Poet and minister’s father.
by Lisa Y. Henderson
“Islay Walden, black poet and Congregational minister, was born in Randolph County, the son of a slave named Ruth belonging to James Gardner. At Gardner’s death in 1843 Ruth and her two children were sold to Dolphin Gardner. Islay was at that time a babe in arms while his sister, Sarah, was two. How many times he was sold after that is unknown. His father was William D. Walden, a free black who was highly respected in his community. …”