Sam Walker is the brother of Addy Walker.
Personality and Facts
Sam is smart, brave, and funny. He consistently comes up with riddles for his younger sister Addy to figure out, and encourages her to keep her mind sharp. He taught Addy to swim and whistle, among many other skills. He has such long legs that Addy has to take two steps to each of his, and has a way of always making Addy feel better.
At the start of the series, Sam is impulsive, defiant and sullen. He is bitter at being enslaved, longs to fight for the Union, and has already run off once but was brought back to the plantation (and whipped). Poppa describes him as having "a hot head and a hot mouth", and worries he may get the family in trouble with his actions.
He has changed some upon his his return to the family at the end of Addy Saves The Day. He was able to join the Union and being a soldier has mellowed him out, and he has aged as well, making his voice deeper. He has had his left arm amputated; it was lost in a battle. He is much more thoughtful and less impulsive, and a hard worker to help the family financially. Addy often says he's capable of doing things just as well with one arm. He's very proud of having been a soldier.
In The Books
Meet Addy: An American Girl
Sam is very defiant and bitter at being enslaved. He has to be pushed into getting up to work by Poppa and grumbles and works lazily at his jobs in the fields. At his age--fifteen--he is considered a grown man in the field, and does not do the same kind of work in the fields as the young children. Unlike his mother, his father, and Addy. he is not shown as working in or for the household; he most likely worked exclusively in the fields.
He wants to run off and join the Union Army to fight in the Civil War and ran away once, just before Esther was born. Master Stevens tracked him down with his dogs; Sam was caught and punished by being whipped in front of the other enslaved people until his back was bloody. Addy was upset by this and cried as he was being whipped. Sam needed to be cleaned up by his parents afterwards.
While Addy is giving water to the field hands, Sam riddles her: "What's smaller than a dog but can put a bear on the run?" He ladles water over his head to cool himself but is snapped at by the overseer. He scowls at the treatment, then waits for Addy to answer, which she does correctly with "a skunk."
When Addy overhears that Sam and Poppa are being sold, she attempts to go out to warn them, but is turned away by the overseer. She later bolts to the barn, and comes upon the wagon where Sam is. He gagged with shackles on his wrists and ankles. He is hauled away with Poppa.
When Momma gives Addy her cowrie shell, she ties it on Sam's shoelace for her, giving Addy two things to hold on to from her family.
Addy's Surprise: A Christmas Story
Poppa tells Addy and Momma that the very next day, he and Sam were separated. He is unsure of where Sam was taken but suspects that it was further south. Addy hopes that he escaped and Poppa says that if there was a way to run, Sam would have found it.
Addy Saves The Day: A Summer Story
At the fair (after the attempted theft of the money boxes), Addy and Sarah are working the puppets at the children's booth. Addy as the soldier asks the dog "What's smaller than you, but can put a bear on the run?" Sarah answers "A cat", but Addy says no. A deep voice speaks out, saying the answer is so easy that even his little sister knows it: "a skunk". Addy pops up to see a soldier that looks just like Poppa--Sam. She runs out and throws her arms around him, hugging him tight. She pulls away and sees his left arm is missing; the sleeve of his uniform is pinned up. She looks at him sadly, but he says not to cry. He says he's fine otherwise and got into Philadelphia the day before.
Sam was able to run away from where he was taken after he and Poppa were separated and joined the Union Army as he wished to do. It is never said what battle he lost his arm in.
Changes for Addy: A Winter Story
He goes to the hospital to help the family find Solomon, Lula, and Esther.
When Addy is upset that her family is poor, Sam agrees that they are--but the family works hard for the money they have and there is no shame in that.
In The Play
- Addy's letter, Addy Saves the Day: We need information about Samuel Walker. He about 17 years old.