Rep. Horace Binney, Sr.

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Rep. Horace Binney, Sr.

Birthplace: Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: August 12, 1875 (95)
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
Place of Burial: Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Dr. Barnabas Binney and Mary Binney
Husband of Elizabeth Binney
Father of Mary Cadwalader; Horace Binney, Jr.; Esther Cox Hare; Elizabeth Montgomery; Susan Binney and 2 others
Brother of Susan Wallace; William Binney; Henry Binney; Mary Sargent and John Binney

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About Rep. Horace Binney, Sr.

Horace Binney (January 4, 1780 – August 12, 1875) was an American lawyer, author, and public speaker who served as an Anti-Jacksonian in the United States House of Representatives.[1]

Early life

Binney was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Dr. Barnabas Binney (1751–1787), a prominent Philadelphia physician who cared for Deborah Sampson. He graduated from Harvard College in 1797, where he founded the Hasty Pudding Club in 1795.[2]

Through his sister Susan Binney Wallace, he was the uncle of Horace Binney Wallace (1817–1852), a legal critic and through his sister, Mary Sarah Binney Sargent (d. 1824), wife of Lucius Manlius Sargent (1786–1867), an author and temperance advocate, he was the uncle of well-known author and Horace Binney Sargent (1821–1908), a Civil war veteran.[1]


He then studied law in the office of Jared Ingersoll (1749–1822), who had been a member of the Constitutional convention of 1787, and who, from 1791 to 1800 and again from 1811 to 1816, was the attorney-general of Pennsylvania.[2] In 1800, Binney was admitted to the bar in Philadelphia and practiced there with great success for half a century, and was recognized as one of the leaders of the bar in Pennsylvania and the United States.[3]

Between 1806–1807, he served in the Pennsylvania legislature. From 1833 until 1835, he served as a Whig member of the United States House of Representatives. While in the House of Representatives, he defended the United States Bank and opposed the policies of President Andrew Jackson.[4]

After leaving office, he returned to the practice of law. Binney's most famous cases were Lyle v. Richards (1823), and Vidal et al v. Philadelphia et al (1844). In the latter case, which involved the disposition of the fortune of Stephen Girard, he was unsuccessfully opposed by Daniel Webster. Binney's argument in this case greatly influenced the interpretation of the law of charities.[2]

Public addresses and writings

Binney made many public addresses, the most noteworthy of which, entitled Life and Character of Chief Justice Marshall, was published in 1835. He also published Leaders of the Old Bar of Philadelphia, in 1858, and an Inquiry into the Formation of Washingtons Farewell Address, in 1859.[2]

During the American Civil War he issued three pamphlets (1861, 1862 and 1865), discussing the right of habeas corpus under the American Constitution, and justifying President Lincoln in his suspension of the writ.[2] He was elected an Associate Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1867.[5]

Personal life

Binney was married to Elizabeth Cox (1783–1865), one of six daughters of John Cox, Esq. of Bloomsbury, New Jersey,[6] and descendants of the Langeveldts who originally settled New Brunswick, New Jersey.[7] Her sister, Mary Cox, was married to the inventor John Stevens III (1749–1838).[6] Together, Horace and Elizabeth were the parents of:[8]

  • Horace Binney Jr. (1809–1870), a member of the American Philosophical Society.[9]
  • Esther Coxe Binney (1817–1902), who married John Innes Clark Hare (1816–1905), also an attorney.[10][11]
  • Elizabeth Binney (1820–1910), who married Richard Roger Montgomery (1818–1888), the son of William M. Montgomery and Marie d'Elincourt, on April 30, 1844.[12]
  • Susan Binney (1822–1887)[13]
  • William Binney (1825–1909), a prominent banker in Providence, Rhode Island who married Charlotte Hope Goddard, the sister of Robert Hale Ives Goddard, in 1848.[14]

Binney died on August 12, 1875, at the age of 95 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the city of his birth. He was buried in the churchyard of Church of St. James the Less in Philadelphia.[1]

U.S. Congressman. He graduated from Harvard University, in 1797, studied law, was admitted to the bar and commenced to practice law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1800. He was a member of the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, (1806-07), prepared and published six volumes of reported decisions of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, (1807-14) and was director of the United States Bank. In 1833, he was elected as an Anti-Jacksonian to the Twenty-third Congress, serving until 1835. Not a candidate for re-nomination, he was counsel for Philadelphia in the Girard will case in 1844. After leaving politics, he confined himself to literary projects and lived in retirement until his death at age 95.

Maintained by: Find A Grave Record added: Aug 20, 2002

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Rep. Horace Binney, Sr.'s Timeline

January 4, 1780
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
January 21, 1809
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
February 17, 1817
Philadelphia, PA
Pennsylvania, United States
April 14, 1825
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
August 12, 1875
Age 95
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
August 12, 1875
Age 95
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States