]

On February 22, 1785, he married Catherine (McLelland) Walker (1770–1806) at St. Andrew's Church in Clifton.[2] She died on October 18, 1806, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a decade after her husband, leaving their older son as the guardian for his sister and a younger son, George E. Walker (1797–1864).[2]


He was murdered in 1797 at sea in a mutiny.[2]


He is a direct ancestor of two U.S. presidents, both of whom have "Walker" as a middle name -- George Herbert Walker Bush and George Walker Bush.[2]


  • "Americans of Gentle Birth and Their Ancestors" v1 ed. Pittman, Baltimore Genealogical Publishing Company, 1970, pp. 312–318]