American Medical Biographies/Baker, Samuel

Baker, Samuel (1785–1835)

Samuel Baker, pioneer in the upbuilding of Baltimore as a medical centre, and founder of the library of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Baltimore, was born in Baltimore, Oct. 31, 1785. His father, William Baker, emigrated from Germany when young and married a wife of Irish extraction.

At the age of fifteen Samuel went to the Chestertown academy under Dr. Ferguson. He next entered the apothecary shop of Dr. Henry Wilkins to gain a practical knowledge of pharmacy, and later became a pupil of Drs. Littlejohn and Donaldson. The winters of 1806–7 and 1807–8 found him in attendance on the medical lectures in the University of Pennsylvania, and graduating in the latter year with a thesis on chorea.

In 1808 Baker married Sarah, a daughter of the Rev. John Dickens.

Returning to Baltimore to practise he became professor of materia medica in the Medical College of Baltimore 1809–1833, secretary of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty 1809–1813, founder of the library of the Medico-Chirurgical Faculty in 1830, and founder and president of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland in 1830. He was dean of the University, 1829–1830. The records state that "the disease which proved fatal was so illusory that but little apprehension was felt for him until a day or two prior to his dissolution. He died at the ripe age of 50," Oct. 16, 1835.

Amer. Jour. Med. Sci., 1836, XVIII, 534–36.
Md. Med. & Surg. Jour., 1840, I, 1–6.