Richard Bache

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Richard Bache (1737-1811) (John Hoppner)

Richard Bache (1737–1811), born in Settle, Yorkshire, England, immigrated to Philadelphia, in the colony of Pennsylvania, where he was a businessman, a marine insurance underwriter, and later served as head of the American Post Office. He married the only daughter of Benjamin Franklin and had a large family with her.

Career[edit]

Bache immigrated as a young man in 1760 to New York to join his brother Theophylact in a dry goods and marine insurance business. After a couple of years, he went to Philadelphia, where he prospered for several years. He was among nearly 30 young men who in October 1766 met at the city's London Coffee House to found the Gloucester Fox Hunting Club (GFHC), the first in America, to take up a pursuit closely associated with becoming "true Englishmen."[1]

In 1767, Bache suffered financial problems when debts contracted by him were repudiated by his London associate, Edward Green.

Marriage and family[edit]

That year, Bache had proposed to Sarah Franklin, known as Sally, the only daughter of Benjamin Franklin and Deborah Read. They objected, given his precarious finances and rumors that Bache was a fortune hunter.[2] Although Franklin and his wife Deborah Read never formally approved, they acquiesced to the marriage in 1767.[2] Bache and Sally had eight children together.

Later years[edit]

During the American Revolution, Bache served on the Board of War. His wife, Sally Bache (1743–1808), was widely known for her patriotism and charitable activities.

Franklin later arranged an appointment for Bache as the US Postmaster General (1776-1782), to succeed him. After Franklin's death in 1790, Bache and Sally lived off her inheritance from Franklin, moving their family to the Vandegrift residence[3] in 1794 along the Delaware River north of Philadelphia.[2]

Descendants[edit]

Their oldest son, Benjamin Franklin Bache (1769–1798), became a journalist and publisher, founding a newspaper. He was a spokesman for the Jeffersonian Republicans; he strenuously opposed George Washington, John Adams and the Federalist party.

Sally and Bache's son, Richard Bache Jr., served in the Republic of Texas Navy and was elected as a Representative to the Second Texas Legislature in 1847.

The U.S. Navy surgeon Benjamin Franklin Bache (1801–1881) and the physicist Alexander Dallas Bache (1806–1867) were grandsons of Sally and Richard Bache Sr.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Doreen Skala, "Fox Hunting and Anglicization in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia", in Locating the English Diaspora, 1500-2010, edited by Tanja Bueltmann, Liverpool University Press, 2012, pp. 61-62, accessed 5 November 2012
  2. ^ a b c Herbert, Eugenia W. (1976). "A Note on Richard Bache (1737–1811)". Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 100 (1): 97–103. ISSN 0031-4587. 
  3. ^ http://www.livingplaces.com/PA/Bucks_County/Bensalem_Township/Eddington_Park.html
Political offices
Preceded by
Benjamin Franklin
United States Postmaster General
1776 – 1782
Succeeded by
Ebenezer Hazard