Richard Franklin Bache, also known as Richard Bache Jr. (1784–1848), was a military and political official in the Republic and state of Texas. He assisted in drafting the Texas Constitution of 1845, the first of its five state constitutions.
Early life and ancestors
Bache was born on March 11, 1784, at Philadelphia, the son of Richard Bache Sr., a marine insurance underwriter and importer. Bache Sr. had also served as United States Postmaster General from 1776 to 1782. About 1819, he was the publisher of the Franklin Gazette, a democratic newspaper in Philadelphia, along with John Norvell. John Norvell founded the Philadelphia Inquirer after leaving the Gazette and later moved to Michigan, where he was elected as one of the new state's first U.S. Senators.
Richard's mother was Sarah Franklin Bache (September 11, 1743 – October 5, 1808), known as Sally, the only daughter of Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, and his common-law wife, Deborah Read.
Richard grew up in a large family of eight. Among his siblings were his older brother, Benjamin Franklin Bache, a controversial newspaper publisher who died of yellow fever at the age of 29. One of Richard's nephews was Andrew A. Harwood, a naval officer who reached the rank of admiral.
Bache was educated in local schools as a boy. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1812.
Marriage and family
On April 4, 1805, Bache married Sophia Burrell Dallas, the daughter of Arabella Maria Smith and Alexander J. Dallas. Her father later was appointed as the U.S. Treasury Secretary under President James Madison.
Richard and Sophia had nine children together:
- Alexander Dallas Bache (1806–1867)
- Mary Blechenden Bache (1808–1873), married Robert John Walker, who was appointed Secretary of the Treasury under President James Knox Polk.
- George Mifflin Bache (1811–1846), whose son was George Mifflin Bache Jr.
- Richard Bache III (1813–1850)
- Sophia Arabella Bache (1815–1904), who married William Wallace Irwin, later Mayor of Pittsburgh and elected as a Whig member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.
- Matilda Wilkins Bache (1819–1900), who married William H. Emory, later a United States Army general and surveyor of Texas.
- Henrietta Constantia Bache (1822–1887)
- Sarah Franklin Bache (1824–1880), who married Richard Wainwright, a naval officer during the American Civil War
- Maria Campbell Bache (1827–1851), who married Allan McLane, son of Secretary of State Louis McLane and brother of Gov. Robert Milligan McLane.
He served as a captain of the Franklin Flying Artillery of the Philadelphia Volunteers in the War of 1812. He also served in the United States Navy. He was later appointed as postmaster for Philadelphia.
In 1832 Bache abandoned his family, with likely five children still at home and three under the age of ten, and moved to Texas, possibly for financial reasons. He settled in Stephen F. Austin’s colony at Brazoria. He served on the Zavala in the Texas Navy. On May 1, 1836, he joined the Louisiana Independent Volunteers, commanded by J. J. Robinson, who were supporting the Texas War of Independence. While in service, he guarded the Mexican general Antonio López de Santa Anna after the Battle of San Jacinto.
In 1838-39 he served as chief clerk in the Navy Department at Houston. He was appointed as enrolling clerk of the House of Representatives in the Third Congress of the Texas Republic.
In 1842 Bache settled in Galveston, Texas, where he afterward held a number of appointed government posts of trust and responsibility. He became commissioner of the navy yard, and was appointed as collector of customs, and later as a justice of the peace for Galveston County. In 1845, he was elected as a delegate to the Texas Annexation Convention. He was the only elected official to vote against annexation, allegedly because he did not wish to enlarge the domain of his brother-in-law, George M. Dallas, then vice-president of the United States. He helped draft the Constitution of 1845. He was elected twice, to the First and Second Texas Legislatures, representing Galveston in the Texas Senate, District 11.
- Publications of the Mississippi ... - Google Books. October 20, 2007. Retrieved August 13, 2010.
- possibly because fifty thousand dollars of funds of the office of postmaster of Philadelphia could not be accounted for
- Spaw, Patsy Mcdonald (1990). The Texas Senate: Republic to Civil ... - Google Books. ISBN 9780890964422. Retrieved August 13, 2010.
- Lura N. Rouse. "BACHE, RICHARD". Handbook of Texas Online. Tshaonline.org. Retrieved August 13, 2010.