Lincoln’s bodyguard

Dan and I were due for a surprise date. Luckily, I know all the hot spots… including the Fort Collins Senior Center. From the event description:

History Hour: The Story of Frederick R. Baker

From the City of Washington to Fort Collins, Frederick R. Baker was a witness to history. Hear the story of this four-term mayor of early Fort Collins who began his career in public service as a bodyguard for President Lincoln during the Civil War.

I know my husband. We had a great time. A few of the many stories that stood out to me:

  • Baker was an Ohio boy! The Union Light Guard that was formed to protect President Abraham Lincoln was drawn from the best soldiers in Ohio.
  • Baker wrote in his diary every day. In one entry he mentions visiting the load of rocks that would become the Washington Monument — at the time, the monument was on hold due to the war.
  • As one of Lincoln’s bodyguards, Baker would have been in the room for major decisions, including the debates over the 13th Amendment. He also attended Lincoln’s second inauguration.
  • Apparently, Baker grew the Great Pumpkin of 1882. The pumpkin toured the country and, if this presentation is to be believed, inspired the Charlie Brown story.

When the presentation was over, the speaker (whose name I cannot seem to locate anywhere) introduced attending members of Baker’s family who had contributed information to his research. He then donated a number of artifacts, including Baker’s saber, to the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.


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