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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Walker, Hugh

by William S. Powell, 1996

ca. 1740–27 Nov. 1800

The reverse of a $100 bill printed by Hugh Walker, 1779-1780. Image from the North Carolina Museum of History.Hugh Walker, Revolutionary soldier and printer of state currency, is an elusive subject, but he went to Wilmington apparently from Virginia before the American Revolution. Printer Adam Boyd acquired Andrew Steuart's press there when it closed in 1767, and Boyd continued it until 1775. Walker possibly succeeded Boyd, as he was identified as the printer in Wilmington of North Carolina's 1779 issue of bills of credit.

There are no surviving Wilmington newspapers between 1775 and 1788, when one Bowen and Caleb Howard began publishing the Wilmington Centinel. Hugh Walker, however, enlisted in the North Carolina militia in the Wilmington District and served in Virginia. He also was among the taxables listed in New Hanover County in April 1780. The name does not appear in the census of North Carolina for 1790, but he may have returned to Virginia, for the census for Middlesex County in that state lists one of this name in a household of ten whites and twenty-six blacks. Walker was married first to Mary Thurston and afterwards to Mrs. Catherine (Montague) Morgan.


Walter Clark, ed., State Records of North Carolina, vol. 15 (1898).

Roster of Soldiers from North Carolina in the American Revolution (1932).

Virginia census, 1790.

Alexander McD. Walker, New Hanover Court Minutes, Part 2 (1959).

Additional Resources:

"Historic Moneys in the North Carolina Collection: The American Revolution (1775-1781)." North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Fulghum, R. Neil. "Hugh Walker and North Carolina's smallpox Currency of 1779." The Colonial Newsletter. December 2005. 2895-2920.

Image Credits:

"Money, Paper, Accession #: H.1977.168.2." 1779-1780. North Carolina Museum of History.

Origin - location: