Anne Bingham's Life and Death


Half dollar




Among the privileges Anne asserted were wit and risqué anecdotes. This, along with her beauty, drew to her salons the country's literary and political elite, including George Washington.

Anne Bingham commissioned two portraits of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart, early American portraitist of the rich and powerful who Anne and William had met in London. Neither of these though was Stuart's famous unfinished Washington portrait, the "Athenaeum," which was used a model for the image of George Washington on the one dollar bill.









But it was Gilbert Stuart's drawing of the 31-year-old Anne Bingham in 1795 that was used to create Liberty on the Draped Bust coins. It's likely that after Stuart drew the sketch, it was examined by President George Washington, Secretary of State Edmund Randolph, Mint Director W.H. DeSaussure, and Mint Chief Engraver Robert Scot.

The approved work was then sent to artist John Eckstein, who was paid $30 on September 9, 1795, for obverse and reverse plaster models to guide Scot in making the dollar dies. (The sketch and the plaster models have not survived.)

Despite the beauty of the Draped Bust coins, Stuart was said to have been deeply disappointed with Scot's work. Temperamental artist. Difficult as it is to believe, others have also been less than enamored with the Draped Bust Liberty.




Half dime





In 1801, at age 36 and in the prime of her life, Anne Bingham died. A few weeks after having given birth to her last child, she had attended one of the popular all-night sleighing parties of her day, where participants stop by friends' houses along the way to drink and socialize.

Shortly afterward she fell sick and died of "galloping consumption," a particularly virulent form of tuberculosis, leaving behind a son and two daughters.

William Bingham was said to have been devastated by the death of his wife. He died of a stroke three years later in Bath, England, at the age of 51.

Among William Bingham's legacies is the city of Binghamton, New York, which is situated on land he once owned and is named after him.

Anne has her own legacy.



Draped Bust


Anne's Life

Anne's Death

1804 Dollar


Dollar Set






Other Images

More Info

Other glomworthy coins:

Oldest Coins

 Athenian Owls

Alexander the Great Coins

Medusa Coins

Thracian Tetradrachms

House of Constantine

Draped Bust Coins

Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles

Coin sites:
Coin Collecting: Consumer Protection Guide
Glomming: Coin Connoisseurship
Bogos: Counterfeit Coins

© 2014 Reid Goldsborough

Note: Any of the items illustrated on these pages that are in my possession are stored off site.