★  Baker, Lafayette Curry

Lafayette Curry Baker

Born: October 13, 1826

Birthplace: Stafford, New York

Father: Remember Baker 1786 – 1847
(Buried: Portland Cemetery, Portland, Michigan)​

Mother: Cyntha Stannard 1787 – 1840
(Buried: Portland Cemetery, Portland, Michigan)​

Occupation before War:

1839 – 1848: Mechanic in Michigan​
1848 – 1853: Lived in New York​


1853: Moved to California​
1856: Vigilante in San Francisco, California​
1861: Moved to District of Columbia​

Civil War Career:

1861: Spy for Major General Winfield Scott in Virginia​
1861 – 1862: Captain and Provost Marshal in Washington, D.C.​
1862 – 1863: In Charge of National Detective Bureau​
1863: Diagnosed with having cerebral congestion​
1863 – 1865: Colonel of 1st​ D.C. Cavalry Regiment​
Known to have used brutal interrogation techniques for information​
Demoted for tapping telegraph lines and sent to New York​
1865: Recalled to Washington, D.C. after Lincoln Assassination​
In Charge of tracking down Lincoln's assassins​
Some reports name him as the man who shot John Wilkes Booth.​
1865 – 1866: Brigadier General of Union Army Volunteers​
1865: Diagnosed with meningitis​
1866: Mustered out of the union Army​

Occupation after War:

1867: Author of A History of the Secret Service
1868: Retired to his home complaining of a gun wound from hunting trip​

July 3, 1868

Place of Death: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Cause of Death: Meningitis

Age at time of Death: 41 years old

Original Burial Place: Mutual Family Cemetery

Burial Place: Forest Hills Cemetery, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
Last edited by a moderator:
Sep 15, 2018
South Texas
Those telegraph lines he tapped came from Edwin Stantons office,even though Stanton was largely responsible for Baker's career.Baker suspected Stanton of corruption and tapped his lines,for this he was demoted.
Sep 15, 2018
South Texas
Doing a little research on Baker last night and I saw where he was arrested several times as a Union spy. He escaped from Fredricksburg with a small knife he had hidden in his shoe when he became convinced he was to be executed. With the knife he loosened several bars.