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Signature of William Bingham, who hired privateers to help the colonies during the American Revolutionary War
Clipped signature: "Wm Bingham". 2¾x1¼ signature, affixed to 4x2½. Bingham (1752-1804), who graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania at 16, was British Consul at St. Pierre, Martinique. He later served the Continental Congress in Martinique, most importantly in recruiting privateers to prey on British shipping during the American Revolutionary War. Bingham received a percentage of the stolen cargo; this, combine with other schemes (including selling gold to President Thomas Jefferson for the Louisiana Purchase) made Bingham one of the richest men in America. He was also a founder and director of the Bank of Pennsylvania (later the Bank of North America), the first bank in the U. S., as well as a Senator from Pennsylvania (1795-1801) and president pro tempore of the Senate (1797). Lightly toned. Show-through from verso touches signature. Pinholes in center of paper (do not touch signature). Random ink stains. Mounting paper is discolored at right edge and has adhesive residue. Otherwise in fine condition.

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