Pinckney Plan

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PINCKNEY PLAN, the details of more than thirty provisions for a new constitution, was introduced by Charles Pinckney at the Constitutional Convention on May 29, 1787. Pinckney is credited with the notion of the separation of church and state; he is remembered for his stand on religious freedom. Pinckney is said to have coined the phrase, "the legislature of the United States shall pass no law on the subject of religion," though this wording does not appear until the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights (1789). Although Pinckney's original plan was lost, the details have been reconstructed from convention records.


McLaughlin, Andrew C., ed. "Documents: Sketch of Pinckney's Plan for a Constitution, 1787." American Historical Review 9, no. 4 (1904): 735–747.

Stokes, Anson Phelps, and Leo Pfeffer. Church and State in the United States. Vol. 1. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1964.

U.S. House. Documents Illustrative of the Formation of the Union of the American States. 69th Cong., 1st sess., 1927 H. Doc. 398.

Mary AnneHansen

See alsoChurch and State, Separation of ; Constitution of the United States ; Religious Liberty .