Colton, Walter a Congregational minister, was born at Rutland, Vermont, May 9, 1797. He graduated from Yale College in 1822, and from Andover Theological Seminary in 1825; was ordained June 5, 1827; was professor of moral philosophy and Biblical literature at the Military Academy, Middletown, Conn., from 1825 to 1830; and editor of the American Spectator,
Washington, D.C., in 1830 and 1831. In the latter year he was appointed chaplain of the navy, and ordered to the Mediterranean; while there gathered the materials for his Ship and Shore in Madeira, Lisbon, and the Mediterranean (New York, 1835); in 1835 was assigned to the naval station at Charlestown, Massachusetts; in 1837 edited the Colonization Herald, and in 1838 the North American, Philadelphia; in 1845 was ordered to the Pacific coast, and July 28, 1846, was appointed alcalde of Monterey, in California, by the American military authorities; established the first newspaper (Alta California), and built the first schoolhouse in California. Having returned to Philadelphia in 1849, he died there January 22, 1851. His Deck and Port, and Three Years in California, were published in 1850, and a volume of Literary Remains in 1851. See Gen. Cat. of Andovers Theol. Sem. 1870, page 64; Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, s.v.