Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Collection Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Series I: Correspondence 1874-1951

Series II: Newsclippings, scrapbooks and published materials, 1920-1941, n.d.

Series III: Family photographs, 1870-1940

Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Capt. James A. Baker Family papers, 1874-1951



Collection Summary

Creator: Baker, James A.
Title: Capt. James A. Baker Family papers
Dates: 1874-1951
Abstract: Correspondence from Capt. James A. Baker (Rice Institute Chairman, 1891-1941) to various family members and colleagues, newsclippings regarding William M. Rice and regarding Capt. Baker’s death, and photographs of the Baker family.
Identification: MS 487
Quantity: 4 lin. ft. (4 boxes)
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, TX

Biographical Note

Capt. James A. Baker was a prominent attorney in the law firm of Baker, Botts & Baker, who represented many wealthy citizens, one of whom was William Marsh Rice, founder of Rice University. In 1891, Baker was made a member of the Rice Institute Board of Trustees and eventually became Chairman of the Board. After Rice’s death in 1900, a suspicious Capt. Baker alerted authorities to the possibility of foul play. Because of his efforts, investigators discovered that Rice was in fact murdered by an associate.

As Chairman of the Board, Baker contributed to the establishment of Rice University an elite educational institution. Because of his business savvy, the Rice endowment was more than doubled in the early years of the university. Mr. Baker served as Chairman until his death on Aug. 2, 1941. His son, James A. Baker, Jr., served in World War II, became a lawyer in the family firm and continued the Baker commitment to Rice.

James A. Baker III., Capt. Baker’s grandson, was born in 1930 to the wealthy Baker family and attended Princeton University. He joined the military and spent two years as a marine lieutenant. After his stint in the military, Baker attended University of Texas School of Law and began a career as a lawyer which lasted until his wife’s death in 1970. At the urging of his friend George H. W. Bush, Baker ran for the Senate. He lost the Senate race, but went on to serve as chief of staff and Secretary of the Treasury in President Ronald Reagan’s administration and as Secretary of State under George Bush. He has had a hand in the management of every Republican campaign for president from 1976 to 1992. After his career in politics Baker returned to working as an attorney and became a member Baker Botts law firm.

On June 2, 1992, Dr. Richard J. Stoll, Director for the Center for the Study of Institutions and Values, as well as a professor of Political Science, sent a memo to then Rice President George Rupp, suggesting that Rice approach then Secretary of State James A. Baker III for the beginnings of a "James Baker Institute". Rupp responded favorably to Stoll's memo and thus the Baker Institute was born. On March 31, 1993, Secretary Baker gave a speech accepting Rice's offer of an Institute in his honor, laying down his ideas on the Baker Institute. In this speech, entitled Ideas Into Action, in which he charged the Baker Institute to "draw together statesmen, scholars and students...and...build a bridge between the world of ideas and the world of action..." These founding words were later used as the building stones for the external architecture of the building.

The Honorable James A. Baker, III would later served on the Rice Board of Trustees from 1993 to the present day, currently acting as Trustee Emeritus.

Return to the Table of Contents


Scope and Contents

Correspondence from Capt. James A. Baker (Rice Institute Chairman, 1891-1941) to various family members and colleagues, newsclippings regarding William M. Rice and regarding Capt. Baker's death, and photographs of the Baker family.

Return to the Table of Contents


 

Arrangement

Series I: Correspondence 1874-1951 (10 folders)
Series II: Newsclippings, scrapbooks and published materials, 1920-1941, n.d. (5 folders, 2 scrapbooks, 1 box)
Series III: Family photographs, 1870-1940 (1 folder and 1 box)

Return to the Table of Contents


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This material is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish from the Capt. James A. Baker Family papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Return to the Table of Contents


Index Terms

Names:
Baker, James A. -- correspondence.
Baker, James A. -- photographs.
Baker, James A. --homes and haunts -- photographs.
Baker, Judge James A. -- correspondence.
Baker family -- correspondence.
Baker family -- photographs.
Baker, Rowena Crawford -- correspondence.
Baker, Alice Graham -- photographs.
Jones, Alice Baker -- photographs.
Subjects:
Baker family (Houston, Tex.)
Rice University – history
Document Types:
Correspondence
Photographs
Newsclippings
Reports

Return to the Table of Contents


Related Material

See Baker Family papers, 1853-1971, MS 40, Woodson Research Center.

See Baker Family "Information Files", Woodson Research Center.

Return to the Table of Contents


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Baker Family papers, 1874-1951, MS 487, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University

Acquisition Information

This collection was a gift donated by Alice Baker Jones Meyer through Mrs. Ray Watkin Strange, Jan. 2000.

Return to the Table of Contents


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series I: Correspondence 1874-1951

box folder
1 1 James A. Baker to father, Judge James A. Baker, 1874-75
2 Judge James A. Baker to son, James A. Baker, 1875, 1878, 1880
3 James A. Baker to mother, Rowena Baker, 1874-75
4 Rowena Baker to son, James A. Baker, 1874
5 James A. Baker to sister, Minie Baker, 1874
6 James A. Baker to various family members
7 James A. Baker to Alice Baker Jones, 1932
8 Annie Baker Eatman to cousin, Alice Baker Jones, 1951
9 Col. J.G. James (Supt. of Texas Military Institute) to Judge James A. Baker, 1875
10 Re: James A. Baker biographical sketch
11 On death of Capt. James A. Baker, 1941

Return to the Table of Contents




 

Series II: Newsclippings, scrapbooks and published materials, 1920-1941, n.d.

box folder
1 12 Newsclips re: Capt. James A. Baker death, 1941, and resolution by Guardian Trust Co.
13 Newsclips re: William M. Rice
14 The Patrick Case by Capt. James A. Baker
15 Prince Edward County, Virginia by Archibald McRobert
16 Philosophical Society of Texas Proceedings, 1941
box folder
3 - Scrapbook 1: Lincoln's death; Hurricane; 1920s-1930s
- Scrapbook 2: Albert Patrick trial for the murder of William Marsh Rice
box folder
4 - Oversize newsclippings and ephemera

Return to the Table of Contents




 

Series III: Family photographs, 1870-1940

box folder
1 17 Capt. James A. Baker in uniform (Texas Military Institute) c. 1870s
17 Judge James A. Baker, Mrs. Alice Graham Baker, and children James A. Baker Jr. and Alice Baker, ca. 1920?
17 Two Houston newspaper clippings of photos of Miss Alice Baker and Mrs. Alice Graham Baker, ca. 1920
box
2 Oversize photographs
Newsclipping: King Nottoc Ball IX, Nov. 7, 1907, Houston Daily Post, featuring King Hon. Hiram Garwood and Queen Alice Graham Baker (color copy only)
King Nottoc Ball IX, Nov. 7, 1907, featuring King Hon. Hiram Garwood and Queen Alice Graham Baker riding in horse-drawn buggy decorated with fresh flowers (original and copy print)
Palmer Chapel interior, June 1938, prepared for wedding of Alice Baker Jones to John Harris Meyers, Houston, TX (original and copy print)
Full length studio portrait of Alice Graham Baker (Mrs. James A. Baker), ca. 1910?, by Davis & Sanford Studio, New York City (original and copy print)
Portrait of unidentified Baker or Graham female family member, taken The Falk Studio, The Waldorf Astoria, New York, n.d. (ca. 1910?)
Family photograph of Capt. James A. Baker, daughter Alice Baker Meyers, baby, and unidentified woman, ca. 1940
Family photograph of Alice Baker Jones, Alice Graham Baker (Mrs. James A. Baker), and baby Alice Baker Jones [Meyers], c. 1915
View of library in home of Capt. James A. Baker, 1416 Main St., n.d. (original and copy print)
Booklet of newsclippings on the death of Alice Graham Baker at age 67, May 9, 1932

Return to the Table of Contents