Philadelphia: 1862. -33pp., plus frontispiece portrait. Original black paper wraps, printed in gilt. Moderate wear to wraps, spine ends chipped. Minor wear and an occasional fox mark internally. About very good. Item #1632
A scarce tribute to Edward Dickinson Baker (1811-1861), a veteran of the Black Hawk and Mexican-American Wars, and a close Illinois colleague and friend of Abraham Lincoln (who named his second son after him). Baker was also an important figure in the early history of several western states, having moved to California in 1852:
"He quickly established himself as a leading criminal lawyer and orator. He incurred the disfavor of the San Francisco Vigilance Committee in 1856, when he defended Charles Cora, a gambler accused of murder. Baker’s verbal eloquence and his insistence that Cora could never receive a fair trial in San Francisco resulted in a hung jury. In September 1859 Baker delivered the funeral oration for U.S. Senator David Broderick, who had recently been killed in a duel. The eulogy brought Baker national prominence. He also became active in politics once more, moving from the Whig party into the new Republican organization when it organized in California. Following his defeat as a Republican candidate for Congress in 1859, Baker accepted an invitation to take up residence in Oregon with the understanding that he would build popular support for the Republican party there and in return be the party’s candidate for the U.S. Senate at the next senatorial election" - ANB.
He was elected senator for Oregon in 1860 and was in 1861 placed in command of the "California Regiment," a unit of Philadelphians that Baker raised himself after the outbreak of the Civil War. He was soon killed at Ball's Bluff on October 21, the only sitting United States Senator ever to die in combat. This volume was published at the behest of the California Regiment, and contains a memorial of Baker's life and a funeral sermon by the regiment chaplain, Robert Kellen, as well as the "Baker Dirge," a poem by an infantryman of the unit, and a mezzotint portrait of the deceased. We locate only four copies in OCLC, at the California Historical Society, Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, and AAS. A scarce commemoration of this fascinating figure.