Bingham, William, 1752-1804

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William Bingham (March 8, 1752 – February 7, 1804) was an American statesman from Philadelphia. He was a delegate for Pennsylvania to the Continental Congress from 1786 to 1788 and served in the United States Senate from 1795 to 1801. Bingham was one of the wealthiest men in the United States during his lifetime, and was considered to be the richest person in the United States in 1780.

Born in Philadelphia, Bingham graduated from the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania) in 1768. Bingham first travelled to Europe in 1773 and, upon, returning to America joined the Philadelphia Society. Sent by the Committee of Secret Correspondence to Martinico (now Martinique), to reside ostensibly as a merchant and to establish communications through that colony with Silas Deane, the committee's agent in France. He departed America aboard the frigate Reprisal on July 3, 1776. During his voyages, he established links with French merchants at Martinique, captured several British ships, and returned in 1777 to America with several full loads of munitions, guns, and other vital goods necessary for the fighting of a war. During the 1780s, Bingham marshaled the Second Troop of Philadelphia Light Horse, an outfit of 50 dragoons. They were glamorously clad and saw little action. He escorted President-elect George Washington through Pennsylvania with his troop on his April 1789 journey from Valley Forge to New York City to assume the presidency.

During the provisional government of the United States at Philadelphia, he wrote the by-laws for the national Bank of North America. During the first presidency, Treasurer Alexander Hamilton sought Bingham as his mentor in managing taxes, tariffs, and in constructing a national bank. Bingham represented Pennsylvania as a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1786 to 1788. In 1790 and 1791 he was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, serving as its first speaker in 1791. By 1795, he was elected to the United States Senate where he served as a Federalist. He was an active supporter of John Adams and when Adams was elected president, Bingham served as the Senate's President pro tempore in the Fourth Congress. On March 4, 1797, with the start of the Fifth Congress he administered the oath of office to Vice President Thomas Jefferson.

After one term as Senator, Bingham withdrew from public life and engaged in the management of his extensive estates. He moved to Bath, England in 1801 and resided with his daughter until his death in there. Bingham was interred in Bath Abbey.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Benjamin Franklin Papers Part 2 -- Letters to Franklin, 1777 January-1778 March American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Bingham, William, 1752-1804. William Bingham papers, 1776-1801. Library of Congress
referencedIn Frederick M. Dearborn collection of military and political Americana, Part I: The Revolution and the Administration, 1669-1958. Houghton Library
creatorOf Bingham, William, 1752-1804. Papers, 1777-1917. Historical Society of Pennsylvania
referencedIn William Temple Franklin-Charles Pemberton Fox Legal Records, 1692-1881 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Barrington, Samuel, 1729-1800. Samuel Barrington letterbooks, 1778-1779. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Richard Price Papers, 1767-1790 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf William Bingham letters and document, 1783-1799 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Ball families. Papers, 1676-1879. Historical Society of Pennsylvania
referencedIn Karzhavin, F. V. (Fedor Vasilʹevich), 1745-1812. Letters, 1773-1788. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library
creatorOf Adlum, John, 1759-1836. McKean Co. Library of Congress
creatorOf Deane, Silas, 1737-1789. Papers, 1740-1842. Connecticut Historical Society
referencedIn American Philosophical Society Archives. Record Group IIa, 1743-1806 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Adlum, John, 1759-1836. [Land ownership map of the William Bingham estate and lands of adjacent holders in Bradford and Tioga Counties, Pennsylvania / surveyed by John Adlum]. Library of Congress
creatorOf Merrick, John, 1766-1861. Letter, 1799 October 13 : Hallowell, to William Bingham, Philadelphia. Boston Athenaeum
referencedIn Thomas Addis Emmet collection, 1483-1876 (bulk:1700-1800) New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Turner, George, fl. 18th cent. Letter : n.p., to William Bingham, n.p., [178-?]. Texas Christian University
referencedIn Historical Sketch of the Continental Bills of Credit, from 1775 to 1781, with Specimens thereof, 1840, 1862 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Dialectic and Philanthropic Joint Senate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1836-2004, (bulk 1959-2004) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. University Archives and Records Service
creatorOf Thomson, Charles, 1729-1824. ALS : New York, to William Bingham, Philadelphia, 1787 Sept. 3. Rosenbach Museum & Library
creatorOf Bingham, William, 1752-1804. Tioga, new nos. Library of Congress
creatorOf Hartley, M. Document signed : [n.p.], to William Bingham, 1793 Feb. 21. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Adlum, John, 1759-1836. Armstrong County. Library of Congress
referencedIn Richard Price Papers, 1767-1790 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Bingham, William, 1752-1804. ALS : Washington, D.C., to Thomas W. Griffith, 1801 Feb. 15. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn Vaughan, Benjamin, 1751-1835. Papers, 1746-1900 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Royal Society (Great Britain). Letters and communications from Americans, 1662-1900. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826. Letter to William Bingham [manuscript], 1789 September 25. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Bingham, W. mss., 1752-1891 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
referencedIn Pennsylvania Society for the Encouragement of Manufactures and the Useful Arts. Manufacturing fund ledger, 1788-1801. Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Conewago Canal Company records, 1788-1820 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Bingham, William, 1752-1804. William Bingham correspondence, 1791-1803. Historical Society of Pennsylvania
referencedIn Breck, Samuel, 1771-1862. Recollections of my acquaintance with deceased members of the American Philosophical Society, 1862. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Pennsylvania. Land grant to William Bingham, Esq., for property in Lycoming County from Thomas Mifflin, Governor of Pennsylvania, 17 May 1796. University of California, Irvine. Library. Department of Special Collections
referencedIn Pinckney, Thomas, 1750-1828. Papers, 1771-1813. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Land grant to William Bingham, Esq., for property in Lycoming County from Thomas Mifflin, Governor of Pennsylvania, 1796 University of California, Irvine. Library. Department of Special Collections
referencedIn Samuel Barrington letterbooks, 1778-1779 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Benjamin Franklin Papers Part 3 -- Letters to Franklin, 1778 April-December American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Adlum, John, 1759-1836. Jefferson, Venango & Armstrong. Library of Congress
creatorOf Bingham, William, 1752-1804. ALS : Washington, D.C., to James Beatty, 1827 Mar. 11. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn Miscellaneous Benjamin Franklin Collections, 1710-1822 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Adlum, John, 1759-1836. Venango Co. Library of Congress
creatorOf Bingham, William, 1752-1804. Charleston. Library of Congress
referencedIn Benjamin Franklin Papers Part 4 -- Letters to Franklin, 1779 January-November American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Carson, Marian S.,. Marian S. Carson collection of manuscripts, 1656-1995 (bulk 1700-1876) Library of Congress
referencedIn Fobes, Alpheus. Alpheus Fobes deed, 1839. Maine Historical Society Library
creatorOf Bingham, William, 1752-1804. ALS : Lansdowne, Pa., to Willing and Francis, 1800 Sept. 18. Rosenbach Museum & Library
creatorOf Bingham, William, 1752-1804. Papers, 1752-1891. Indiana University
referencedIn Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866. Collection of documents concerning the American Revolution, 1740-1866 Houghton Library
referencedIn Vol. CCCXXV (ff. 385). 22 Mar.-4 Apr. 1842.includes:ff. 1, 3 Sir William Bagge, 1st Baronet; MP: 1867. Correspondence with Sir R. Peel: 1842-1850.ff. 4, 8 Joseph Bailey, MP: for Worcester. Correspondence with Sir R. Peel: 1842.f. 5 George Lang,... British Library
referencedIn Barrington, Samuel, 1729-1800. Samuel Barrington letterbooks, 1778-1779. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826. Letter to William Bingham, 1789 September 25. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Carson, Marian S.,. Marian S. Carson collection of manuscripts (continuation record), 1656-1995 (bulk 1700-1876) Library of Congress
referencedIn Wharton and Willing papers, 1669-1887. Historical Society of Pennsylvania
creatorOf William Bingham, 1752-1804. William Bingham papers, 1787-1840. New York State Historical Documents (Albany, N.Y.)
creatorOf Adlum, John, 1759-1836. Cawanesque. Library of Congress
referencedIn United States. District Court (Pennsylvania : Eastern District). Equity dockets and case files, 1790-1847 [microform]. Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Howe, M. A. De Wolfe (Mark Antony De Wolfe), 1864-1960. Additional papers, 1880-1959 Houghton Library
creatorOf Adlum, John, 1759-1836. [Land ownership map of the William Bingham estate in Potter County, Pennsylvania / surveyed by John Adlum]. Library of Congress
referencedIn Price, Richard, 1723-1791. Papers, 1767-1790. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Royal Society (Great Britain). Letters and communications from Americans, 1662-1900. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Benjamin Franklin Papers Part 8 -- Letters to Franklin, 1783 December-1786 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Banks, Charles Edward, 1854-1931. Scrapbook, ca. 1900. Maine Historical Society Library
referencedIn Ingersoll, R. Sturgis,. Collection, 1822-1917. Historical Society of Pennsylvania
creatorOf Bingham, William, 1752-1804. 20 tracts, Tioga County. Library of Congress
referencedIn Nicholson, John, 1757-1800. Papers, 1772-1819 [microform]. Hagley Museum & Library
creatorOf Estaing, Charles Henri, comte d', 1729-1794. [Letter] 1779 févr. 17 [to] M. Bingham / Estaing. Smith College, Neilson Library
creatorOf Adlum, John, 1759-1836. Susquehanna & Sinnemahoning. Library of Congress
referencedIn American Philosophical Society Library. Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection. 1668-1983. American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Adlum, John, 1759-1836. W. Su[q.?] Cr., Bradford Co. Library of Congress
referencedIn Recollections of my acquaintance with deceased members of the American Philosophical Society, 1862, 1862 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Royal Society (Great Britain) letters and communications from Americans, 1662-1900, 1662-1900 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Bingham, William, 1752-1804. Lawrence Township : a list of the settlers names and lots in Lawrence Township by the resurvey in 1834 having reference to the numbers of the lots in each survey as numbers on their respective maps the quantity in the resurvey & in the 1 & 2d purchase. Library of Congress
creatorOf Bingham, William, 1752-1804. Draft : St. Pierre, Martinique, to the Committee of Secret Correspondence, 1778 Jan. 14. Rosenbach Museum & Library
creatorOf Cobb, David, 1748-1830. David Cobb papers, 1708-1833. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf Adlum, John, 1759-1836. 20 tracts, Charleston. Library of Congress
creatorOf Bingham, William, 1752-1804. William Bingham letter, 1780 Jan. 22. The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives
referencedIn United States. Continental Congress. United States. Continental Congress records, 1765-1825 (bulk 1774-1790). Library of Congress
referencedIn Powel family. Powel family papers, 1681-1938. Historical Society of Pennsylvania
creatorOf Adlum, John, 1759-1836. W. Br. Pine Cr. Library of Congress
referencedIn United States Continental Congress Records, 1765-1825, (bulk 1774-1790) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Bingham, William, 1752-1804. Miscellaneous manuscripts, 1935. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Mifflin & Massey. Records, 1751-1863 (bulk 1760-1800). Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Marian S. Carson collection of manuscripts, 1656-1995, (bulk 1700-1876) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Du Pont, Victor, 1767-1827. Papers, 1753-1847. Hagley Museum & Library
creatorOf Bingham, William, 1752-1804. Document signed : Philadelphia, 1792 Sept. 29. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Autograph File, B, ca.1500-1976. Houghton Library
creatorOf Bingham, William, 1752-1804. Armstrong C[ount]y. Library of Congress
creatorOf Adlum, John, 1759-1836. E. Sugar Creek, Bradford Co. Library of Congress
creatorOf Bingham, William, 1752-1804. Sullivan Township. Library of Congress
creatorOf Bingham, William, 1752-1804. Papers, 1741-1884, 1791-1794 (bulk dates). Winterthur Library
referencedIn Affidavits by George Bond and James Duane, 1787 April 7. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866. Jared Sparks collection of American manuscripts, 1582-1843 Houghton Library
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Place Name Admin Code Country
Philadelphia PA US
Martinique 00 MQ
Bath ENG GB
Subject
Home economics
Household employees
Land settlement
Land settlement
Land tenure
Marriage settlements
Prisoners of war
Privateering
Real property
Real property
Real property
Public lands
Real estate investment
Rich people
Shipping
Surveying
Taverns (Inns)
Wages
United States
United States
Banks and banking
Commerce
French
Frontier and pioneer life
Occupation
Landowners
Merchants
Senators, U.S. Congress
Shipowners
Surveyors
Trader
Bankers
Activity

Person

Birth 1752-03-08

Death 1804-02-07

Male

Americans,

Britons

English

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