BACHE, ALEXANDER DALLAS

Hobart Huson and Mark Odintz

BACHE, ALEXANDER DALLAS (1806–1867). Alexander Dallas Bache was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 19, 1806, the eldest child of Sophia (Dallas) and Richard Bache. He was a great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin and a member of a family distinguished by its physicists and scientists. Bache graduated from the Military Academy at West Point in 1825 and served in the Corps of Engineers. He taught at the University of Pennsylvania and was associated with the Franklin Institute until 1835, when he was appointed the first president of Girard College at Philadelphia. From 1843 to 1861 Bache served as superintendent of the United States Coast Survey, and much of the coast of Texas was surveyed by teams working under his direction. Although Commodore Edwin Moore, Capt. George Simpton, and Capt. Perry W. Humphrey of the Texas Navy had made surveys and maps of the Texas coast, and engineers attached to Gen. Zachary Taylor's army had surveyed the section of the coast between Corpus Christi and Caballo Pass in 1845–46, the Coast Survey's charting of the Gulf Coast from Point Isabel (later Port Isabel) to Florida appears to have been the first scientific cartography of the coast of Texas. The numerous maps and charts made under Bache's supervision during his tenure are in the National Archives. He wrote many reports of his surveys of the Gulf coast, which appeared in the annual reports of his department. He served as adviser to the United States Navy during the Civil War. He made notable contributions to science during his long career. Bache married Nancy Clarke Fowler in 1828. He died on February 17, 1867.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Dictionary of American Biography.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Hobart Huson and Mark Odintz, "BACHE, ALEXANDER DALLAS," accessed February 21, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fba01.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...