Image of Baker, Edward D.

Baker, Edward D.

b. February 24, 1811, in London, England, United Kingdom; d. October 21, 1861, at the Battle of Balls Bluff in Virginia. Baker came to the United States as a child in 1816. Eventually Baker moved to Carrollton, Illinois, where he studied law with A. W. Cavarly. In 1832, Baker fought in the Black Hawk War, serving first as a second lieutenant and later as a first lieutenant. In 1835, Baker opened a law office in Springfield, Illinois, and formed a partnership with Josephus Hewitt. He also briefly entered into law partnerships with Stephen T. Logan and Albert T. Bledsoe. Baker became involved in politics and was elected to the state legislature in 1836 on the Whig ticket and was reelected in 1838. Edward Baker’s 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. For a while in the 1840s, Baker was the law partner of James H. Matheny. From 1840 to 1844, Baker served two terms in the Illinois Senate and then was elected to Congress. During the Mexican War (1846-1848), Baker resigned from his seat in Congress and fought in the war as a colonel. After the Mexican War, Baker headed west, eventually settling in San Francisco. In 1860, Baker moved to Oregon at the request of the Republican party, and in October of that year, he won election to the United States Senate. With the onset of the Civil War, Baker resigned his Senate seat and reenlisted in the military. He was killed in battle.
David Herbert Donald, Lincoln (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995), 107, 111; John J. Duff, A. Lincoln: Prairie Lawyer (New York: Bramhall House, 1960); John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 2:7-8; Allen Johnson, ed., Dictionary of American Biography (New York: Charles Scribner’s & Sons, 1964), 1:1:517-19; Usher F. Linder, Reminiscences of the Early Bench and Bar of Illinois (Chicago: The Chicago Legal News Company, 1879), 248-52; Mark E. Neely Jr., The Abraham Lincoln Encyclopedia (New York: McGraw Hill, 1982), 15-16; John Palmer, ed., The Bench and Bar of Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1899), 1:177-80; Albert A. Woldman, Lawyer Lincoln (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1936). Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.