100 Americans Making Constitutional History: A Biographical History presents 100 profiles of the key people behind some of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases. Edited by Melvin I. Urofsky, a respected constitutional historian, each 2,000-word profile delves into the social and political context behind landmark Court decisions. For example, while a case like Brown v. Board of Education is about an important idea—the equal protection of the law—at its heart it is the story of a little girl, Linda Brown, who wanted to go to a decent school near her home. The outcome is accessible and objective “stories” about the individuals—heroes and scoundrels—who fought their way to constitutional history.

William Bingham

William Bingham

The Fruits of Enterprise

“The Record, in the Present Case, was Defective”

Bingham v. Cabbot

3 U.S. (3 Dall.) 19 (1795)

Bingham v. Cabot

3 U.S. (3 Dall.) 382 (1798)

William Bingham (1752–1804) is a relatively unknown figure to most Americans, despite his role in supplying the Continental Army during the American Revolution, his tremendous commercial success in the early Republic, his distinguished public service career, his ongoing legal battle with one of early America's great families, and his association with many figures of this period whose names are better known. Moreover, Bingham's Supreme Court dealings did not involve landmark decisions, although they set some important jurisdictional and procedural standards for the new nation. Instead, Bingham's limited fame lies with his political prominence and economic success during and after ...

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