William Bingham, U.S. Senator

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William Bingham

Birthdate: (51)
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Death: February 7, 1804 (51)
Bath, Bath and North East Somerset, UK
Immediate Family:

Son of William Bingham and Mary Bingham
Husband of Anne Bingham
Father of Anne Louise Baring and Maria Matilda Baring

Occupation: Statesman
Managed by: Günther Kipp
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About William Bingham, U.S. Senator



An American statesman from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 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. He helped to found the Bank of North America, the first bank of the new nation, in 1781.

William was born on March 8, 1752 in Philadelphia. He graduated from the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania) in 1768. He married Anne Willing, daughter of Thomas Willing, and they had two daughters. In 1798 his daughter Anne Louisa married English financier Alexander Baring, later 1st Baron Ashburton. His elder daughter, Maria Matilda married firstly a French aristocrat, Alexandre, comte de Tilly, and then with Henry Baring. His son, also named William, married one of the three beautiful heiresses of his friend Michel-Eustache-Gaspard-Alain Chartier de Lotbiniere.

By the beginning of the American Revolution, Bingham was regarded as one of the richest men in Pennsylvania, having made his fortune through joint ownership of privateers and trading.[1] He was sent on diplomatic missions by the American Congress to Martinique and St. Pierre. Returning to America, he 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 speaker in 1791. About this time he became a major land developer, purchasing lands in upstate New York and 2 million acres (8,000 km²) in Maine,later known as the Bingham Purchase.[2]

William Bingham was known as the richest man in America. Bingham was only twenty-eight years old when he achieved richest-man status. He made his fortune in three different ventures. First, running a privateer operation in the Caribbean during the American revolution for Robert Morris. After the revolution, he bought up any worthless Continental currency he could accumulate, and then persuaded Alexander Hamilton to redeem the currency at par. Next he invested enough gold bars to finance the Louisiana Purchase for Thomas Jefferson, as Napoleon had insisted on gold for payment. He also invested in the area in upstate New York now called Binghamton, and 2,000,000 acres (8,100 km2) in the future State of Maine. Westward migration turned toward Ohio rather than north once the British prohibition on colonizing past the Allegheny mountains was lifted. Bingham died in 1804, but his estate was not settled until 1960.

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William Bingham, U.S. Senator's Timeline

March 8, 1752
Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA
January 6, 1782
Age 29
Age 30
- 1792
Age 38
March 4, 1795
- March 3, 1801
Age 42
United States
February 16, 1797
- March 3, 1797
Age 44
February 7, 1804
Age 51
Bath, Bath and North East Somerset, UK