La Fayette Curry Baker
The marker displayed
is the Hanover Memorial of Kensington M.E. Church marker. Behind
this area is supposed to be the Mutual Family area.
La Fayette Curry Baker was born at
Stafford, New York, on October 13, 1826, supposedly a great-grandson of Remember
Baker of "Green Mountain Boys" fame. Baker's reputation for untruthfulness and
the fact that much of the information about him stems from his own writing, (10)
make it difficult to pinpoint his antebellum career. He probably grew up in
Michigan and during 1848-60 lived in New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco
while working as a jack-of-all-trades. He is rumored to have been a vigilante
and claim-jumper while in San Francisco. He returned East in the early Civil War
days and became a spy for General Winfield Scott. He later ingratiated himself
with Secretary of State William H. Seward and with Secretary of War Edwin M.
Stanton. As a special provost marshal of the War Department, operating in the
lavish corruption of wartime Washington, he performed valuable services by
ferreting out all sorts of abuses against the government, meanwhile lining his
At the end of the war part of .the reward for the capture of the Abraham Lincoln conspirators was taken from him because "he was building a big hotel in Lansing." He was appointed colonel of the 1st District of Columbia Cavalry on May 5, 1863, and was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers on April 26, 1865, presumably for his part in tracking down John Wilkes Booth and his conspirators. He came to grief as a star witness against President Andrew Johnson during the latter's impeachment trial, when he could not produce damaging letters he had alleged to exist. He died in Philadelphia on July 3, 1868, and was buried there in the Mutual Family Cemetery.
Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.