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History of Early American Landscape Design

Difference between revisions of "Anthony St. John Baker"

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'''Anthony St. John Baker''' (1785-May 16, 1854), was the English diplomat who carried the Treaty of Ghent to the United States at the close of the War of 1812. During his years of official service in Europe and America, he recorded his impressions in written accounts as well as watercolor sketches, ultimately publishing the autobiographical ''Mémoires d’un voyageur qui se repose'' (Memoirs of a Traveler Now in Retirement) in 1850.
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'''Anthony St. John Baker''' (1785-May 16, 1854), was the English diplomat who carried the Treaty of Ghent to the United States at the close of the War of 1812. During his years of official service in Europe and America, he recorded his impressions in written accounts as well as watercolor sketches, ultimately publishing the autobiographical ''Mémoires d’un voyageur qui se repose'' (Memoirs of a Traveler Now in Retirement) in 1850.Baker took a leave of absence from Washington in 1828 and officially resigned his post in 1831. <ref> Proceedings of the Numismatic Society, April 1853-January 1854, 15; 65-66 [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/376GA9S4 view on Zotero]. </ref> Retiring to Tunbridge Wells, England, he compiled ''Mémoires d’un voyageur qui se repose'', published privately in 1850 in a limited edition of 50 copies. The four-volume set included numerous engravings after Baker’s watercolors, along with maps and other illustrations. <ref> Copies of Baker’s valuable and extremely rare memoirs are held by the Huntington Library (extra-illustrated with 18 watercolors by Baker); Yale University Library (also extra-illustrated); New York Historical Society; William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan. See Childs, 1970, 198-204, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/5C346IG6 view on Zotero]; Carey S. Bliss, "Acquisitions: July 1-November 15, 1952," ''Huntington Library Quarterly'', 16 (1953):  216, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/TZBSKCJI view on Zotero]. </ref> A collector of coins and medals, Baker was elected to the Numismatic Society in 1842, and actively supported the British Archaeological Association from its first congress in 1844. <ref> "Proceedings of the Numismatic Society. Session 1842-43," ''The Numismatic Chronicle and Journal of the Numismatic Society'', 5 (1842–1843): 57, 62 [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/X24MAZXF view on Zotero]. For Baker’s subscription to the ''Journal of the British Archaeological Association'' and his participation in the Association’s congresses, see "Obituary for 1854," ''The Journal of the British Archaeological Association'', 11 (1855): 60 [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/8MA9QMIV view on Zotero]. </ref> Baker also subscribed to the seven-volume ''Collectanea Antiqua'' (1850)  <ref> Charles Roach Smith, ''Collectanea Antiqua: Etchings and Notes on Ancient Remains'', 7 vols. (London: J. Russell Smith, 1852), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/58T7RBJG view on Zotero]. </ref> His “valuable assemblage of coins and medals” and his “select library” of books relating to the history, laws, and statistics of the United States were auctioned by Messrs. S. Leigh Sotheby and John Wilkinson in December 1854. <ref> ''Athenaeum'' (December 8, 1854), 1478; "Obituary for 1854," 60, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/8MA9QMIV view on Zotero]. </ref>  
 
 
 
 
 
 
Baker returned to the United States in 1815 as Chargé d’Affaires, responsible for obtaining American ratification of the Treaty of Ghent. He advanced to the position of Consul General the following year. <ref> Troy Bickham, ''The Weight of Vengeance: The United States, the British Empire, and the War of 1812'' (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 3, 262, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/BVJ65RMH view on Zotero]; Paullin and Paxin, 1914, 40-41, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/376GA9S4 view on Zotero]. </ref> Over the next decade, Baker’s drawings and written accounts attest to his keen interest in the physical environment of the United States as well as its political and social life. He documented the evolving city of Washington in three drawings made in 1826, including one of the newly rebuilt and re-landscaped [[President’s House]].
 
 
 
Baker also created verbal and visual accounts of the country seats of prominent American families. Around 1820, while courting [[George Calvert]]’s daughter Caroline, he made a watercolor drawing of the family’s Maryland estate, [[Riversdale]] &mdash; the earliest known pictorial representation of the house &mdash; which was published as a transfer lithograph in London in 1827. <ref> Margaret Law Calcott, ''Mistress of Riversdale: The Plantation Letters of Rosalie Stier Calvert, 1795-1821'' (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992), 359, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/8VB4PVER view on Zotero]. </ref> Baker visited several of the Virginia properties of the Tayloe family, including [[Mount Airy]], where he noted the large [[conservatory]] (“with orange and lemon trees put out on the grass”) and an “extensive garden,” laid out “in [[squares]] and [[terrace/slope|terrace]]s, according to the fashion of that period,” and “in front, [[lawn]] planted, and [[terrace/slope|terrace]], with flowers on pedestals”. While the gentlemen of the neighborhood devoted themselves to horse racing, Baker preferred to accompany the ladies in exploring the grounds, “strolling over the garden before tea” on one evening, and on the next, taking “a long walk in the evening, with the ladies, in the [[park]]; thickly wooded, and many fine deer.” The brevity of his visit prevented Baker from accepting [[Robert Carter]]’s invitation to visit his neighboring house, [[Sabine Hall]]. <ref> Benjamin Ogle Tayloe, ''In Memoriam: Benjamin Ogle Tayloe'' (Philadelphia: Sherman & Co., Printers, 1872), 245-246 [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/43EGBFXN view on Zotero] </ref>.
 
 
 
Baker took a leave of absence from Washington in 1828 and officially resigned his post in 1831. <ref> Proceedings of the Numismatic Society, April 1853-January 1854, 15; 65-66 [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/376GA9S4 view on Zotero]. </ref> Retiring to Tunbridge Wells, England, he compiled ''Mémoires d’un voyageur qui se repose'', published privately in 1850 in a limited edition of 50 copies. The four-volume set included numerous engravings after Baker’s watercolors, along with maps and other illustrations. <ref> Copies of Baker’s valuable and extremely rare memoirs are held by the Huntington Library (extra-illustrated with 18 watercolors by Baker); Yale University Library (also extra-illustrated); New York Historical Society; William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan. See Childs, 1970, 198-204, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/5C346IG6 view on Zotero]; Carey S. Bliss, "Acquisitions: July 1-November 15, 1952," ''Huntington Library Quarterly'', 16 (1953):  216, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/TZBSKCJI view on Zotero]. </ref> A collector of coins and medals, Baker was elected to the Numismatic Society in 1842, and actively supported the British Archaeological Association from its first congress in 1844. <ref> "Proceedings of the Numismatic Society. Session 1842-43," ''The Numismatic Chronicle and Journal of the Numismatic Society'', 5 (1842–1843): 57, 62 [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/X24MAZXF view on Zotero]. For Baker’s subscription to the ''Journal of the British Archaeological Association'' and his participation in the Association’s congresses, see "Obituary for 1854," ''The Journal of the British Archaeological Association'', 11 (1855): 60 [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/8MA9QMIV view on Zotero]. </ref> Baker also subscribed to the seven-volume ''Collectanea Antiqua'' (1850)  <ref> Charles Roach Smith, ''Collectanea Antiqua: Etchings and Notes on Ancient Remains'', 7 vols. (London: J. Russell Smith, 1852), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/58T7RBJG view on Zotero]. </ref> His “valuable assemblage of coins and medals” and his “select library” of books relating to the history, laws, and statistics of the United States were auctioned by Messrs. S. Leigh Sotheby and John Wilkinson in December 1854. <ref> ''Athenaeum'' (December 8, 1854), 1478; "Obituary for 1854," 60, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/8MA9QMIV view on Zotero]. </ref>  
 
  
  

Revision as of 20:26, January 14, 2015

Anthony St. John Baker (1785-May 16, 1854), was the English diplomat who carried the Treaty of Ghent to the United States at the close of the War of 1812. During his years of official service in Europe and America, he recorded his impressions in written accounts as well as watercolor sketches, ultimately publishing the autobiographical Mémoires d’un voyageur qui se repose (Memoirs of a Traveler Now in Retirement) in 1850.Baker took a leave of absence from Washington in 1828 and officially resigned his post in 1831. [1] Retiring to Tunbridge Wells, England, he compiled Mémoires d’un voyageur qui se repose, published privately in 1850 in a limited edition of 50 copies. The four-volume set included numerous engravings after Baker’s watercolors, along with maps and other illustrations. [2] A collector of coins and medals, Baker was elected to the Numismatic Society in 1842, and actively supported the British Archaeological Association from its first congress in 1844. [3] Baker also subscribed to the seven-volume Collectanea Antiqua (1850) [4] His “valuable assemblage of coins and medals” and his “select library” of books relating to the history, laws, and statistics of the United States were auctioned by Messrs. S. Leigh Sotheby and John Wilkinson in December 1854. [5]



Sites

Riversdale, Mount Airy, White House


Terms

Arboretum, Arcade, Avenue, Bowling Green, Conservatory, Deer Park, Fall/Falling Garden, Fence, Ha-Ha/Sunk fence, Lawn, Nursery, Park, Plantation, Square, Statue, Sundial, Terrace/Slope Wall


Images

  1. Proceedings of the Numismatic Society, April 1853-January 1854, 15; 65-66 view on Zotero.
  2. Copies of Baker’s valuable and extremely rare memoirs are held by the Huntington Library (extra-illustrated with 18 watercolors by Baker); Yale University Library (also extra-illustrated); New York Historical Society; William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan. See Childs, 1970, 198-204, view on Zotero; Carey S. Bliss, "Acquisitions: July 1-November 15, 1952," Huntington Library Quarterly, 16 (1953): 216, view on Zotero.
  3. "Proceedings of the Numismatic Society. Session 1842-43," The Numismatic Chronicle and Journal of the Numismatic Society, 5 (1842–1843): 57, 62 view on Zotero. For Baker’s subscription to the Journal of the British Archaeological Association and his participation in the Association’s congresses, see "Obituary for 1854," The Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 11 (1855): 60 view on Zotero.
  4. Charles Roach Smith, Collectanea Antiqua: Etchings and Notes on Ancient Remains, 7 vols. (London: J. Russell Smith, 1852), view on Zotero.
  5. Athenaeum (December 8, 1854), 1478; "Obituary for 1854," 60, view on Zotero.

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History of Early American Landscape Design contributors, "Anthony St. John Baker," History of Early American Landscape Design, , https://heald.nga.gov/mediawiki/index.php?title=Anthony_St._John_Baker&oldid=5928 (accessed August 12, 2022).

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