Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BAKER, William Spohn, antiquarians, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 17 April, 1824. He became a conveyancer, but retired on account of his health, and turned his attention to art and literary pursuits. Mr. Baker possesses a collection of engraved portraits of George Washington which is the most complete that is known, and his number of medals of Washington is second only to that of William S. Appleton, of Boston, while his collection of biographies of Washington is the most noted in existence. He is a member of the American philosophical society, one of the council of the Pennsylvania historical society, and since 1885 has been vice-president of the Pennsylvania academy of fine arts. He is the author of "Origin and Antiquity of Engraving" (Philadelphia, 1872 ; 2d ed., illustrated, Boston, 1875); "American Engravers and their Works" (Philadelphia, 1875); "William Sharp, Engraver, and his Works" (1875) ; "Engraved Portraits of Washington" (1880) ; "Medallic Portraits of Washington" (1884) ; and "Character Portraits of Washington" (1887) ; and he is preparing for the press (1889) "A List of Biographies and Biographical Sketches of George Washington."
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