PINCKNEY, Thomas

1750–1828

Biography

PINCKNEY, Thomas, a Representative from South Carolina; born in Charleston, S.C., October 23, 1750; attended Westminster School, Oxford, England, and was graduated from Oxford University, England; also attended the French Military College, Caen, France, for one year; studied law at the Inner Temple, London; was admitted to the bar in 1774 and commenced practice in Charleston, S.C.; captain of Engineers, First Regiment, Continental Army, in 1775; major in the Florida campaign in 1778; served under Gen. Benjamin Lincoln in 1778 and 1779 and with Count d'Estaing in 1779; served in the defense of Charleston; Governor of South Carolina 1787-1789; presided over the State ratification convention in 1788; member of the State house of representatives in 1791; United States Minister to Great Britain from January 12, 1792, to July 28, 1796; also Envoy Extraordinary to Spain from November 24, 1794, to November 1795 and negotiated the treaty settling the boundary between the United States and East and West Florida and between the United States and Louisiana; elected as a Federalist to the Fifth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of William L. Smith; reelected to the Sixth Congress and served from November 23, 1797, to March 3, 1801; one of the managers appointed by the House of Representatives in 1798 to conduct the impeachment proceedings against William Blount, a Senator from Tennessee; resumed the practice of law and also engaged in agricultural pursuits; appointed major general in the War of 1812 and served throughout the war; president general of the Society of the Cincinnati 1825-1828; died in Charleston, S.C., November 2, 1828; interment in St. Philip's Churchyard.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Boston Public Library

Boston, MA
Papers: 7 items.

Brooklyn Historical Society

Brooklyn, NY
Papers: Deed of sale of land (March 5, 1787) and grant of land (June 2, 1788). Finding aid in repository.

Georgia Historical Society

Savannah, GA
Papers: In Pinckney family papers, 1770-1812. 35 items. Unpublished finding aids in repository.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 1751-1831. 1 container.
Papers: In Charles Cotesworth Pinckney family papers, 1694-1886. 34 containers. Register and card index. Restricted.

New-York Historical Society

New York, NY
Papers: 1779-1814. 71 items. Chiefly correspondence with Rufus King and Horatio Gates.

South Carolina Historical Society

Charleston, SC
Papers: In Pinckney family papers, 1708-1878. 2 feet. Includes 6 letter books (1791-1814) containing copies of his correspondence as Minister to Great Britain and during the War of 1812. Partially restricted.
Papers: In Frances Leigh Williams papers, ca. 1700-1978. 6 feet. Research files, notes, and correspondence and copies of papers and correspondence, all relating to her book on the Pinckney family.

Summit Free Public Library

Summit, NJ
Papers: 1 letter to George Washington.

University of South Carolina
South Caroliniana Library

Columbia, SC
Papers: In Pinckney family papers, 1735-1922. 315 items and 7 volumes. Includes his letter book (1779-1798) containing correspondence with Edward Rutledge on military defense of South Carolina.

University of Virginia Library

Charlottesville, VA
Papers: Correspondence in Huger family papers, 1773-1897. 53 items. Copies of originals privately owned.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Bemis, Samuel Flagg. The London Mission of Thomas Pinckney, 1792-1796. [New York: N.p., 1923].

Cross, Jack Lee, ed. "Letters of Thomas Pinckney, 1775-1780." South Carolina Historical Magazine 58 (January 1957): 19-33; (April 1957): 67-83; (July 1957): 145-62; (October 1957): 224-42.

------. London Mission: The First Critical Years. Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1968.

Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth. Life of General Thomas Pinckney. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1895.

Williams, Frances Leigh. A Founding Family: The Pinckneys of South Carolina. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978.

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