Apr 15, 2021 - Sale 2564

Sale 2564 - Lot 274

Price Realized: $ 938
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
(PENNSYLVANIA.) Receipt and memorandum book kept by early Philadelphia tradesman James Bingham. [70] manuscript leaves or fragments. 4to, original tooled calf, worn, front board detached; contents quite worn, many pages and portions of pages excised, several extant leaves and fragments detached. Philadelphia, bulk 1719-37

Additional Details

This volume was kept by James Bingham (1694-1737), a saddler of Philadelphia, and his heirs. His son William Sr. (1725-1769) was also a saddler, but grandson William Bingham Jr. (1752-1804) made some fortuitous investments and married into the wealthy Willing family, and became perhaps the most prosperous man in Philadelphia by the time of his death, also serving a term in the United States Senate.

Hundreds of receipts issued to Bingham (signed by other early Philadelphia residents) show the evolution of James Bingham's business, with several saddles and related works described in the early entries, such as "eight hunting sadles" sold in November 1719 and a "sidsadle" on 25 July 1722. He made increasing land investments, and in June 1731 dabbled in mercantile shipping investments, sending a marble table to Jamaica "for as much as it will fech", and then investing in rum from Barbados. He continued with his original trade, though, with purchases of large quantity of leather in September 1733. The famed Philadelphia mapmaker Nicholas Scull signed a receipt on 11 August 1737 for "suroveghing 2000 acres land & . . . 500 acres at Cohogan, Lanchester County and for 279 bushells lime."

In addition to the receipts are several pages of other accounts and memoranda. The first full page includes a long "memorandum of outlay on ye boatt" including tar, timber, oakum, nails, oars and more. On the second page is a recipe for rum punch. A few of the receipts were issued to James's widow Anne through 1747, and one to son William in 1765. A short memorandum reads "Miss Benezet accepts with pleasure Miss B & Mr. Cadwal"; it was perhaps written by William's granddaughter Maria Benezet (1778-1799).