Pinckney Family of South Carolina

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Pinckney Family of South Carolina

PINCKNEY FAMILY OF SOUTH CAROLINA. During the colonial period, members of a few dozen families, including the Pinckneys, Rutledges, and Middletons, controlled South Carolina's Commons House of Assembly and dominated the Council (the upper house) until 1765, when they began to lose some power to British-born placeholders. The families intermarried to the point where they created a vast cousinage; the Pinckneys, for example, strengthened their ties by marrying into the Laurens and Middleton families. The first Charles Pinckney (1699?–1758) was chief justice of South Carolina (1752–1753) and the colony's agent in England (1753–1758). His nephew, the second Charles (1732–1782), father of the third Charles, was a wealthy lawyer and planter who was first president of the first South Carolina Provincial Congress (January-June 1775). He fled Charleston in April 1780 but voluntarily returned in June and gave his parole. Two years later, his estate was amerced 12 percent; it would have been confiscated had not the rest of the family, including his son Charles and nephew Charles Cotesworth, been prominent Patriots.

SEE ALSO Middleton Family of South Carolina; Pinckney, Charles; Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth; Pinckney, Thomas; Rutledge, Edward Ned.


Edgar, Walter B., and N. Louise Bailey, eds. Biographical Directory of the South Carolina House of Representatives. Vol. 2: The Commons House of Assembly, 1692–1775. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1977.

                            revised by Harold E. Selesky