Reverend Hiram Bingham

Male 1789 - 1869  (80 years)


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  • Name Hiram Bingham 
    Prefix Reverend 
    Born 30 Oct 1789  Bennington, Vermont Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Cemetery Grove Street Cemetey Find all individuals with events at this location 
    _UID 3173882214C9004F9E9DFEC8D24AC1DA32EA 
    Died 11 Nov 1869  Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried New Haven, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I25997  Scudder
    Last Modified 16 Dec 2014 

    Father Deacon Calvin Bingham,   b. 8 Oct 1750, Norwich, New London, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Feb 1831, Bennington, Bennington, Vermont Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years) 
    Mother Lydia Denton,   b. 11 Mar 1757, Amenia, Dutchess, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Mar 1831, Bennington, Bennington, Vermont Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years) 
    Married 6 Jan 1777 
    _UID 757246A71B5B374EA283796312106E8BEBA7 
    Family ID F9109  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Sybil Moseley,   d. 27 Feb 1848, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location 
    _UID 4B848AC02A81A04C84337B9E10FFFB49D320 
    Children 
     1. Elizabeth Kaahumanu Bingham,   b. 1829, Hawaii Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1899  (Age 70 years)
     2. Reverend Dr. Hiram Bingham, II,   b. 16 Aug 1831, Honolulu, Hawaii Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Oct 1908, Baltimore, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years)
     3. Lydia Bingham,   b. 1834, Hawaii Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1918  (Age 84 years)
    Last Modified 7 Dec 2017 
    Family ID F32359  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Naomi E. Morse 
    Married 1852  Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location 
    _UID DAE7F52AA8F7FE40BF0726CFBAFE47D74EB9 
    Last Modified 7 Dec 2017 
    Family ID F32360  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Bingham, Hiram I.jpg
    Bingham, Hiram I.jpg

  • Notes 
    • Hiram was leader of the first group of American Protestant missionaries to introduce Christianity to the Hawaiian islands. He attended Middlebury College and the Andover Theological Seminary. On October 23, 1819, he and his young bride sailed out of Boston aboard the brig Thaddeus, along with Asa and Lucy Goodale Thurston, to lead a mission in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.

      Hiram and Sybil arrived first on the Island of Hawaii in 1820, and sailed on to Honolulu on Oahu on April 19. In 1823, Queen Ka?ahumanu and six high chiefs requested baptism. Soon after, the Hawaiian government banned prostitution and drunkenness, which resulted in the shipping industry and the foreign community resenting Bingham's influence. Bingham wrote extensively about the natives and was critical of their land-holding regime and of their state of "civilization." He supported the introduction of market values along with Christianity. Those writings are now used by historians to illustrate the imperial values that were central to the attitudes of the United States towards Hawaii. He was involved in the creation of the spelling system for writing the Hawaiian Language, and also translated some books of the Bible into Hawaiian.

      Hiram designed the Kawaiaha?o Church in Honolulu on the Hawaiian Island of O?ahu. The church was constructed between 1836 and 1842 in the New England style typical of the Hawaiian missionaries. It is one of the oldest standing Christian places of worship in Hawai?i.

      Hiram used his influence with Queen Ka?ahumanu to instigate a strongly anti-Catholic policy in Hawaii, considerably impeding the work of the French Catholic missionary Alexis Bachelot and resulting in decades of persecution of Hawaiians who were converted to Catholicism. This was motivated by opposition to the spread of French influence in Hawaii as well as by the religious Protestant-Catholic rivalry and enmity.

      The board grew concerned that Hiram was interfering too often in Hawaiian politics and recalled him. The Binghams left August 3, 1840 and reached New England February 4, 1841. It was intended to be a sabbatical due to Sybil's poor health, but the board refused to reappoint Bingham as a missionary, even after Sybil's death on February 27, 1848. He published a memoir, A Residence of Twenty-One Years in the Sandwich Islands in 1847.

      Hiram remained in New England, where he served as the pastor of an African-American church. He remarried to Naomi Morse in 1852, who ran a girl's school. In World War II, the United States liberty ship SS Hiram Bingham was named in his honor. It was hull number 1726. Bingham was caricatured as the character Reverend Abner Hale in James Michener's novel Hawaii.

      Leonard Bacon gave the address at his funeral.