Pinckney, Charles (1757–1824)

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Charles Pinckney, a wealthy and ambitious young lawyer from South Carolina, was one of the most active members of the constitutional convention of 1787. A supporter of strong national government, Pinckney had already proposed in Congress several amendments to strengthen the government under the articles of confederation. He had unsuccessfully urged Congress to call a convention to amend the Articles.

Selected as a delegate to the Federal Convention, Pinckney drafted a comprehensive plan for revising the articles which he introduced immediately after edmund randolph proposed the virginia plan. The pinckney plan was never debated in the Convention or the Committee of the Whole, although the Committee of Detail may have drawn some ideas or phrases from it.

Pinckney was one of the most frequent speakers in the debates, but the Constitution, as written, reflected his influence only in minor points and details. In a speech before signing, Pinckney announced that he would support the Constitution despite "the contemptible weakness and dependence of the Executive."

In his later career, Pinckney was a delegate to the South Carolina ratifying convention and to the state constitutional convention of 1790, three times governor, a member of the legislature and of both houses of Congress, and minister of the United States to Spain.

Dennis J. Mahoney

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Pinckney, Charles (1757–1824)

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