While our physical offices are closed until at least April 13 due Austin's COVID-19 "shelter-in-place" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »

BAKER, JOHN REAGAN

Hobart Huson

BAKER, JOHN REAGAN (1809–1904). John Reagan Baker, Republic of Texas soldier, son of Peter and Margaret Laura (Reagan) Baker, was born near Blue Springs, Green County, Tennessee, on August 6, 1809. He made a trip to Texas in 1836. In 1839 he returned to Texas and became a member of the Texan auxiliary corps of the Federalista army encamped at Fort Lipantitlán. He followed Ewen Cameron through the campaign, was in the battle of October 23, 1840, at Ojo de Agua, near Saltillo, and cut his way back to Texas with his comrades. When the corps was disbanded, he went to Refugio County and settled in Aransas City. He was elected sheriff of Refugio County on February 1, 1841, and organized a company of minutemen, of which he was captain, although he retained membership and became a first lieutenant in Cameron's Rangers.

In March 1842 he went with Cameron's company to San Antonio on the occasion of the Rafael Vásquez raid, served with the company on the Nueces when Antonio Canales was repulsed on June 6, 1842, and distinguished himself in hand-to-hand fighting at the battle of Salado Creek on September 18, 1842. As a member of the Somervell and Mier expeditions he commanded a spy company and was one of the leaders of the break at Salado on February 11, 1843, when he was wounded. Unable to escape, he was put in the hospital, and there avoided the Black Bean Episode, but he was held in Perote Prison until September 16, 1844.

Baker returned to Refugio County and established a mercantile business at Saluria, on Matagorda Island. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he organized a home-guard company and was elected its captain. After the war he lived in Goliad County for a while, then moved to Indianola and again entered the mercantile business. In 1876 he moved to Wilson County, to a ranch near Stockdale, where he died on January 19, 1904.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Thomas J. Green, Journal of the Texian Expedition Against Mier (New York: Harper, 1845; rpt., Austin: Steck, 1935). Hobart Huson, Refugio: A Comprehensive History of Refugio County from Aboriginal Times to 1953 (2 vols., Woodsboro, Texas: Rooke Foundation, 1953, 1955). William P. Stapp, The Prisoners of Perote: A Journal (Philadelphia: Zieber, 1845).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Hobart Huson, "BAKER, JOHN REAGAN," accessed April 05, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fba32.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on October 24, 2018. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...