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Captain James A. Baker of Houston, 1857-1941 biography research materials

Identifier: MS 0609
Finding aid note: Stored onsite at the Woodson Research Center.

Scope and contents

This collections contains the research materials gathered by Kate Kirkland and used in preparing the manuscript for her book, Captain James A. Baker of Houston, 1857-1941. Numerous resources include the archival records of Baker, his family and firm, and his contemporaries. Published as part of Rice University's centennial celebration and underwritten by the Rice Historical Society, the biography combines the contemporary history of Houston with that of one of Houston's most influential citizens.

Series I: Research materials, including general subject files

Series II: Genealogy--family histories

Series III: Photo albums and photographs, including rarely seen views of Baker, his family, house, and events

Series IV: Manuscript materials for Texas A & M University Press, including original manuscript, annotations, images and press materials


  • Creation: 2011 - 2022


Access restrictions

This material is open for research.

Conditions Governing Access

Stored onsite at the Woodson Research Center.

Restrictions on use

Permission to publish from the Capt. James A. Baker of Houston, 1857-1941 biography research materials must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.


Captain James A. Baker, Houston lawyer, banker and businessman, was attorney to elderly millionaire client, William Marsh Rice. Baker unraveled a plot to murder Rice and plunder his estate to realize Rice's aspirations for the Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Science and Arts, today know as Rice University. He partnered with leading lawyers to create Houston's first nationally recognized law firm-Baker, Botts, Lovett & Parker, now the worldwide legal practice of Baker Botts LLP. He chartered several Houston businesses and utility companies, developed two major regional banks, promoted real estate projects, all while expanding Rice Institute's endowment.

Kate Sayen Kirkland holds both MA and PhD in History from Rice University. As a freelance historian, she is author of The Hogg Family and Houston: Philanthropy and the Civic Ideal and also contributes to the Southwestern Historical Quarterly.


5.5 Linear Feet (10 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collections contains extensive research files on James A. Baker and his family, including biographical, genealogical and law firm, recollections of family members and friends, correspondence and newsclips, as well as numerous photographs of family members, houses and family events. This material was gathered in 2011-2012 by Kate Kirkland in preparation for the publication of her biography of Baker, published in 2012.

Acquistions information

The collection was donated by Kate Sayen Kirkland on March 19 and June 25, 2013. Additional materials were donated in 2022-2023.

Related Materials

Kirkland, Kate Sayen, 1944-. Captain James A. Baker of Houston, 1857-1941/title>. Texas A & M University Press, 2012. Fondren Library call # KF373 .B295 K57 2012

Guide to the Captain James A. Baker of Houston, 1857-1941 biography research materials
Lee Pecht
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas Repository

Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University
6100 Main St.
Houston Texas 77005 USA