Thomas Jefferson Papers

Richard Bache to Thomas Jefferson, 3 January 1818

From Richard Bache

Pha 3 Jany 1818


The kindness with which you have always treated every individual of my family, personally acquainted with you, and the desire of evincing my own respect, induces me to enclose you a prospectus of a paper I am about establishing. Should it meet your approbation I shall be [h]ighly gratified; I can hardly venture upon asking you to continue a correspondence, notwithstanding I should feel highly honored, should you find leisure to communicate any information, which your experience would make valuable to the whole community.

With sentiments of the highest esteem I remain truly yours

Rich Bache

RC (DLC); ink stained; dateline beneath signature; endorsed by TJ as received 14 Jan. 1818 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Joseph C. Cabell, 26 Feb. 1818, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esq Monticello Va”; franked; postmarked Philadelphia, 3 Jan.

Richard Bache (1784–1848), attorney, postmaster, and public official, was a grandson of Benjamin Franklin. Born in Philadelphia, he was admitted to the bar in 1805 and married a daughter of Alexander J. Dallas the same year. Over the next decade Bache worked as an attorney and clerk of the quarter sessions, wrote The Manual of a Pennsylvania Justice of the Peace (Philadelphia, 1810), and was captain in 1814 of the “Franklin Flying Artillery.” He served as his hometown’s postmaster, 1815–28, and published the daily Philadelphia Franklin Gazette, 1818–21. Bache moved thereafter to Texas, where he fought in the 1836 war of independence against Mexico and was a government clerk for several years before settling in Galveston in 1842. There he was commissioner of the naval yard and a justice of the peace. Bache cast the sole vote against joining the United States at the 1845 Texas Annexation Convention, but he signed the new state’s constitution later that year. At the time of his death he was sitting as a member of the Texas senate in Austin (Leonard W. Labaree and others, eds., The Papers of Benjamin Franklin [1959– ], 1:lxv; Philadelphia United States’ Gazette, 7 Mar. 1805; Boston New-England Palladium, 16 Apr. 1805; James Robinson, The Philadelphia Directory, for 1808 [Philadelphia, 1808]; Benjamin Kite and Thomas Kite, Kite’s Philadelphia Directory for 1814 [Philadelphia, 1814]; Philadelphia Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser, 31 Aug. 1814; John F. Watson, Annals of Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania, in the olden time [1879], 3:476; Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 2:907; Walter Prescott Webb and others, eds., The Handbook of Texas [1952–76], 1:93; Civilian and Galveston City Gazette, 22 Apr. 1843; Laws passed by the Second Legislature of the State of Texas [1848], 2:lxxxvi, xciii; Houston Democratic Telegraph and Texas Register, 13 Apr. 1848).

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