Carolina Stories: Forgotten Founder (2010) | ETV Classics

Forgotten Founder highlights native South Carolinian, and founding father, Charles Pinckney, and his role at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 when Legislators were meeting to decide the future of America. 

After the United States declared independence from Great Britain, The Articles of Confederation established the functions of the new government but Charles Pinckney and others felt that the Articles did not provide a strong enough central government.

One of the 3 delegates who wrote the rules for the Convention, Pinckney’s draft was very similar to the Virginia Plan, largely the work of James Madison. Charles Pinckney laid his plan before the Convention, and parts of it were used. There was always the question of how much of the input was his, then there was the question “What happened to his original draft?”

The matter was debated for 200 years and at the turn of the century, historians working on the history of the Constitution, found in James Wilson's papers the document that Charles Pinckney presented that day.  

Side Notes:

  • Charles Pinckney had been captured by the British in the American Revolutionary War and was confined on a prison ship known as Pack Horse.
  • He was the first governor to advocate free schools.
  • Appointed by President Jefferson to the post of Minister Plenipotentiary to Spain, Pinckney’s effort to win cession of the Floridas to the United States was not successful, however he worked toward the transfer of Louisiana from France to the United States in 1803.