Joshua Baker

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Joshua Baker
Joshua Baker.jpg
22nd Governor of Louisiana
In office
January 8, 1868 – June 27, 1868
LieutenantAlbert Voorhies
Preceded byBenjamin Flanders
Succeeded byHenry C. Warmoth
Personal details
Born(1799-03-23)March 23, 1799
Mason County, Kentucky
DiedApril 16, 1885(1885-04-16) (aged 86)
Lyme, Connecticut
Political partyUnionist
Spouse(s)(1) Fanny Assherton
(2) Catherine Patton

Joshua Gabriel Baker (March 23, 1799 – April 16, 1885)[1] was the 22nd Governor of Louisiana during Reconstruction.

Early life[edit]

Joshua was born March 23, 1799 in Mason County, Kentucky. His father was Joshua Baker and his mother was Susan Lewis. In 1803, the Baker family moved to the Mississippi Territory and by 1811 they had settled at Oaklawn Plantation in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana in the Territory of Orleans

Baker attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York from 1817 to 1819. Whereupon, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army Artillery Corps and served as an assistant professor at West Point before resigning in October 1820. In 1821, he moved to Litchfield, Connecticut to study law, joining the bar in Mason County, Kentucky in 1822.[2]


Baker returned to Louisiana to practice law at the Opelousas, Louisiana office of John Brownson during 1822–1829 and 1832–1838.

From 1826 to 1829, Baker was a Colonel in the Louisiana State Militia. He also worked on Engineering projects in Plaquemines Parish until 1829, when he was appointed Judge in St. Mary Parish; a position he held until 1839.

In 1833, he was Assistant State Engineer for the State of Louisiana until 1838. He was appointed Director of Public Works for the State of Louisiana 1840–1845.

He was made Captain of Cavalry, Louisiana State Militia 1846 until 1851 and in 1853, he was appointed to the Board of Visitors United States Military Academy, serving until 1861. Throughout this time, Baker owned three plantations: Black Bayou in Terrebonne Parish, Grand River in St. Martin Parish, and Fairfax Plantation in St. Mary Parish. He also was enthusiastic investor in steamboat properties.[3]

Civil War and Governorship[edit]

With secession and the Civil War, Colonel Baker retired to Franklin, Louisiana in 1861. As a Conservative Democrat who opposed secession, he chose to cooperate with the Union Army of Occupation.[4] On January 8, 1868, Baker took the Oath of Loyalty to the Union. He was Appointed Military Governor by General Winfield Scott Hancock upon the resignation of Benjamin Flanders. As Governor, Baker supported the lenient reconstruction plan of President Andrew Johnson. His administration had little influence on the course of the Louisiana government, as its orders were liable to be countermanded by the military due to the reconstruction acts. Baker removed 9 New Orleans City Councilmen which resulted in President Ulysses S. Grant's reversal of this order. For this, Governor Baker resigned and in a special election Republican Henry C. Warmoth was elected Governor.[5]

Personal life[edit]

In 1825, Baker married Fanny Assheton Stelle in Opelousas. Before her death on August 17, 1831, they were the parents of three children, including:

He married a second time to Catherine Patton from Fairfax, Virginia in 1832. They had two children.

Baker died in Lyme, Connecticut on April 16, 1885 at "Cricket Lawn" the home of his daughter Margaret Van Bergen.[1] He was interred at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.


  1. ^ a b "Obituary -- EX-GOV. JOSHUA BAKER". The New York Times. 17 April 1885. Retrieved 2 October 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Louisiana Governor Joshua Baker". National Governors Association. 21 May 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-05-21. Retrieved 2 October 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Dawson III, Joseph G. The Louisiana Governors: From Iberville to Edwards. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1990.
  4. ^ Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
  5. ^ "Joshua Baker". Louisiana Secretary of State. 21 February 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-02-21. Retrieved 2 October 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Genealogical Notes of New York and New England Families. Heritage Books. 2000. pp. 218–219, 300–304. ISBN 978-0-7884-1956-0. Retrieved 1 October 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Benjamin Flanders
Governor of Louisiana
Succeeded by
Henry C. Warmoth