Born in Charleston, Charles Pinckney (1757-1824) studied law under his father, Colonel Charles Pinckney, and was admitted to the bar, but never practiced law. During the Revolutionary War, he was elected to the state's First and Second Provincial Congresses and the first General Assembly. Serving in the Continental Army, he was captured at Savannah in 1779. After his release in 1781, he was elected to the state House of Representatives. Three years later, Pinckney represented South Carolina as a delegate to the Continental Congress and went on to represent South Carolina in the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Prior to being elected to the U.S. Senate, Pinckney served as governor of South Carolina for 3 terms. Because of his fervent support for Thomas Jefferson, Pinckney had a great impact on the presidential campaign of 1800, in which South Carolina held a critical position. He rallied South Carolina legislators to support Jefferson and Aaron Burr, instead of John Adams and his own cousin, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (see Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, In His 6th Year). As a result, Jefferson and Burr were elected. To acknowledge Pinckney's support, Jefferson appointed him as U.S. Minister to Spain, a post he held until 1805. After his return to South Carolina, he was again elected to the state General Assembly, and was governor of South Carolina for a 4th term before serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was instrumental in increasing Upcountry representation in the state legislature and securing universal white male suffrage in 1810. He died in Philadelphia in 1824 while serving in Congress.
Courtesy of the South Caroliniana Library.