Hamblin Bass, Brazoria County planter and committee of correspondence member, was born in Georgia in 1816 and lived in Alabama before moving to Texas. In November 1859 he acquired Waldeck, a sugar plantation three or four miles from the site of present West Columbia, from Morgan L. Smith. Sources differ about whether Bass owned the plantation or managed it for Count Ludwig von Boos-Waldeck as an agent of Spofford and Company of New York. In 1859 Waldeck was one of only two Texas plantations devoted solely to the cultivation of sugar (see SUGAR PRODUCTION). That year the plantation slaughtered more animals than any other plantation in Texas; their value was $9,700. In the 1860 census Bass reported real property valued at $163,830 and personal property valued at $97,705, including 172 slaves. In 1860 he served as a member of the Brazoria County committee of correspondence.