Thomas Jefferson Papers
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John Wayles Baker to Thomas Jefferson, 11 April 1813

From John Wayles Baker

Lynchburg 11th of april 1813

Dear Uncle

I wish to see you very much I am very well I am at school at Lynchburg to A gentleman by the name of Mr. Halcomb I like him very well he is very good to cousin and my self he and my self are going hom[e] very soon some of my Vacations I will come and stay some time with you

Your moste obedient and affectionate nephew
John Wales Baker
Lynchburg 1813

RC (MHi); edge trimmed; endorsed by TJ as a letter dated only 1813 and received 15 May 1813 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosed in Francis Eppes to TJ, 11 Apr. 1813.

John Wayles Baker (1804–67), attorney and judge, was the son of Jerman Baker and Martha Bolling Eppes Baker. He was TJ’s grandnephew through his mother, the niece of TJ’s wife Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson. As a youth Baker was often with Francis Eppes, his cousin and TJ’s grandson. The two attended school together in Lynchburg under Thomas A. Holcombe and again in Charlottesville, sometimes passing weekends with TJ at Poplar Forest and Monticello. Baker moved to Lawrence County, Alabama, and about 1844 to Leon County, Florida. The Florida legislature elected him a circuit court judge for the eastern district, and he served in that capacity until at least 1852. Baker helped found a Masonic lodge in Tallahassee and served as its grand high priest, 1854–55. The 1860 census valued his estate at $8,500. Baker sometimes acted as a special representative of the governor of Florida to the Confederate government during the Civil War and the federal government thereafter (John Frederick Dorman, Descendants of Francis Epes I of Virginia [Epes-Eppes-Epps] [1992– ], 2:397–9, 407–9; MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1295, 1300, 1355, 1360; DNA: RG 29, CS, Ala., Lawrence Co., 1840, Fla., Tallahassee, 1860; Tallahassee Floridian and Journal, 10 Aug. 1850, 18 Jan. 1851, 18 Dec. 1852; Augustus Row, Masonic Biography and Dictionary [1868], 355; United States War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies [1880–1901], ser. 1, vol. 49, pt. 2, p. 748; same, 53:210).

Index Entries

  • Baker, John Wayles (TJ’s grandnephew); identified search
  • Baker, John Wayles (TJ’s grandnephew); letters from search
  • Baker, John Wayles (TJ’s grandnephew); on T. Holcombe search
  • Baker, John Wayles (TJ’s grandnephew); TJ’s relationship with search
  • Eppes, Francis Wayles (TJ’s grandson); education of, in Lynchburg search
  • Holcombe, Thomas Anderson; students’ opinion of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Family & Friends; relations with J. W. Baker search
  • Lynchburg, Va.; schools in search
  • schools and colleges; in Lynchburg search