Baker, La Fayette Curry
- Leonard Schlup
Baker, La Fayette Curry (13 October 1825–03 July 1868), head of the U.S. Secret Service, was born in Stafford, New York, the son of Remember Baker and Cynthia (maiden name unknown), farmers. Named for the French aristocrat, the marquis de Lafayette, who aided the American cause during the revolutionary war, the youth in 1839 settled in Michigan with his parents and attended local schools. As a young man he lived in over a dozen states, including Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania, sometimes supporting himself as a mechanic. While operating a dry goods store in Philadelphia in 1852, he married Jennie C. Curry; they had no children. The next year they relocated to San Francisco, California, where Baker worked as a general laborer and belonged to the San Francisco Vigilance Committee. His work with the vigilantes helped bring order to a city known for its gambling houses, crime, and political corruption, and Baker gained valuable experience in investigation and surveillance....