The San Jacinto Museum and the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site is open regular hours beginning Saturday, July 13, 2024.

Part of an old map of the San Jacinto area from the Texas Revolution

Veteran Bio

Texian Location:  Participant

The Kemp Sketch

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BAKER, JOSEPH -- Born in Maine in 1804, a son of Symonds William and Jane (Gerrish) Baker. He arrived at San Felipe de Austin December 7, 1831, as is shown in his application for land in Austin's colonies. With Gail Borden, Jr., and Thomas H. Borden, Mr. Baker, or "Don Jose", as he was called, established The Telegraph and Texas Register at San Felipe, the first issue appearing October 10, 1835. Mr. Baker entered the army February 29, 1836, and on April 5th severed his connections with the paper. On May 18, 1838, he was issued Bounty Certificate No. 3440 for 320 acres of land for having served in the army from February 29 to June 1, 1836. He was a member of Captain Moseley Baker's "San Felipe Company" at San Jacinto and on June 4, 1838, he received Donation Certificate No. 274 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle.

Mr. Baker was appointed primary judge of Austin Municipality in February, 1836. He was a member of the House of Representatives of the first Congress of the Republic, having been elected from Bexar County. He was appointed translator to the senate October 23, 1836, and on December 16, 1836, was elected by Congress as the first Chief Justice of Bexar County. He died in Austin July 11, 1846. He was never married.

Two of Mr. Baker's brothers, Thomas and Symonds William Baker came to Texas to live after statehood. Thomas Baker born March 17, 1806, died October 13, 1873. With Symonds W. Baker came his children, Andrew, William, DeWitt Clinton, and Octavia Baker. William born October 2, 1834, died May 9, 1861.

A lengthy sketch of Joseph Baker by Ethel Mary Franklin appeared in Vol. 36 of Southwestern Historical Quarterly.

Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.

Battle Statistics

  • Died in Battle: No
  • Rank: First Sergeant
  • Company: Capt. Moseley Baker

Personal Statistics

  • Date of Birth: 1804
  • Birthplace: Maine
  • Came to Texas: 1831 Dec 7
  • Date of Death: 1846 July 11
  • Bounty Certificate: 3440
  • Donation Certificate: 274
  • Profession: Publisher, teacher, translator, judge
  • Wife: None