Alfred Balch

Was born in Georgetown, DC on September 17, 1785. Alfred's parents were Stephen Bloomer and Elizabeth Beall Balch who had eleven children in all. Alfred Balch would marry twice: first to Marry Lewis then eventually Anna Newman. It was with Anna Newman that Alfred had one son, Alfred Newman Balch. Alfred was a descendant of the John Balch who settled in Maryland in 1658.

Alfred graduated from Princeton College in the year 1805 with an A.M Degree. During his time at Princeton Alfred had studied for the bar. After graduation he practiced law in Nashville, Tennessee and and eventually became head of the Nashville Bar Association. While in Nashville he also purchased and developed a successful plantation. This plantation would be directly neighboring the plantation of Andrew Jackson. During their time, as neighbors, Jackson and Alfred would become close friends. In the future this friendship would help Alfred, in his career, when Jackson and later Martin Van Buren would give him various political appointments.

During Andrew Jackson's presidency Alfred was appointed to the role of Commissioner of Indian Treaties. During this time Alfred would be active in trying to resolve issues the Creek and Seminole tribes had with the United States (and may have helped resolve the Second Seminole War).

Later in 1840, during the presidency of Martin Van Buren, Jackson would pressure his former vice president to appoint Alfred to the role of United States District Judge for the Middle District of Florida.

Alfred would serve as a Florida District Judge, for only one year. During this time in the judgeship Alfred suffered from the hostility of those who had been friends to his predecessor. Other issues also plagued his time in Florida. In April of 1840 he complained to President Van Buren that "the leading men are divided into bitter parties and violence is the order of the day". Violence seems to have been a routine way of settling differences, even amongst political parties. In some instances political leaders were gunned down in dueling. Perhaps the stress of all the events surrounding him caused Alfred to begin having health problems. For a year Alfred struggled to do his job but finally, in 1841, he was forced to resign. During his time as a judge every indication is that he was a fair and honest judge who would occasionally go against the wishes of his own party.