Benjamin Say

Benjamin Say (August 28, 1755 – April 23, 1813) was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.

Benjamin Say was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Thomas (1709–1796) and Rebekah Atkinson Budd Say (1716–1795),[1] He married Ann Bartram Bonsall (1759–1793) on Oct. 1, 1776, a granddaughter of naturalist John Bartram.[2][1] Their son Thomas Say (1787–1835) became a pioneering entomologist.

Say graduated from the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia in 1780 and practiced in that city. He also worked as an apothecary. He served in the American Revolutionary War, and was a fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, of which he was one of the founders in 1787, and was treasurer from 1791 to 1809. He was a member of the Pennsylvania Prison Society and president of the Pennsylvania Humane Society. He was a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate.[3]

Say was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the Tenth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Joseph Clay. He was reelected to the Eleventh Congress and served until his resignation in June 1809. He died in Philadelphia in 1813.

He had a grand house to the southwest of the then-borders of Philadelphia. Dubbed "The Cliffs", it overlooked the Schuylkill River near Gray's Ferry, just upriver from the Bartram estate.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Genealogical Records Copied from the Bible of Thomas Say". The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. XXIX: 219–22. 1905.
  2. ^ Fisher, George. "Thomas Say". Philadelphia Reflections. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
  3. ^ Cox, Harold. "Senate Members "S"". Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.
  4. ^ "Item: "The Cliffs" Country Residence of Benjamin Say at Gray's Ferry". Digital Library. Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Retrieved February 11, 2016.


U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 1st congressional district

1808–1809 alongside: Jacob Richards
John Porter

1809 alongside: William Anderson

Succeeded by