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Hilary Baker (February 21, 1746 – September 25, 1798) was an abolitionist and the mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, from 1796 to 1797.


He began his career as a hardware merchant. In 1779, he was clerk of the Court of Quarter Sessions in Philadelphia, and a member of the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention of 1787. Baker was elected alderman from 1789 to 1796, and elected mayor in 1796. He was re-elected in 1797, but died in the 1798 yellow fever outbreak in Philadelphia, where he was buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery.

Baker was the maternal grandfather of abolitionist and Union Army spy Elizabeth Van Lew.[1]


  1. ^ Casstevens, Frances H. (Oct 31, 2006). Tales from the North and the South: Twenty-Four Remarkable People and Events of the Civil War. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-2870-0. Retrieved 18 April 2019.

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Preceded by
Matthew Clarkson
Mayor of Philadelphia
Succeeded by
Robert Wharton