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Charles Pinckney
NPS photograph

The Charles Pinckney National Historic Site is dedicated to interpreting the life of Charles Pinckney's, his role in the development of the United States Constitution, his plantation, and the transition of colonial America to a young nation. Designated as a National Historic Landmark, the 28 acres of this site comprise only a small portion of the large 715 acre rice planation that Charles Pinckney inherited from his father in 1782, known as Snee Farm. No standing structures remain from the time during which Pinckney lived at Snee Farm. The present house, built of native cypress and pine in the 1820's, is a fine example of a tidewater cottage once common throughout the coastal areas of the Carolinas and Virginia.

Archeology dig at Snee Farm
NPS photograph
The science of archeology has contributed greatly to what is known about the plantation, as most of Pinckney's papers were destroyed by the Charleston fire of 1861 where he resided most of the year. Archeologists have identified the locations of ponds and fields used for growing indigo, rice and cotton, the Pinckney well, the plantation kitchen, two slave cabins, and foundations for the buildings that may have been the Pinckney's plantation house and overseer's house. Snee Farm was Pinckney's country estate and the favorite among his seven plantations. Pinckney had been born into the Charleston elite, as the son of a wealthy planter and attorney. His career of public service began in 1779, when at the age of 21 he became a member of the South Carolina General Assembly. He was selected as a delegate to Congress in 1784, and was one of four representatives from South Carolina at the Constitutional Convention. Throughout his active political career Pinckney served four terms as South Carolina governor, and a U.S. Senator and Representative. Leading Thomas Jefferson's campaign for the Presidency in South Carolina, Pinckney was rewarded with the position of Ambassador to Spain. He is buried at St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Charleston.

Snee Farm continued to be a working plantation well into the 20th century. Most of its labor force were African Americans, first as slaves, then as tenants or sharecroppers after the abolition of slavery. Today, interpretive exhibits highlight Pinckney's life, the history of the plantation, as well as the contribtuions of African-Americans in the development of farm. Archeology is also emphasized as a important means to uncover the history of a site.

The Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, administered by the National Park Service, is located at 1254 Long Point Rd. in Mount Pleasant, six miles north of Charleston. It is open daily from 9am to 5pm, closed major holidays. For additional information contact the Superintendent, Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, 1214 Middle St., Sullivans Island, SC 29462, or call 843-881-5516. Descriptive paragraphs are based on the National Park Service visitor brochure for the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site.

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