William Henry Lyttelton papers
Collection Scope and Content Note
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The Daniel Baker Estate collection contains 13 letters related to Baker's disputed will. Henry Chipman wrote the earliest letter in the collection, and described the illness and imminent death of Baker. Chipman foresaw difficulty in administering the will, and spoke of "discovering the contents of the will & defeating the conspiracy if there has been any…I can get nothing satisfactory from David who seems to have been enticed into the machination. If the will is as I suspect in favour of Mrs. Hart, it is not impossible that grounds may be found for setting it aside. Major Webb was under the impression that he had previously made a will leaving his property to Lucy & his mother" (October 20, 1836). On December 19, 1836, Martin C. Deming revealed his own belief in a conspiracy, and wrote "The Colonel was a mere child a machine in the hands of those ladies." Furthermore, Ralph Pratt wrote from Albany that "it is evident to my mind that the Will was not drawn conformably to his intentions…" (January 20 ,1836). The rest of the correspondence likewise follows the drawn-out contest among Elizabeth Baker, Daniel Baker's wife; Lucy Baker Chipman, Daniel Baker's daughter; and several other parties named in the will.