Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Frederick Eden Bach Papers, 1892-1902

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, November 2011

Summary Information
Title: Frederick Eden Bach papers
Creator: Bach, Anna
Inclusive dates: 1892-1902
Bulk dates: 1899-1902
Extent: 37 items
This collection consists of letters Fred Bach wrote to his wife and children in Delaware while he lived in Havana, Cuba, where he worked with the assistant auditor of customs accounts. He described his journey to the island, local culture and foods, as well as his daily life.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1994. M-3012.1.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Frederick Eden Bach Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


Frederick Eden Bach was born in 1854 in Pennsylvania. He moved to Wilmington, Delaware, before 1880, and served as the principal of the Wilmington Friends School. He and Charles W. Edwards founded the Evening Journal in 1888. Bach worked as a clerk for Senator Anthony Higgins in the early 1890s, and was later accused of taking a bribe while in this position. He later transferred to the Post Office Department, and in July 1899, he left for Havana, Cuba, where he worked in the Office of the Assistant Auditor of Customs Accounts until June 1900, when he moved to the Bureau of Statistics in the Cuban Customs Service. He and his wife, Anna Elizabeth Cootsman (b. 1857), had three daughters: Ethel (b. 1877), Winifred Stanley (b. 1892) and Barbara Chamberlain (b. 1895). Ethel married Charles Warner in 1900, and they had three children: Dorothy, Charles, Jr., and Frederick Bach. Winifred married Samuel Miller Shallcross in 1923.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of letters Fred Bach wrote to his family in Delaware while he lived in Havana, Cuba, where he worked with the assistant auditor of customs accounts. He wrote most frequently to his wife Anna, and also wrote to his daughters, Ethel, Barbara, and Winifred. In February 1899, he travelled to South Carolina prior to his departure for Cuba, and shared his impressions of the local people and scenery in Charleston and Orangeburg. Throughout August 1899, he composed a lengthy composite letter in which he described his journey to Havana, and after his arrival he concentrated on his daily activities, which frequently included reading and listening to music. He also wrote of the foods he ate and of the local buildings and culture. One letter from 1892 documents Bach's request for a transfer to the United States Post Office Department, where he had worked before leaving for Cuba. Also included is a public letter of recommendation for Mr. Abraham L. Lawshe for the position of first assistant postmaster general, addressed to the editor of the Star in Washington D.C. (August 21, 1900). In another letter, addressed to Joseph L. Bristow, the fourth assistant to the postmaster general, Bach provided examples of how partisan politics affected his position, and in the same letter he shared his desire to leave Cuba (September 21, 1900), though he did not submit a formal transfer request until April 15, 1902. The collection additionally holds several undated letter fragments, a short poem, and an essay entitled "In Perpetua," about the longevity of republics. Anna Bach also wrote two letters to her husband, dated February 14, 1899, and August 12, 1899.

Subject Terms

    • Charleston (S.C.)--Description and travel.
    • Cuba--History--1899-1906.
    • Havana (Cuba)--Description and travel.
    • Orangeburg (S.C.)--Description and travel.
    • South Carolina--Description and travel.
    • United States. Division of Customs.
    • United States. War Dept.
    • Bach, Frederick Eden, b. 1854.
    Genre Terms:
    • Essays.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Poems.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   4, Small Collections  
    Frederick Eden Bach papers [series]
    Folders   6-11  
     June 4, 1892-June 3, 1902, and  undated
    Additional Descriptive Data

    "About the News Journal Media Group." DelawareOnline. 13 February 2012.

    "Not Yet Decided." The Sunday Morning Star (Wilmington, Delaware) 7 January 1900.

    Quaker Hill Historical Preservation Foundation. Quaker Hill. Arcadia Publishing, 2010.