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What Did David Walker Look Like?

We don’t know – because no known image of him has survived.

Walker was described by the militant abolitionist, Henry Highland Garnet (1815-1882), as follows: “The personal appearance of Mr. Walker was prepossessing, being six feet in height, slender and well proportioned. His hair was loose, and his complexion was dark.”

In his book, Walker’s Appeal and a Brief Sketch of His Life, Garnet also notes that Walker’s son, Edward Garrison Walker, (pictured right) “is said to resemble his father.”

One thing is for sure: whatever his appearance, David Walker was a powerful presence.

Fact check: This is not David Walker!


This is an image of James W.C. Pennington, an orator, minister and abolitionist who escaped from slavery at aged 19. It has been widely circulated on the Internet as being that of David Walker. There is no known image of Walker.