29 March 2014

Thomas And Jane (McCutcheon) Baker

Mrs. Ann Carson, their daughter, was born in 1785.  Shortly after the War of 1812, Ann's life took a scandalous turn of events.  Her life story was published as Memoirs. Ann's mother, who had her own problems, turned against Ann. 

From the Memoirs:

Ann Baker's paternal grandfather, who lived in Leicestershire, England, married his housekeeper after the death of his wife.  That new marriage sent Ann's Uncle Edward Baker and her father, Thomas, to America, though Edward returned to England.

Thomas Baker was a seaman on a privateer (Navy) between 1797 and 1801; he and his wife's application for financial relief based upon his service included the following letter:


Excerpt from a letter to the Honorable Secretary of the Navy:

The Memorial of Thomas Baker, late Commander of the United States sloop of war, Delaware.  ...during his command of said ship was seized with the yellow fever which threatened his life, and left him so deranged and rendered him unqualified for any kind of business -- That he still continued in the same deranged state and therefore prayed that the case may be taken into consideration, and such provision made for him as his former services may be deemed to merit.

The letter was endorsed by Stephen Decatur, William Bainbridge and others.

Another letter, this one postmarked from Pensacola, Florida, dated 7 August 1857, from Jane Baker, included the fact that her husband, Thomas Baker, had been held as a prisoner of war.

"...my late husband, Capt. Thomas Baker, passed his boyhood, and early manhood, in the service of his country, on board some of the most distinguished private armed vessels, during the Revolutionary War; and suffered worse than death, by being taken prisoner and confined, for more than six months, on board the British prison ship, New Jersey."   "...at the time his mind became deranged [from yellow fever], his family consisted of a wife and seven children, mostly females, the oldest of whom was but sixteen...".

More about Mrs. Baker's petition from the American State Papers:

Thomas Baker also served aboard the Holker (more information here) and the Rising Sun.

No comments: