Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Bakers in:
 • Mount Vernon Baptist Church Cemetery
 • Cuthbert
 • Randolph County
 • Georgia
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In

Changes are coming to Find A Grave. See a preview now.

Lena Baker
Birth: Jun. 8, 1900
Randolph County
Georgia, USA
Death: Mar. 5, 1945
Tattnall County
Georgia, USA

Folk Figure. She was the only woman to be executed in Georgia's electric chair. Born in Cuthbert, Georgia, Baker was an African-American mother of three who worked as a maid for Ernest B. Knight, a local white mill owner. On May 1, 1944, Baker was arrested for the fatal shooting of Knight at his home. She told police that for months Knight had kept her as a virtual sex slave, and that she shot him with his own pistol while trying to escape. Her one-day trial was typical of the "justice" blacks received in the segregation-era South. She was not allowed to testify, no witnesses were called to her defense, and the all-white, all-male jury delivered its guilty verdict in 20 minutes. Her appeal never made it beyond the county court because her court-appointed attorney immediately resigned from the case, leaving her without counsel. Baker defended herself to the end. Her last words were, "What I done, I did in self-defense. I have nothing against anyone. I'm ready to meet my God". She was electrocuted at the Georgia State Prison in Reidsville on March 5, 1945. The Cuthbert Times reported the execution with the headline, "Baker Burns". In 1996, author Lela Bond Phillips began investigating the all but forgotten story. She tracked down surviving witnesses, who confirmed Baker's allegations of Knight's abuse, and determined that the evidence against her supported a manslaughter conviction at best. Historians now say that the lack of due process in her case amounted to a "legal lynching". In August 2005 the Georgia courts agreed to grant Baker a posthumous pardon, only the second in the state's history. (The first was in 1986 for Leo Frank, lynched in 1915). "The Lena Baker Story" was made into a film in 2008. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
Mount Vernon Baptist Church Cemetery
Randolph County
Georgia, USA
Plot: Rear left corner of the Churchyard
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
Record added: Aug 16, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 11544277
Lena Baker
Added by: Bobb Edwards
Lena Baker
Added by: Brenda Arnett Darbyshire
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Really makes me wonder how many other people are like you, who didn't get a fair trial and were legally railroaded just because of Jim Crow. I know you're up there, safe, no longer in harm's way. Rest in Peace, Lena!
- L.C.
 Added: Sep. 13, 2017
You got a raw deal. God will take care of the people who failed you. Bless your soul Angel, bless your soul.
- teresa meyer
 Added: Sep. 3, 2017

- livesamongthestones
 Added: Jul. 13, 2017
There are 598 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (3.8 after 122 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service