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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content Note
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing: Subjects

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Baker, Obadiah Ethelbert Papers
    Date (inclusive): 1856-1923
    Creator: Baker, Obadiah E., (1856-1923)
    Extent: 350 pieces 2 boxes
    Repository: The Huntington Library
    San Marino, California 91108
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information please go to following URL .

    Publication Rights

    In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

    Preferred Citation

    Baker, Obadiah Ethelbert Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Acquisition Information

    The collection was purchased from Argonaut Book Shop in June 1966.
    The collection numbers approximately 350 pieces and is contained in 2 boxes.
    Inclusive dates: 1856-1923.

    Historical Note

    Obadiah Ethelbert Baker, native of Eden, N.Y., moved to Iowa with his parents, settling in Strawberry Point in 1856. At 21, he began teaching a class of 72 students the local district school. In 1860, he married Melissa Dalton (1844-1918). In 1860's, Melissa, formerly a student of his, later taught school in the same district.
    In Sept. 1862, Baker enlisted in the Second Iowa Cavalry Regiment. The regiment was organized at Davenport August and September 1861, and was posted at Benton Barracks, Mo. until February 1862, and then moved to New Madrid. The regiment took part in the operations at New Madrid, Island No. 10, and advance on and siege of Corinth, Miss., action at Iuka, battle of Corinth, Miss., Grant's Central Mississippi Campaign, operations in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee. In 1863, Baker spent several months in various hospitals in Missouri and Tennessee. He was honorably discharged in Washington, D.C. in Apr. 1865.
    After the war Obadiah E. Baker taught school in Mississippi and then returned to Iowa. In 1874, the Bakers left Iowa for Shasta Co., California. In Shasta and Modoc Counties, Baker taught school, sold farm implements and medicines. In 1900 the Bakers moved to Kenwood. Obadiah E. Baker active in Civil War veteran affairs.
    Obadiah and Melissa Baker had four children: a son who died in infancy, daughters Grace Amelia (1870-1876) and Caroline Melissa (1866-1896), and son Milo Samuel (1868-1961), a renowned botanist. In 1881-1887 Caroline and Milo attended San Jose Normal School.
    During the war, Baker and his wife exchanged journals containing daily letters to each other. In 1870-1880's, while working on a book of memoirs, Obadiah E. Baker made fair copies of some of these letter books.

    Scope and Content Note

    Civil War: Military operations of the 2 nd Cavalry Regiment on the Western front. Camp life of a Civil War soldier: payments, foraging; drills and inspections, picket duty; roads, recreations, hospitals, medical care; doctors and nurses, especially work of Catholic Sisters of Charity, and Confederate prisoners. Civil War experience and memory as reflected in poetry and reminiscences created in 1860' s-1900.
    Baker family: family news; business and financial affairs; Baker's teaching experience.

    Organization and Arrangement

    The consists of correspondence and individual manuscript volumes and is organized in the following manner:
    Box 1: Baker, Obadiah Ethelbert, Journals. 13 pieces.
    Box 2 (oversize): Baker, Melissa Dalton, Journal (1862); Baker, Obadiah Ethelbert, Notebooks, Poems, Essays, (1893-1923); Correspondence, 1880- 9 envelopes;

    Indexing: Subjects

    Baker, Obadiah Ethelbert
    Baker, Melissa Dalton
    Baker family.
    United States. Army - Iowa Cavalry Regiments, 2 nd.
    Schools - Iowa - 19 th century.
    Corinth, Battle of, 1862.
    United States - History - Civil War, 1861 - 1865 - Personal narratives.
    United States - History - Civil War, 1861 - 1865 - Medical care.
    United States - History - Civil War, 1861 - 1865 - Literature and the war.
    Iowa - Social life and customs.
    Mississippi - Description and travel - Civil War, 1861 - 1865.
    Tennessee - Description and travel - Civil War, 1861 - 1865.
    Missouri - Description and travel - Civil War, 1861 - 1865.
    California - Description and travel.
    California - Social life and customs.
    Letters (correspondence)
    Newspaper clippings