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Collection Overview

Bache family
Bache and Wistar Family Correspondence
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.2 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1


The Bache and Wistar Family Collection consists of correspondence between several members of the Bache and Wistar families of Philadelphia, Pa.

Collection Description & Creator Information


Consists of thirty-five letters of the Bache family of Philadelphia, direct descendants of Benjamin Franklin, and of a related Philadelphia family, Wistar. Among those family members represented are Catharine Wistar Bache, Sarah Franklin Bache, and William Bache.

The following standard abbreviation is used to identify materials in this collection: ALS = autograph letter signed.


The collection has been arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Collection Creator Biography:

The Bache family is directly related to Benjamin Franklin. Sarah Franklin Bache, born on September 11, 1743, was the daughter of Benjamin. In 1767 she married Richard Bache against her father's will. However, after the birth of her first son, Benjamin Franklin reconciled himself to the match. That first son went on to be a political actor like his grandfather. Sarah's grandson through her first son was a physician, chemist, and author, who served as a military doctor from 1813 to 1816. Before her death in October of 1808, Sarah had eight children with Richard.

History of the Wistar Family

The Wistar family was another Philadelphia family. Richard Wistar, a glass manufacturer, had a son Caspar. Caspar became a doctor, and after spending time in Edinburgh and touring continental Europe, he returned to Philadelphia. There he was connected with the University of Pennsylvania Medical School for thirty years, and became a prominent and popular personality in the Philadelphia social circle. One of eight children, Caspar was part of a large network of Wistars.

Collection History

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Jim Flannery '06 in 2003. Finding aid written by Jim Flannery '06 in 2003.

Biography written by Alyxandra Cullen, '09.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Bache and Wistar Family Correspondence; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1

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The following sources were consulted during preparation of biographical note: American National Biography.

Genre Terms:
Bache, Catharine Wistar
Bache, Sarah Franklin, 1743-1808
Bache, William
Franklin, Benjamín, 1706-1790