Pinckney, Charles

Pinckney, Charles,

1757–1824, American statesman, governor of South Carolina (1789–92, 1796–98, 1806–8), b. Charleston, S.C.; cousin of Charles C. Pinckney and Thomas Pinckney. He fought in the American Revolution and was taken prisoner in the British capture of Charleston (1780). A delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787, he submitted a plan for the Constitution. Although its exact provisions are not known, his plan had considerable influence on the final draft of the Constitution. In 1798 he became a U.S. Senator, and his services in forwarding Thomas Jefferson's presidential candidacy were rewarded by his appointment (1801) as minister to Spain. His principal assignment was to secure, with James Monroe's help, the cession of Florida to the United States. The attempt failed, and Pinckney returned home in 1805. From 1819 to 1821 he was a member of the House of Representatives, where he made a celebrated speech against the Missouri Compromise.


See G. C. Rogers, Charleston in the Age of the Pinckneys (1969).

Pinckney, Charles

(1758–1824) governor, U.S. senator, diplomat; born in Charleston, S.C. (second cousin of Thomas Pinckney). After serving as a Revolutionary soldier, he was a South Carolina delegate to the Continental Congress (1784–87), and then to the Constitutional Convention in 1787; although he contributed to the Constitution, it was not as much as he would later claim. He was elected governor of South Carolina several times (Fed., 1789–92; Dem.-Rep., 1797–99, 1807–09). As governor, he extended suffrage to all white males, obtained civil rights for Jews, and established free schools. As U.S. senator (Dem.-Rep., S.C.; 1799–1801), he was a supporter of Jefferson, who named him ambassador to Spain (1801–05); he negotiated Spain's acceptance of the Louisiana Treaty. He also served South Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives (Dem.-Rep.; 1819–21).