Willing, Thomas, 1731–1821, American merchant and financier, b. Philadelphia. He studied law in London. Returning to Philadelphia in 1749, he entered his father's business and later established with Robert Morris (1734–1806) a prominent importing and exporting firm in Philadelphia. He was elected mayor of Philadelphia in 1763 and was (1767–77) a justice of the Pennsylvania court. As a member (1775–76) of the Continental Congress, he voted against the Declaration of Independence. In 1780, Willing was active in raising money for the Continental army. He was one of the founders of the Bank of North America and its first president (1781–1792). He was also (1791–1811) first president of the Bank of the United States.
See B. A. Konkle, Thomas Willing and the First American Financial System (1937).
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Willing, Thomas(1731–1821) merchant, banker; born in Philadelphia. He studied law in London and then prospered at various commercial pursuits (1749–93), joining with Robert Morris to form Philadelphia's major mercantile firm. Patriotic but not radical, as a delegate to the Continental Congress (1775–76) he voted against the initial resolution for independence. He was president of the Bank of North America (1781–91), supported the new constitution, and then served as the first president of the Bank of the United States (1791–97).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.