DR. TANDY W. WALKER
BIOGRAPHY and GENEALOGY
(1784 – ca. 1851 Alabama)
Col. James Edmonds Saunders
Dr. Tandy W. Walker commenced the practice of medicine at Oakville, a flourishing village nine miles east of Moulton, (Lawrence County, Alabama) now abandoned. The doctor was a gentleman of genius, and well educated. He had a genial temper and became a great favorite with the people. He was elected five times by our county to the House, and for three years to the Senate, and was a very efficient member.
Before the people, he made good speeches, and understood, well, how to ingratiate himself with them. On one occasion he was defending himself from some small charges and concluded by saying: “ And now, gentlemen, although I am entirely innocent of what was alleged against me, I have often done wrong, and made great mistakes. I don’t claim to be any better than other men, but just about as clever as the common run of you, no better and no worse. I am no angel in any respect, but would be greatly obliged to you for your votes.”
This announcement was received with great plaudits, and the doctor became more popular than he had ever been before—because he admitted that he was no angel, and no better than the “common run” of the voters. This declaration made forty years ago, and the manner in which it was received, I have often thought of since. It showed the truth of the proposition that a representative will generally resemble his constituency.
When Oakville was abandoned, Dr. Walker came to Moulton, practiced medicine for years and died about 1851, very much respected and beloved. To show the impression produced by the doctor at the seat of government for the State, I introduce the following notice of him from “The Public Men of Alabama,” by Col. Garrett:
“Tandy W. Walker came to the House in 1838 and continued to serve in that body, and in the Senate, until 1845. He was quite convivial and loved the society of boon companions. No gentleman was regarded with more favor. His heart was formed for friendship, and the more its emotions were indulged, the stronger the tie became. He frequently shared in the debates with a vigor of mind and a degree of culture which did him credit.
When passing his winters in Tuscaloosa, he was much in society and being a widower in the zenith of life, he was quite attentive to the ladies, who seemed to be fond of his company. Among the tender associations which connect the mind with the old Capitol, and with the pleasant scenes of other days, nothing is more natural, nothing more prominent, than the genial face, and merry laugh, of Dr. Tandy Walker.
He was a genial favorite, even with the Whigs, when party spirit ran highest in 1840 and in 1844. The social enjoyments afforded by such a man can never be forgotten by old friends. And yet, after all, it is much to be lamented that the days of Dr. Tandy (as we used to call him, and as he liked to be called) were shortened by the same deceptive, fatal agent which deprived Scotland of her idol poet, Burns, at the age of thirty-seven years. Let the warning be heard by the young in time to resist the temptation, which has brought so much ruin on the world.”