Blake Baker, lawyer and legislator, was born in Chowan County, the son of Henry Baker and his second wife, Ruth Chancey. Henry Baker had served as sheriff, captain in the militia, burgess, justice, and surveyor in Nansemond County, Va. When the dividing line between North Carolina and Virginia was established in 1728, the family's lands fell into North Carolina. Henry is perhaps the Mr. Baker mentioned several times in William Byrd's account of running the dividing line.
The name Blake came from Baker's paternal grandmother, Mary Blake, and was continued in the family for at least four generations. Blake Baker's wife apparently was Mary Kinchen McKinne, widow of Richard McKinne, who died in 1755. They had two daughters, Mary Blake and Elizabeth, and one son, Blake.
Though trained as a cabinetmaker, Baker studied law and became active in the assembly as a representative from Halifax County, which he first represented in 1760. He was still serving in the assembly at the time of his death. He served on the Committee of Privileges and Elections, on the Committee to Settle and Allow Public Claims, and on a committee to "fix the seat of government."
Simon Jones Baker Papers (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).
Bryan Papers, Charles Holloman Papers (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).
William L. Saunders and Walter Clark, eds., Colonial and State Records of North Carolina, vols. 6, 8, 23, 25 (1886–1914).
Raleigh Register, 13 and 20 Nov. 1818.
Minutes of the Board of Trade of Great Britain, Great Britain. Board of Trade, March 02, 1763 - December 15, 1763
Volume 06, Pages 1001-1007, Colonial and State Records, Documenting the American South, UNC Libraries: http://docsouth.unc.edu/csr/index.html/document/csr06-0288
Memorial by Couchet Jouvencel for Blake Baker concerning his purchase of land in North Carolina
Jouvencel, Couchet, d. 1786, 1762, Volume 06, Pages 745-747, Colonial and State Records, Documenting the American South, UNC Libraries: http://docsouth.unc.edu/csr/index.html/document/csr06-0223
N.C. Supreme Court, Judicial Department. Page 69. Raleigh [N.C.]: Printed by Jos. Gales & Son,1832. 1832. http://digital.ncdcr.gov/cdm/ref/collection/p249901coll22/id/628419 (accessed February 19, 2013).
Colonial and State Records of NC by Volume: http://docsouth.unc.edu/csr/index.html/volumes
Blaker Baker index in DocSouth: http://docsouth.unc.edu/csr/index.html/indices/B#B_i_002449
Allen, William Cicero. Hist. http://archive.org/details/HistoryOfHalifaxCountync (accessed February 19, 2013).
1 January 1979 | Skinner, Sue Dossett