Pinckney, the name of a mother and two sons who were prominent in South Carolina history. The two sons were United States statesmen and diplomats.
(1722–1793) was probably born on the West Indian island of Antigua, the daughter of an English army officer. In 1738 Elizabeth Lucas was brought to South Carolina. While managing her father's estates, she succeeded during the 1740's in growing indigo successfully in the colony for the first time. It became one of South Carolina's major cash crops. She married Charles Pinckney in 1744.
(1746–1825) was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He was educated at Oxford University, England, and on his return in 1769 was admitted to the bar. Pinckney was active in the patriot cause during the Revolutionary War, rising to brigadier general in the state militia. Captured by the British in 1780 during the fall of Charleston, he was imprisoned for two years.
Pinckney was a signer of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. In 1796 he was appointed minister to France, but the French government, angered at the United States because of its signing of the Jay Treaty with Great Britain, refused to receive him, severed diplomatic ties, and began seizing American shipping. The following year Pinckney returned to France as a member of a special commission sent to settle the differences between the two countries. When agents for Talleyrand, the French foreign minister, demanded a bribe and a loan for France before granting recognition to the commissioners, Pinckney is said to have cried: "No! No! Not a sixpence!" The negotiations then broke down and the commissioners returned to the United States. War with France then seemed likely, and Pinckney returned to the army, serving as a major general during 1798–1800.
Pinckney was the unsuccessful Federalist candidate for Vice President in 1800 and for President in 1804 and 1808. He was president general of the Society of the Cincinnati, a Revolutionary War officers' organization, from 1805 until his death.
(1750–1828) was born in Charleston. He attended Oxford University, and on his return in 1774 was admitted to the bar. He served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, rising to the rank of major, and was wounded at the Battle of Camden. Pinckney was governor of South Carolina, 1787–89.
During 1792–96 Pinckney was minister to Great Britain. In 1795 as a special envoy to Spain he negotiated a treaty settling the southern boundary of the United States and allowing free navigation on the Mississippi River.
A Federalist, Pinckney was the party's unsuccessful candidate for Vice President in 1796. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives, 1797–1801. In the War of 1812 Pinckney was a major general. He did not campaign against the British, but joined Andrew Jackson in a campaign against the Creek Indians. Pinckney was a cattle breeder and operated an experimental farm. He succeeded his brother as president general of the Society of the Cincinnati.