Saturday, March 23, 2013

Benjamin Baker Jr. of Epping and Campton, NH

Parents 
Benjamin Baker Jr. was the son of Benjamin Baker and Ruth True.  His parents were originally from Salisbury, MA but some time prior to his birth in 1753 they moved to Epping, NH.   Benjamin married Sarah Norris, daughter of Jonathan Norris and Sarah Cram of Epping in 1775 in Epping. 

Revolution
1775 was of course an auspicious year, the American Colonies, including New Hampshire, began their march towards freedom from Great Britain.  Benjamin and his brothers William and Moses. According to old town histories Benjamin enlisted in 1775 and was with Col. John Stark's Regiment and fought at Bunker Hill.  A search of Fold3.com shows multiple men named Benjamin Baker who enlisted in the same regiment. I am not sure which one was him.  In any case he is said to have suffered during his enlistment which would eventually lead to his early death. 
Moses Baker commanded a Company and was at Winter Hill in 1775 during the battle of Bunker Hill. He was at Saratoga in 1777, he held the rank of Captain. William, his brother, served as Orderly Sergeant in the same company. 

Back to the business of living 
Benjamin's two brothers had left Epping for Candia prior to the war, but all three moved to Campton starting in the year 1777.  Benjamin, his wife and three children arrived in 1780. His brother William sold him a 100 acre lot on the west side of the Pemigewasset River. This property was eventually the site of the Blair School, one of the first schools in Campton. The property also included a residence built originally by Col. Spenser, today the house is an Inn, The Col. Spenser Inn. (I have got to go there and spend a night!)
William and Moses Baker were both very active in town affairs. Their names appear frequently in the town records, in fact Moses was the town clerk for many years. For the first two years that Benjamin was in Campton, the town voted to not charge him his yearly tax.  I wonder if it was because  he was still recovering from his time in service.  

Benjamin and Sarah Norris Baker had three children: 
Daniel b. 11 November 1775 Epping d. 1815 Campton, NH
Sarah b. 1778 Campton, NH 
Katherine b. 13 May 1779 Campton, NH d. 1860 Wheelock, VT.




Early death
Benjamin Baker died at the relatively early age of thirty seven, it has been said that his war service contributed to his demise.  He left three children.  His wife Sarah remarried in 1793 to Joshua Rogers and has three more children. I do not know when Sarah died.
In 1805 Sarah and Katherine sold their share of their father's property to their brother Daniel.  He lived there with his family until he sold it to Peter Blair.  Daniel also died at a very young age, 39.  His grave maker has his name along with six of his children who predeceased him. 


See also:
William Baker Jr. and Elizabeth Heard
William Baker Sr. and Sarah Fitts
Benjamin Baker and Ruth True




Sources:
Gazetteer of Grafton County New Hampshire, 1709-1886, Harold Child
Town Records of Campton, NH