Ann Willing Bingham

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Anne Willing Bingham (1797) by Gilbert Stuart, Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Ann (or Anne) Willing Bingham (August 1, 1764 – May 11, 1801) was an American socialite from Philadelphia,[1] regarded as one of the most beautiful women of her day.[by whom?] She was the eldest daughter of Thomas Willing, president of the First Bank of the United States, the wife of the wealthy William Bingham, mother-in-law of Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton, and correspondent of Thomas Jefferson among others. Her correspondence with Jefferson led to the construct of the United States Bill of Rights.[citation needed]

Through many letters, she convinced Jefferson that the Constitution would not last and the individual citizens would have their rights impeded from the interests of the majority. Jefferson was finally convinced and in turn presented her ideas to James Madison (may not have used her name due to the nature of the ideas origin) and Madison agreed to the proposal. Madison then proposed the Individual Bill of Rights and Bingham's ideas were adopted by Congress.

Bingham was also the model for multiple portraits by painter Gilbert Stuart. Legend has it that Bingham was therefore the model for Lady Liberty on the American "Draped bust" coinage (multiple denominations) during the first decade of the 19th century, but this has not been proven. Bingham was ill and left for Madeira, but died en route in Bermuda where she is buried.[2] Her husband continued to Europe and died in England in 1804.



  • The Golden Voyage: The Life and Times of William Bingham, 1762-1804 by Robert C. Alberts, Houghton-Mifflin,1969


  1. ^ Goldsborough, Reid. "Anne Bingham's Life". Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  2. ^ "Republican Court: Anne Willing Bingham (1764-1801)".