Berkeley County, West Virginia Biography of John BAKER


         John BAKER (1769-1823) Two different sources show different birthplaces one shows Berkeley County, West Virginia, and the other Frederick County, Maryland. He was educated at Liberty Hall Academy, Rockbridge County, Virginia, and began practicing law at Shepherdstown, in what was Berkeley County.

         John Baker was a member of the Federalist party and elected to Congress from the district comprising the counties of what were Berkeley, Hampshire and Jefferson, 1811-13. He favored a bill in Congress for pensions of survivors, officers and soldiers of the Revolution. He voted against the War of 1812 and was one of the 34 members of Congress who published an elaborate defense of their opposition to the war. He presented a petition to Congress asking that body to make improvements near Georgetown that would give the farmers of that section a choice of markets for their flour. After the improvements were made, it was said that 300,000 barrels of flour were shipped annually in boats over the Potomac River. In 1812, it was announced that amount of export showed how much the industry of farming wheat and flour milling had grown throughout the eastern Panhandle.

         John Baker died at Shepherdstown on August 18, 1823 of an epidemic that hit that area, killing hundreds of citizens in that town.

    Submitted by Marilyn Gouge and extracted from History of Berkeley County, West Virginia, 1928.

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