Caleb Bingham Photo

Caleb Bingham

Born: 1757

Death: Jan 1, 1817

Birthplace: Salisbury

Nationality: United States

Caleb Bingham

Date of Birth : 1757
Date of Death : Jan 1, 1817
Birth Place : Salisbury

Caleb Bingham was a textbook author of late 18th-century New England, whose works were also influential into the 19th and 20th. Among his most influential works were books on oratory, or public speaking. A native of Salisbury, Connecticut, he spent much of his career in Boston, Massachusetts as a publisher and bookseller. Bingham was educated at Dartmouth College and valedictorian of his class of 1782. He also taught at the College. One of his most popular works was The Columbian Orator, originally published in 1797, an anthology which contained rules on oratory, but consisted primarily of texts for reading and recitation. The selections include poems, essays, short dialogues, and extracts from famous speeches. The content reflects a substantial concern with the moral education of youth and the preparation of citizens in the young Republic. The book has continued in print into the late 20th century. The Columbian Orator served as an inspiration to many orators, including the African-American abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who purchased a copy as a young man and used it to develop his powerful public speaking style.

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