WILLIAM BINGHAM (March 8, 1752-February 7, 1804) was a delegate for Pennsylvania to the
Continental Congress and served in the United States Senate from
1795-1801. The Committee of Secret
Correspondence sent Bingham to Martinico to reside ostensibly as a merchant but
to actually establish communications with Silas Deane, the committee’s agent in
France. (Historians believe that Deane
was a double agent.)
When Bingham left America, he did so aboard the frigate Reprisal on July 3, 1776. During his voyage, he captured British ships and returned in 1777 to America with full loads of munitions, guns and other vital goods necessary for fighting the war. By the end of the Revolution, he was regarded as one of the richest men in Pennsylvania, having made his fortune through joint ownership of privateers and trading. With his son-in-law, he helped broker the Louisiana Purchase.
Bingham marshaled the Second Troop of Philadelphia Light Horse in the 1780s, an outfit of 50 dragoons. He also escorted President-elect George Washington through Pennsylvania with his troop on his April 1789 journey from Valley Forge to New York to assume the Presidency. He oversaw development of the land during a fledgling period of America as a member of the Society of Roads and Inland Navigation. He built roads and a bridge from Philadelphia to Lancaster, Pennsylvania called the Lancaster Pike.
Offering a SCARCE Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike Road stock certificate, number 350, signed "Wm Bingham" as President, 7 ½ x 9 ¼, on vellum, March 16, 1795, countersigned by William Savitt as treasurer, outstanding lithography, custom matted with plaque overall size 12 ½ x13 ½. Beautiful engraved plaque states that the turnpike was the first in the nation and provides a description.
Folds, toning, but in excellent condition, very readable and ready for framing.
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