Charles Pinckney, South Carolina

Charles Pinckney, South Carolina

Charles Pinckney was born on October 26, 1757 in Charleston, South Carolina. He was a brave soldier, a writer, an illustrious diplomat, a member of the House of Representatives and a U.S. Governor. He was known as the Founding Father who signed the U.S Constitution. Being the 37th Governor of South Carolina, Pinckney drafted a plan for the U.S. Governance and most of which were included in the Constitution. He was also the one who drafted the Constitution of South Carolina. Later, he served in the U.S Congress to push the voting rights of all the white men. He also served as a Minister to Spain. Today, Charles Pinckney was known to be the ancestor of the seven South Carolina Governors.

Charles Pinckney came from an affluent family because of his wealthy father who was a lawyer and landlord. After the death of his father, Colonel Charles Pinckney, the son inherited all his wealth including a country estate outside the city and the Snee farm.


Shortly after the war for independence begun, Charles who was so young then enlisted himself to join the military forces even if his father was so against about his involvement in the revolution. Charles became a lieutenant. He then served during the siege of Savannah on September-October 1979. When Charles fell under the British possession by the next year, he was remained imprisoned until June 1781.

He had also started a political career and served the Continental Congress on the years 1777-1778 as well as 1784-1787. He was also able to work at the state legislator on the years 1779-1780, 1786-1789 and 1792-1796. As a nationalist, he worked vigorously in the Congress ensuring the U.S to receive the navigation rights to explore the Mississippi as well as to build up congressional influence.

His role to the Constitutional Convention went so controversial. In spite the fact that he was the youngest member back then, he firmly claimed to himself that he had been the most influential one. With his immeasurable confidence, he presented a draft called as the Pinckney Plan which became the springboard of the Final Constitution. The plan he submitted was a more sophisticated form of the Virginia Plan of Edmund Randolph. However, it was being disregarded by other delegates. Most historians acknowledged Charles Pinckney to be a very significant contributor in the final drafting of the constitution. The conceited man led him to flaunt that he was the youngest member at the age of 24 while in fact; he is already 30 by that moment. He attended debates regularly and often participate dynamically allowing him to contribute a lot of his ideas for the final drafting and to resolve arguments that naturally occurs during each debate session.

There is only a small amount of information gathered about Pinckney’s early childhood - most information documented about him was about his married life. With respect to his personal life, he was married to Mary Eleanor Laurens who was a daughter of a well-off and politically prominent merchant in South Carolina, Henry Laurens. They had three children, all boys. One of their sons, Henry Laurens Pinckney, became a Congressman of Charleston, South Carolina.

Consequently, Charles Pinckney's political career prospered. From the years 1789-1792, Pinckney sat as the governor of the South Carolina. On 1790, he became a chairman at the State constitutional convention. With this, he joined the Federalist Party serving as leader together with his cousin, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. But as time goes by, Charles political will began to change. In the year 1795, he hit the Federalist Party backed by Jay's Party and began to immensely cast his group with the Democratic-Republicans against his eastern aristocracy. Once again in 1796, he became the governor of the state. With the help of his Democratic-Republican connections, he won a position in the U.S. Senate. With that, he indignantly opposed his previous party and during the 1800 Presidential Election, Charles Pinckney became the campaign manager of Thomas Jefferson in South Carolina.

When Thomas Jefferson won the Presidential Election, he immediately appointed Pinckney as a Minister to Spain. There, he struggled courageously yet ended up drastically to gain possession of the two Floridas and assisted Spanish compliance for the transfer of the state of Louisiana to the Unites States from French possession in the year 1803.

After his diplomatic mission in Spain, he went back with his aspirations moving closer to the principles of democracy. He went back to Charleston and became a leader of Democratic - Republican Party. He gained a seat on the legislature in the years 1805-1806. For one last time, he was elected as the governor with his two-year term, from 1806-1808. While in the position, he affirmed legislative reapportionment to provide an improved representation towards back-country districts advocating the suffrage of universal white manhood. In 1810-1814, he once again served for the legislature. In 1818, he victoriously won the election and became a member of The U.S. House of Representative.

It had been a long journey in politics for Charles Pinckney. In 1812, his health began to deteriorate pushing him to retire from the hustle and bustle of politics. He died in 1824 and was buried at St. Philipp's Episcopal Churchyard in Charleston, South Carolina. His Snee Farms actually still exist and remained to be Charles Pinckney National Historical Site.

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