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Bingham, George Caleb (20 March 1811–07 July 1879), artist and politician, was born on a plantation near South River, in Augusta County, Virginia, the son of Henry Vest Bingham and Mary Amend, farmers. In 1819 the family moved to Franklin, Missouri, where Bingham’s father opened a tavern and bought a farm near Arrow Rock, Missouri. In 1821 he became a county judge but died in 1823. A year later Bingham’s mother established a girls’ school in Franklin and two years after that moved with the family to a farm in Arrow Rock. In 1827 Bingham was apprenticed to a carpenter and Methodist minister in Boonville, Missouri, but when he saw a portrait painter at work, he decided to become one himself. He also studied religion, preached, and read law until 1830, after which he became an itinerant portrait painter. In Columbia, Missouri, he painted his four earliest surviving portraits (1834), including one of ...