Thomas Willing

Last updated

Thomas Willing
Thomas Willing by John Wollaston (1706-1805).jpg
President of First Bank of the United States
In office
October 25, 1791 November 10, 1807
President George Washington
John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byDavid Lenox
President of Bank of North America
In office
January 7, 1782 March 19, 1791
President George Washington
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded by John Nixon
Mayor of Philadelphia
In office
October 4, 1763 October 2, 1764
Preceded by Henry Harrison
Succeeded byThomas Lawrence
Personal details
Born(1731-12-19)December 19, 1731
Philadelphia, Province of Pennsylvania, British America
DiedJanuary 19, 1821(1821-01-19) (aged 89)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Resting place Christ Church Burial Ground
Spouse(s)
Anne McCall
(m. 1763;died 1781)
Children13, including Ann and Mary
Relatives Charles Willing (Father)
James Willing (Brother)
Mary Willing Byrd (Sister)
Elizabeth Willing Powel (Sister)
Edward Shippen (Great-grandfather)
Education Inner Temple

Thomas Willing (December 19, 1731 – January 19, 1821) was an American merchant, a mayor of Philadelphia, a delegate to the Continental Congress from Pennsylvania, the first president of the Bank of North America, and the first president of the First Bank of the United States. [1]

Contents

Early life

Thomas Willing was born in Philadelphia, the son of Charles Willing (1710–1754), who twice served as mayor of Philadelphia, and Anne Shippen, granddaughter of Edward Shippen, who was the second mayor of Philadelphia. His brother, James Willing, was a Philadelphia merchant who later served as a representative of the Continental Congress and led a 1778 military expedition to raid holdings of British loyalists in Natchez, Mississippi.

Thomas completed preparatory studies in Bath, England, then studied law in London at the Inner Temple. [2]

Career

In 1749, after studying abroad in England, he returned to Philadelphia, where he engaged in mercantile pursuits, in partnership with Robert Morris. [3] [4] They established the firm Willing, Morris and Company in 1757. They exported flour, lumber and tobacco to Europe while importing sugar, rum, molasses, and slaves from the West Indies and Africa. [5] Their partnership continued until 1793. [3]

He was elected to the revived American Philosophical Society in 1768. [6]

Political career

A member of the common council in 1755, he became an alderman in 1759, associate justice of the city court on October 2, 1759, and then justice of the court of common pleas February 28, 1761. Willing then became Mayor of Philadelphia in 1763. In 1767, the Pennsylvania Assembly, with Governor Thomas Penn's assent, had authorized a Supreme Court justice (always a lawyer) to sit with local justices of the peace (judges of county courts, but laymen) in a system of Nisi Prius courts. Governor Penn appointed two new Supreme Court justices, John Lawrence and Thomas Willing. Willing served until 1767, the last under the colonial government. [7] :52 [3]

A member of the Committee of Correspondence in 1774 and of the Committee of Safety in 1775, he served in the Continental Congress. In 1775 and 1776 he voted against the Declaration of Independence, [8] but later subscribed £5,000 to supply the revolutionary cause. [3]

Banker

After the war, he became president of the Bank of North America (1781–1791), preceding John Nixon, and then the first president of the First Bank of the United States from 1791 to 1807. In August 1807, he suffered a slight stroke, and he resigned for health reasons as president of the bank in November 1807. [7] :189 [9]

Personal life

Anne McCall Willing and William Shippen Willing, by Charles Willson Peale Mrs. Thomas Willing (Ann McCall) and Her Son William Shippen Willing.jpg
Anne McCall Willing and William Shippen Willing, by Charles Willson Peale
Portrait of Willing, by Charles Willson Peale Charles Willson Peale - Portrait of Thomas Willing.jpg
Portrait of Willing, by Charles Willson Peale

In 1763, Willing married Anne McCall (1745–1781), daughter of Samuel McCall (1721–1762) and Anne Searle (1724–1757). Together, they had thirteen children, including: [3]

Willing died in 1821 in Philadelphia, where he is interred in Christ Church Burial Ground. [11]

Descendants

Willing was the great-uncle of John Brown Francis (1791–1864), who was a governor and United States Senator from Rhode Island. [12] [13]

Willing was also the grandfather of Ann Louisa Bingham (b. 1782), [14] who married Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton (1774–1848), in 1798, and Maria Matilda Bingham (1783–1849), who was briefly married to Jacques Alexandre, Comte de Tilly, a French aristocrat and later married her sister's brother-in-law, Henry Baring (1777–1848), until their divorce in 1824. Maria later married the Marquis de Blaisel in 1826.[ citation needed ] Their brother, and Willing's grandson, William Bingham (1800–1852) married Marie-Charlotte Chartier de Lotbiniere (1805–1866), the second of the three daughters and heiresses of Michel-Eustache-Gaspard-Alain Chartier de Lotbinière by his second wife Mary, daughter of Captain John Munro, in 1822. [3]

See also

Related Research Articles

Francis Hopkinson American judge

Francis Hopkinson was an author and composer. He designed Continental paper money, the first United States coin, and two early versions of the American flag, one for the United States and one for the United States Navy. He was also one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence in July 1776, as a delegate from New Jersey. He served in various roles in the early United States government including as a member of the Second Continental Congress and as a member of the Navy Board. He later became the first federal judge of the Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania on September 30, 1789.

Benjamin Chew American politician 1722-1810

Benjamin Chew was a fifth-generation American, a Quaker-born legal scholar, a prominent and successful Philadelphia lawyer, head of the Pennsylvania Judiciary System under both Colony and Commonwealth, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Province of Pennsylvania. Chew was well known for his precision and brevity in making legal arguments as well as his excellent memory, judgment, and knowledge of statutory law. His primary allegiance was to the supremacy of law and constitution.

William Allen (loyalist) American judge

William Allen was a wealthy merchant, attorney and Chief Justice of the Province of Pennsylvania, and mayor of Philadelphia during the colonial period. At the time of the American Revolution, Allen was one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in Philadelphia. A Loyalist, Allen agreed that the colonies should seek to redress their grievances with British Parliament through constitutional means, and he disapproved of the movement toward independence.

Andrew Allen (Pennsylvania politician) American lawyer and politician

Andrew Allen was a lawyer and official from the Province of Pennsylvania. Born into an influential family, Allen initially favored the colonial cause in the American Revolution, and represented Pennsylvania in the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1776. Like many other wealthy elites in Pennsylvania, however, he resisted radical change, and became a Loyalist after the Declaration of Independence and the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776.

Edward Biddle (1738–1779) was an American soldier, lawyer, and statesman from Pennsylvania. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1774 and 1775 and a signatory to the Continental Association.

Joseph Galloway American politician

Joseph Galloway was an American politician. He became a Loyalist during the American Revolutionary War, after serving as delegate to the First Continental Congress from Pennsylvania. For much of his career in Pennsylvania politics, he was a close ally of Benjamin Franklin, and he became a leading figure in the colony. As a delegate to the Continental Congress, Galloway was a moderate and proposed a Plan of Union which would have averted a full break from Britain. When that was rejected, he moved increasingly towards Loyalism.

William Bingham American Continental congressman and senator for Pennsylvania

William Bingham 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.

James Kinsey American judge

James Kinsey was an American lawyer from Burlington, New Jersey.

Richard Peters (reporter) American attorney (1780–1848)

Richard Peters, Jr. was an American attorney and the fourth reporter of decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, serving from 1828 to 1843.

William Shippen Sr. was an American physician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was also a civic and educational leader who represented Pennsylvania in the Continental Congress.

John Francis Mercer American politician (1759-1821)

John Francis Mercer was an American lawyer, planter, and politician from Virginia and Maryland.

Edward Shippen first elected mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Edward Shippen was the second mayor of Philadelphia, although under William Penn's charter of 1701, he was considered the first.

Charles Willing American politician

Charles Willing was a Philadelphia merchant, trader and politician; twice he served as Mayor of Philadelphia, from 1748 until 1749 and again in 1754.

Tench Francis Sr. American colonist

Tench Francis was a prominent lawyer and jurist in colonial Maryland and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Michel-Eustache-Gaspard-Alain Chartier de Lotbinière Canadian politician (1748 – 1822)

Michel-Eustache-Gaspard-Alain Chartier de Lotbinière, 2nd Marquis de Lotbinière, though to keep political favour with the British he never used the title. He was seigneur of Vaudreuil, Lotbinière and Rigaud. He was the Speaker of the House of Commons in Lower Canada who saw to it that the French language was recognised as equal to English in the Quebec Parliament, where a painting of him giving the speech still hangs above the Speaker's chair.

Edward Shippen III was an American merchant and mayor of Philadelphia.

Edward Shippen IV American judge

Edward Shippen was an American lawyer, judge, government official, and prominent figure in colonial and post-revolutionary Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Ann Willing Bingham American socialite

Ann Willing Bingham was an American socialite from Philadelphia.

Thomas Willing Francis was a prominent American merchant.

Maria Matilda Bingham American-born heiress

Maria Matilda, Marquise de Blaisel was an American born heiress who married several prominent European aristocrats and statesmen.

References

Notes

  1. "WILLING, Thomas, (1731–1821)". Biographical Information of the United States Congress. US Congress. June 11, 2009. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
  2. "Thomas Willing (1731-1821), University of Pennsylvania University Archives". www.archives.upenn.edu. University of Pennsylvania . Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Balch, Thomas Willing (January 1, 1922). Thomas Willing of Philadelphia (1731-1821). The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  4. Wright, Robert E. "Thomas Wllling (1731-1821): Philadelphia Financier and Forgoten Founding Father". journals.psu.edu. Biographical Directory of Early Pennsylvania Legislatures Project. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  5. "Thomas Willing". The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  6. Bell, Whitfield J., and Charles Greifenstein, Jr. Patriot-Improvers: Biographical Sketches of Members of the American Philosophical Society. 3 vols. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1997, I: 32, 33, 199, III: 27, 117-23, 118, 179.
  7. 1 2 Konkle, Burton Alva (1937). Thomas Willing and the First American Financial System. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  8. "Thomas Willing | exhibits.hsp.org". digitalhistory.hsp.org. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  9. Wright, R. E. (1996). "Thomas Willing (1731-1821): Philadelphia Financier and Forgotten Founding Father". Pennsylvania History. 63 (4): 525–560. JSTOR   27773931.
  10. ALBERTS, ROBERT C (1969). The Golden Voyage . Boston: Houghton Mifflin. pp.  435.
  11. Society, Sons of the Revolution Pennsylvania (1898). Decennial Register of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution: 1888-1898. F. B. Lippincott. p.  44 . Retrieved February 11, 2017. Thomas Willing (1731–1821).
  12. "FRANCIS, John Brown - Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress . Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  13. "Guide to the Francis Family Papers 1783-1901 (bulk 1783-1838)" (PDF). library.brown.edu. Rhode Island Historical Society. 2009. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  14. "Lady Ashburton". Maine Memory Network.

Sources'

Preceded by
Henry Harrison (mayor)
Mayor of Philadelphia
1763–1764
Succeeded by
Thomas Lawrence (II)