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Guide to the Charlotte Baker Diary Collection MS 173
MS 173  
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Collection Details
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  • Comments
  • Arrangement
  • Biographical / Historical Notes
  • Processing Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Scope and Content
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

  • Title: Charlotte Baker Diary Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: MS 173
    Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 2.5 Linear feet (10 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1882-1934
    Abstract: This collection contains personal diaries and papers focusing on the personal and professional life and travels of Dr. Charlotte Baker, San Diego’s first female physician.
    creator: Baker, Charlotte L.


    Box 1 contains finding aid and extended collection notes.


    The collection is arranged into two series:
    Series I: Personal Diaries
    Series II: Personal Papers
    Items in Series I are arranged chronologically. Items in Series II are arranged by subject. All loose items found in the diaries have been removed to a separate folder following the corresponding diary.

    Biographical / Historical Notes

    Charlotte Johnson Baker was San Diego’s first female physician and a noted suffragist and civic leader. She was born Charlotte LeBreton Johnson March 30, 1855 in Newburyport, Massachusetts. She graduated from Vassar and received her M.D. from the University of Michigan in 1881. She became an obstetrician and did her residency in a women’s prison, which was the beginning of a lifelong interest in prison reform and delinquency in girls. She married Dr. Fred Baker on March 30, 1882 and the two practiced medicine in Akron, Ohio before moving to Socorro, New Mexico. The Bakers had two children, Mary (nicknamed Molly) and Robert, both born in New Mexico. In 1888, Charlotte and Fred set up practice in San Diego where they were one of the first to settle in Roseville (what is now Point Loma) and build a home there. Charlotte was very prominent in San Diego medical society; she promoted pasteurization laws, wrote on the germ theory of disease, and served as the San Diego County Medical Society’s first woman president. She was also a president of the Equal Suffrage Association and after helping organize the local chapter of the YWCA, served as an honorary president. Charlotte was one of the founders of the Woman’s Home Association and Day Nursery, and was an active supporter of the Temperance movement and Prohibition. She died October 31, 1937, after suffering from a heart condition and being almost completely bedridden for several years.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Katrina White on April 24, 2012.
    Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

    Preferred Citation

    Charlotte Baker Diary Collection, MS 173, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains 48 of Charlotte Baker’s personal diaries, beginning the year she wed in 1882, through her later years, ending in 1934, three years prior to her death. The diaries encompass Charlotte’s life experiences as a mother and later grandmother, as a renowned obstetrician and the first female physician in San Diego, and as an involved local activist for women’s suffrage and prohibition, among other causes. Of particular interest are Charlotte and her family’s experience on the frontier in 1890s New Mexico where they witnessed several Indian raids; the birth of her two children, Robert and Molly; and Charlotte’s first-hand account of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire (she was visiting friends in the area at the time). Also of note are Charlotte’s entries regarding the fight for women’s suffrage and their victory in California in 1911; descriptions of her and her husband Fred’s travels through Asia between 1913 and 1915, including an experience with the consequences of World War I in Singapore; and her entries on the effects of the war on the people of San Diego, including her son Robert’s inscription in the Navy. Charlotte also wrote in detail about her involvement in the Y.W.C.A., as well as her husband’s involvement in the San Diego Historical Society (as one of the founding members), and the San Diego Society of Natural History. In addition, the diaries include accounts of the 1919 Influenza epidemic, and the Bakers’ participation in the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle in 1909, and the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco in 1915. The collection also includes several address books and vaccination records.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Accession number 831017A.

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    1912 Diary has fragile binding. (April 24, 2012)

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Addams, Jane, 1860-1935
    Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (1909 : Seattle, Wash.).
    Allen, Ella Bradford
    American Women's Suffrage Association.
    Baker, Charlotte L.
    Baker, Frederick, 1854-1938
    Baker, George L.
    Baker, Kenneth
    Baker, Mary C.
    Baker, Robert H.
    Ballard (Ship).
    Brooks, Annie
    Cabral, Manuel
    Cabral, William
    Cooke, Agnes E.
    Davidson, John
    Davidson, Winifred
    Denton, William
    Doig, Robert L.
    Eastwood, Alice, 1859-1953
    Equal Suffrage League (U.S.).
    Grayson, Cary T. (Cary Travers), 1878-1938
    Hodge, Mary
    Horton, Alonzo E., 1813-1909
    Horton, Lydia Knapp
    Johnson, Mary Caroline
    Keller, Helen, 1880-1968
    Kelley, Florence, 1859-1932
    Klauber, Alice Ellen, 1871-1951
    Klauber, Frieda
    Klauber, Leda
    La Tourette, Gertrude
    Livermore, Mary Ashton Rice, 1820-1905
    Magee, Thomas L.
    Marston, Anna Lee, 1853-1940
    Marston, Elsa
    Marston, Harriet
    Marston, Helen
    Marston, Mary
    McAdoo, W. G. (William Gibbs), 1863-1941
    Mills, Carrie
    Morse, Mary Chase
    Norton, Constance Bird
    Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915 : San Francisco, Calif.).
    Restarick, Margaret
    Ritter, Mary
    Rogeron, Anne
    San Diego County Medical Society (San Diego County, Calif.). Woman’s Auxiliary.
    San Diego County Medical Society (San Diego County, Calif.).
    San Diego Historical Society.
    San Diego Society of Natural History.
    Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
    Scripps, Ellen Browning, 1836-1932
    Sessions, Kate Olivia, 1857-1940
    Shaw, Anna Howard, 1847-1919
    Shaw, Stella Augusta, b. 1836
    Southern California Medical Society.
    Spreckels, John Diedrich, b. 1853
    Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, 1815-1902
    State Normal School of San Diego, California.
    Taft, William H. (William Howard), 1857-1930
    University of Michigan.
    Vassar College.
    Wangenheim, Julius
    Waters, Elizabeth LeBriton
    Willard, C. F.
    Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor.
    Young Women's Christian Association.
    Akron (Ohio)
    Coronado (Calif.)
    Ensenada (Baja California, Mexico)
    Guadalupe Island (Mexico)
    Indians of North America
    Influenza Epidemic, 1918-1919
    Los Angeles (Calif.)
    Manila (Philippines)
    New Mexico
    Newburyport (Mass.)
    Point Loma (San Diego, Calif.)
    Pomona (Calif.)
    Roseville (Calif.)
    San Diego (Calif.)
    San Francisco (Calif.)
    San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, Calif., 1906
    Santa Catalina Island (Calif.)
    Seattle (Wash.)
    Seoul (Korea)
    Tijuana (Baja California, Mexico)
    Todos Santos (Baja California Sur, Mexico)
    Tokyo (Japan)
    Women -- Suffrage
    World War, 1914-1918
    Yosemite National Park (Calif.)