Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Daniel Baker Estate Collection, 1836-1848

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, August 2011

Summary Information
Title: Daniel Baker Estate collection
Creator: Deming, Martin Chester
Inclusive dates: 1836-1848
Extent: 13 items
The Daniel Baker Estate collection contains 13 letters related to the disputed will of the late War of 1812 veteran.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2011. M-4847.2.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Daniel Baker Estate Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically.


Daniel Baker was born in New Hampshire, and joined the military before 1799. He progressed steadily up the ranks, and was noted for distinguished service at the Battle of Brownstown during the War of 1812. Baker eventually settled in Detroit, Michigan, and served in the army as late as 1830, advancing in rank to brevet lieutenant colonel. Following his death on October 30, 1836, members of his family contested his will, in which Baker left much of his estate to a wealthy widow.

Collection Scope and Content Note

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.

Subject Terms

    • Baker, Daniel, d. 1836.
    • Claims against decedents' estates--Michigan.
    • Decedents' estates--Michigan.
    • Wills--Michigan.
    • Chipman, Henry, 1784-1867.
    • Chipman, Jeffrey.
    • Pratt, Ralph.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   49, Small Collections  
    Daniel Baker Estate collection [series]
    Folder   21  
     October 20, 1836-November 20, 1837
    Folder   22  
     August 29, 1839-September 3, 1846
    Folder   23  
     December 1, 1846-March 2, 1848
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    Kingsbury, Jacob. By Jacob Kingsbury, Esquire, Colonel ..: In the Service of the United States of America ... William Albrow, a Serjeant in the Late Capt. Lewis Howard's Company ... is Hereby Discharged. [6 Lines] Given under My Hand and Seal, at Detroit, this 16th Day of May, 1811 ... Jacob Kingsbury, Colonel 1st Reg't Infantry, Commanding the District of the Lakes. 1811.

    The War of 1812 collection holds a letter written to Daniel Baker, dated June 30, 1812.


    Gordon, William A. A Compilation of Registers of the Army of the United States, from 1815 to 1837, Inclusive.... Washington [D.C.]: James C. Dunn, Printer, 1837.