Baker, Edward D.

Born: 1811-02-24 London, England, United Kingdom

Died: 1861-10-21 Loudoun County, Virginia

Baker came to the United States as a child in 1815. Eventually his family moved to Carrollton, Illinois, where he studied law with Alfred W. Cavarly. He married Mary Ann Lee on April 27, 1831, in Carrollton. At the outbreak of the Black Hawk War in 1832, Baker volunteered for service in the Illinois militia and served as a second lieutenant and later as a first lieutenant. In 1835, Baker opened a law office in Springfield and formed a partnership with Josephus Hewett. He also briefly had law partnerships with Stephen T. Logan and Albert T. Bledsoe. Baker's active law practice, coupled with his involvement in Whig Party politics, brought him into close association with Abraham Lincoln, who named his second son after Baker. Lincoln and Baker represented Sangamon County together in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1837 to 1840, and Baker served in the Illinois Senate from 1840 to 1843. Elected to U. S. Congress in 1845, Baker resigned his seat in 1846 to take a commission as colonel of the 4th Illinois Infantry in the Mexican War. After the war, Baker relocated his family to Galena, which he represented in Congress from 1849 to 1851. In 1851, he moved with his family to San Francisco, California. He relocated again to Oregon in 1860, won election to the U. S. Senate as a Republican. At the onset of the Civil War, Baker reenlisted in the military, becoming colonel of the the Seventy-first Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry and major general of Volunteers. He was killed in action at the Battle of Ball's Bluff on October 21, 1861.

Eugene Berwanger, "Baker, Edward Dickinson," American National Biography, ed. by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 2:7-8; John M. Palmer, ed., The Bench and Bar of Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent (Chicago: Lewis, 1899), 1:177-80; Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 607; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Greene County, 27 April 1831, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Gravestone, San Francisco National Cemetery, San Francisco, CA; John Clayton, comp., Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 103, 205, 207, 208, 209. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.