Surgeon Barnabas Binney
Barnabas Binney was born in Boston in 1751, the son of Captain Barnabas and Avis (Engs) Binney. His family connections were of the best: one sister, Anne, married Samuel Anthony of Providence, Rhode Island, while Avis, another became the second wife of Nicholas Brown of Providence.
The younger Barnabas received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Rhode Island, now Brown University, in 1774 and then went for further study to the College of Philadelphia, now the University of Pennsylvania, where he was given a Bachelor of Medicine degree in or about 1776, and he was made Surgeon in the Hospital Department in May. The next year the records of the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia show “Barnabas Binney & Mary Woodrow [married] 25 May 1777. He of Boston. She of Philadelphia. At the house of Mr. Woodrow. [By the Rev.] William Rogers” [an Original Member of the Society].
Binney took the Oath of Allegiance on 30 May 1778, and was commissioned Hospital Physician and Surgeon to the Army on 6 October 1780. He served in that capacity until the close of the war and was still in service on 6 December 1783. He signed the Parchment Roll of the Pennsylvania Society of the Cincinnati at an unspecified date. Although he also signed the “Pay Order of 1784”, in 1789, after his death, it was found that his month’s pay had not been received by the Society; this was later rectified by his son and successor. In 1786 Binney bought a confiscated city lot from the Commonwealth, and settled in the Northern Liberties of Philadelphia, but in April 1787 he was so “ill and infirm” as to prepare his will, and he died on 21 June at the age of thirty-six. Dr. Binney’s widow Mary married Dr. Marshall Spring. There were six children of Binney’s marriage; Horace Binney, Sr. (1782-1875), the Doctor’s only son to live to maturity, and his successor in the Society of the Cincinnati, was one of the leaders of the Philadelphia Bar of his generation.