Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

February 25, 1756–August 16, 1825

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney a Founding Father who served as an envoy to France during the XYZ Affair.

Charles C. Pinckney, Portrait, Trumbull
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Biography of Charles C. Pinckney

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney was a Founding Father, a member of the Continental Army, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, and a signer of the Constitution. Pinckney also served as an envoy to France during the notorious XYZ Affair, at which time he responded to French bribery efforts with his famous quote, “No, no, not a sixpence.” Pinckney was the unsuccessful Federalist presidential candidate in 1804 and in 1808.

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Charles C. Pinckney — Quick Facts

  • Born February 14, 1746, Charleston, S.C.
  • Educated in England at Westminster School and Oxford.
  • Admitted to the bar in England in 1769.
  • Returned to South Carolina in 1769.
  • Member of South Carolina’s Committee of Intelligence.
  • Joined South Carolina militia in 1776.
  • Served as chairman of the committee that drafted South Carolina’s 1776 constitution.
  • Captured by British forces during the invasion of Charleston in 1780 and held until 1782.
  • As a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and advocated a strong federal government.
  • As a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, he was a staunch defender of slavery.
  • Signed the Constitution and worked successfully for ratification in South Carolina.
  • Appointed as U.S. Minister to France in 1796, but the revolutionary government in France refused to receive him.
  • Participant in the infamous XYZ Affair.
  • Responded to French bribery attempts with the famous quote, “No, no, not a sixpence.”
  • Served as a major general in command of American forces in the South from 1798 to 1800.
  • Federalist party’s unsuccessful vice-presidential candidate in 1800.
  • Federalist party’s unsuccessful presidential candidate in 1804 and 1808.
  • Died August 16, 1825, in Charleston, S.C.
  • Buried in the cemetery at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
  • Coverage February 25, 1756–August 16, 1825
  • Author
  • Keywords charles cotesworth pinckney
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date October 4, 2022
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update July 12, 2022

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney is Part of the Following on AHC

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