Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Edward Dickinson Baker
Edward Dickinson Baker (February 24, 1811 – October 21, 1861) was a U.S. Representative from Illinois, a Senator from Oregon, a Colonel during the American Civil War, and a close friend of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.
Baker was born in London on February 24, 1811, to Lucy Dickinson and Edward Baker. Baker was the oldest of five siblings; he had three brothers, Alfred C. (1813–1895), Thomas (after 1816–1846), and Samuel (after 1816–1849), and one sister, Rebecca (~1820–~1890). In 1816, he and his family left England to come to the United States, arriving at Philadelphia. He later moved to Illinois, where he was admitted to the bar in Carrollton in 1830.
A year after his marriage, Baker participated actively in the Black Hawk War.
Around 1835, he became acquainted with Abraham Lincoln and soon became involved in local politics, being elected to the Illinois House of Representatives on July 1, 1837, and serving on the Illinois Senate from 1840-1844. In 1844, while living in Springfield, he defeated Lincoln for the nomination for the 29th U.S. congressional seat and was elected as a Whig. He served from March 4, 1845, until his resignation on December 24, 1846, to take effect on January 15, 1847. The two remained close friends, however, with Lincoln naming one of his sons Edward Baker Lincoln .
During the Mexican-American War, Baker briefly dropped out of politics and was commissioned as a Colonel of the Fourth Regiment of the Illinois Volunteer Infantry, on July 4, 1846. He participated in the seige of Vera Cruz and commanded a brigade at Cerro Gordo. Baker was honorably mustered out on May 29, 1847. He returned to Springfield in 1848, but, rather than run against Lincoln again for nomination to Congress, Baker moved to Galena, where he was nominated and elected as a Whig to the 31st Congress (March 4, 1849 - March 3, 1851). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1850.
In 1851, after failing to receive a cabinet appointment under President Franklin Pierce, Baker moved to San Francisco, California, where he was admitted to the state bar and resumed the practice of law. It was there that he became known for his charm of speech and abilities as a lawyer. One of his most famous speeches was given on the completion of the transatlantic telegraph cable, September 27, 1858. "Thought has bridged the Atlantic," he said, "and cleaves its unfettered path across the sea." In 1860 he moved again, this time to Oregon, where he was elected as a Republican to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy in the term beginning March 4, 1859. His service began on October 2, 1860.
In May 1861 he was authorized by the Secretary of War to organize an infantry regiment to be taken as part of the quota from California. Recruiting mostly in Philadelphia, Baker raised the 1st California Infantry and served as its colonel. A few months later he was assigned command of a brigade in General Charles P. Stone's division, guarding fords along the Potomac River north of Washington. On October 21, 1861, Baker was killed at the Battle of Ball's Bluff. He is buried in Section OSD, Site 488, San Francisco National Cemetery. Of himself, Baker once said, "my real forte is my power to command, to rule and lead men. I feel that I could lead men anywhere." Baker's friends, however, thought his true talent lay in his gift of oratory.
- U.S. Army selected biographical sketches
- Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- The Political Graveyard
- San Francisco Genealogy, which has a more in-depth biography.
- Baker Family International
- Biographical Sketch of Col. Edward D. Baker
- Baker City and Baker County, Oregon, were created and named for him. The county was created on September 22, 1862.
- Fort Baker , located in the Las Vegas Valley, was established in 1864 and named in his honor.
- On April 29, 1897, the Lime Point Military Reservation, located near Sausalito, California, was renamed Fort Baker in his honor.
- There is also a Fort Baker in the District of Columbia named for him. It is located between Forts Meigs and Stanton, 1 mile east of Uniontown at Fort Baker Drive and 30th Street.
- A life-size marble statue of Baker was sculpted by Horatio Stone and placed in the Capitol Building. The Congressional bills which provided $10,000 in funds for its creation are viewable at the Library of Congress website. (H.R. 2762 and H.R. 2586)
- On December 12, 1861, after the announcement of Baker's death, a resolution was submitted, by James W. Nesmith of Oregon, and passed which stated that Senate members would go into mourning by wearing crape on their left arms for thirty days. (Library of Congress Journal of the Senate)
- Almost three years after his death, Baker's widow, Mary Ann, was placed on the government pension roll, receiving $55 per month. The Congressional bill which provided this relief is also viewable at the Library of Congress website. (S. 122)
- eHistory biography
- The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress have several notes and letters of correspondence between Baker and Lincoln, as well as other notable individuals.
|- style="text-align: center;" | width="30%" |Preceded by:
Thomas J. Turner | width="40%" style="text-align: center;" |U.S. Representative of Illinois's 6th Congressional District
1849-1850 | width="30%" |Succeeded by:
|- style="text-align: center;"
| width="30%" |Preceded by:
Office vacant | width="40%" style="text-align: center;" |U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Oregon
1860-death | width="30%" |Succeeded by:
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details