Colonel Charles Pinckney

Colonel Charles Pinckney was born to William Pinckney, Master in Chancery, and Ruth Brewton in 1732. William Pinckney was the youngest of three sons born to Thomas and Mary Cotesworth Pinckney. In 1735, he and his brother, Charles, helped organize the first fire insurance company in America, the Friendly Society. While profitable, by 1740, a fire destroyed much of Charles Town causing such extensive damage that the Friendly Society could not meet the claims and was forced into bankruptcy. William, the younger of the two, was not as financially stable and met with a great loss. As a result, he and his wife became unable to care for their child and sent him to live with his uncle and namesake. Charles's education was funded by his uncle. He passed the South Carolina bar in 1752.

He married Frances Brewton in 1753, his first cousin and daughter of Robert Brewton and Mary Loughton. They had five children: Charles Pinckney, Thomas Pinckney, Miles Brewton Pinckney, Mary Pinckney, and Rebecca Pinckney.


Colonel Charles Pinckney was among many influential Pinckneys of South Carolina. Among the numerous offices and positions he held was his service as commanding officer of the Charles Towne Militia, a member of the General Assembly, and in 1775, president of the South Carolina Provincial Congress. As a symbol of position and wealth, Pinckney bought his first plantation, Snee Farm, in 1754. He and Frances maintained a home in town on Queen Street and purchased other properties throughout the colony.

Before the war Colonel Pinckney has been a leader in the lower house of the General Assembly. British authorities realized the influence Pinckney, and others like him, possessed and worked to have them swear allegiance to the crown. The British threatened to imprison, hang, and/or confiscate the property of the "traitor" who did no publicly declare themselves Loyalists. Faced with these circumstances, Colonel Pinckney and over 160 others declared themselves as "loyal inhabitants of Charles Town." Pinckney's estate, which included Snee Farm, was saved through this decision. When Colonel Pinckney died in 1782 Snee Farm was among those properties inherited by his son, Charles Pinckney.

Colonel Charles Pinckney was buried at St. Philips Church in Charleston, SC. A cenotaph, or memorial, stands at the remnant of his Snee Farm property to commemorate his life as a public servant.

Last updated: May 2, 2018

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