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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:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): 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

Scope and Contents

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 copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

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:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): 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