|President of First Bank of the United States|
October 25, 1791 – November 10, 1807
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||David Lenox|
|President of Bank of North America|
January 7, 1782 – March 19, 1791
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||John Nixon|
|Mayor of Philadelphia|
October 4, 1763 – October 2, 1764
|Preceded by||Henry Harrison|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Lawrence|
|Born||December 19, 1731|
Philadelphia, Province of Pennsylvania, British America
|Died||January 19, 1821 (aged 89)|
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Resting place||Christ Church Burial Ground|
(m. 1763; died 1781)
|Children||13, including Ann and Mary|
|Relatives||Charles Willing (Father)|
James Willing (Brother)
Mary Willing Byrd (Sister)
Elizabeth Willing Powel (Sister)
Edward Shippen (Great-grandfather)
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.
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.
In 1749, after studying abroad in England, he returned to Philadelphia, where he engaged in mercantile pursuits, in partnership with Robert Morris. 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. Their partnership continued until 1793.
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.:52
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, but later subscribed £5,000 to supply the revolutionary cause.
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.:189
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:
- Anne Willing (1764–1801), who married William Bingham (1752–1804)
- Thomas Mayne Willing (1767–1822), who married Jane Nixon (1775–1823)
- Elizabeth Willing (1768–1858), who married William Jackson (1759–1828)
- Mary Willing (1770–1852), who married Henry Clymer (1767–1830)
- Dorothy Willing (1772–1842), who married Thomas Willing Francis, a cousin
- George Willing (1774–1827), who married Rebecca Harrison Blackwell (1782–1852)
- Richard Willing (1775–1858), who married Eliza Moore (1786–1823)
- Abigail Willing (1777–1841), who married Richard Peters (1780–1848).
Willing was also the grandfather of Ann Louisa Bingham (b. 1782), 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. 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.
- Stephen Simpson, an outspoken journalist and fierce critic of the First National Bank and its practices.
- List of wealthiest historical figures
- List of richest Americans in history
- "WILLING, Thomas, (1731–1821)". Biographical Information of the United States Congress. US Congress. June 11, 2009. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
- "Thomas Willing (1731–1821), University of Pennsylvania University Archives". www.archives.upenn.edu. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
- Balch, Thomas Willing (January 1, 1922). Thomas Willing of Philadelphia (1731–1821). The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
- 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.
- "Thomas Willing". The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
- 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.
- Konkle, Burton Alva (1937). Thomas Willing and the First American Financial System. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
- "Thomas Willing | exhibits.hsp.org". digitalhistory.hsp.org. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
- Wright, R. E. (1996). "Thomas Willing (1731–1821): Philadelphia Financier and Forgotten Founding Father". Pennsylvania History. 63 (4): 525–560. JSTOR 27773931.
- ALBERTS, ROBERT C (1969). The Golden Voyage. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. pp. 435.
- 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).
- "FRANCIS, John Brown – Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- "Guide to the Francis Family Papers 1783–1901 (bulk 1783–1838)" (PDF). library.brown.edu. Rhode Island Historical Society. 2009. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- "Lady Ashburton". Maine Memory Network.
- Wright, Robert E. "Thomas Willing (1731–1821): Philadelphia Financier and Forgotten Founding Father". Pennsylvania History, 63 (Autumn 1996): 525–60.
- United States Congress. "Thomas Willing (id: W000556)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Columbia Encyclopedia article
- Biographical sketch and portrait at the University of Pennsylvania
- The Willings and Francis Records, including correspondence, deeds and legal documents of Thomas Willings' mercantile firm (Willings and Francis), are available for research use at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Henry Harrison (mayor)
| Mayor of Philadelphia
Thomas Lawrence (II)