MAHLON DICKERSON REPORTS HIS WRITING TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY REGARDING BENJAMIN FRANKLIN BACHE’S APPOINTMENT AS MIDSHIPMAN AND REPORTS THE DEATH OF ALEXANDER J. DALLAS – UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY FROM 1814 TO 1816, IN THE JAMES MADISON ADMINISTRATION
DICKERSON, MAHLON. (1770-1853) Governor of New Jersey, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of the Navy under Presidents Jackson and Van Buren. Autograph Letter Signed, “Mahlon Dickerson.” Two pages, Quarto. Trenton, New Jersey, July 18, 1817. Excellent Condition. Written to Mrs. L. Bache. Dickerson writes:
“Dear Madam – Agreeably to your request I have written to the Secretary of the Navy [Benjamin Williams Crowninshield], citing the appointment of midshipman for your son, whom I have called Benj. Franklin Bache. If I remember right, you call him B. Franklin. I have stated his age and that he is on a voyage to India. I have said nothing as to his being receiving a commission without being immediately called into service, as that may be arranged more safely after is is agreed to give him a commission. I have stated to the Secretary your claims to his attention, and have added that his good offices on this occasion, will be considered by me as a personal obligation – after being charmed with the company of Mr. Dallas [ALEXANDER J. DALLAS – United States Secretary of the Treasury from 1814 to 1816 under President James Madison] for the last fortnight, I have been as you may suppose, extremely shocked at hearing of his death – my public would not admit of my absence at this time, or I should have gone to Philadelphia to attend his funeral. With constant wishes for the happiness of yourself and your little flock I am very Sincerely your friend and humble Servant, Mahlon Dickerson.”
The Bache’s were related to Benjamin Franklin, as his daughter, Sally, married into the Bache family. A nice association of names and a fine letter for the naval historian.