Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Haunted Crime Scenes: The Murder of Samuel T. Baker

A Pleasant Life

As an accountant with the firm of John Lynes & Company, Samuel Baker was used to working late, even on Saturday. The five-day, 40-hour work week was still decades away. At the dawn of the 20th century, workers were held to a six-day work week, often with hours and a workload that by today's standards would be described as miserable.

Despite his schedule, Samuel Baker didn't complain. He'd fought as a Confederate soldier in the Civil War. He knew misery. And working long hours in a comfortable office and then going home to a warm bed wasn't misery.

Misery was found on the battlefields of places like Bull Run, Shiloh, Antietam, and Gettysburg. Misery was charging through wave after wave of angry Union rifle and cannon fire. Misery was being doused with blood as bullets and shells cut down the soldiers on either side of you. Misery was not being able to sleep at night because of the screams of ten thousand wounded men.

By that standard, Samuel Baker knew that his life was far from miserable. In fact, it was pretty darn pleasant.

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