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Jonathan Walker
The Branded Hand


There lived, six miles from Muskegon, and aged and respectable farmer, by the name of Jonathan Walker, who is known as the man with the branded hand - as he bore, burnt into the palm of his hand, the letters "S.S.," (slave stealer.) In 1843, he was arrested on the coast of Florida, while attempting to run off some slaves in a boat; was put in jail, tried, sentenced to pay a fine, be branded in the hand, and stand one hour in the pillory, where he was pelted with rotten eggs. His history was published by the Anti-Slavery Society, and was what gave the inspiration to Whittier's poem, "The Branded Hand."

After that, he went up and down the east coast giving anti-slavery lectures before settling in Michigan. His wife, Jane Gage Walker, died in Lake Harbor in 1871, and according to some family tradition, he remarried, but unable to substantiate it. There is a monument to him in the Evergreen Cemetery in Muskegon, and Jane Gage Walker is buried in the Norton Cemetery.

For further information contact Gail Allred
GGG Granddaughter
Family Outline for Jonathon Walker