Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth


1802 rare check written by the South Carolina Framer, Federalist 1800 VP and 1804 & 1808 presidential candidate



Autograph ID: 6521
Condition: Very good, light overall toning, 4-1/4″ dark signature
Description: (1746-1825) Member of the South Carolina Council of Safety 1776, aide to Washington at Brandywine & Germantown. Captured at the fall of Charleston 1780, exchanged 1782, named brigadier general 1783. Advocate of a strong central government as member of 1787 Constitutional Convention, Framer of the Constitution. Minister to France 1796-97 but not recognized as such by the French government, approached for a bribe by a French emissary in the “XYZ Affair” that almost led to war with France. Major General 1796-1800 in the Quasi-War serving under Hamilton. Alexander Hamilton schemed to elect Pinckney vice president under electoral rules then in place in 1800. With little hope of defeating popular incumbent President Thomas Jefferson in the 1804 election, the Federalists chose Pinckney as their presidential nominee. Neither Pinckney nor the party pursued an active campaign, and Jefferson won in a landslide. The Federalists nominated Pinckney again in 1808, hoping Pinckney’s military experience and Jefferson’s economic policies would give them a chance of winning. Though the 1808 presidential election was closer than the 1804 election had been, Democratic-Republican nominee James Madison prevailed; Pinckney was the first major party presidential candidate to lose his own state. Pinckney was president-general of the Society of the Cincinnati From 1805 until his death.

Rare ADS, 2 3/4 x 6 3/4 check drawn on the Cashier of the United States Bank at Philadelphia, no place, August 2 1802, paying $9 to Messrs. Bronson & Chauncey or bearer. Full signature and date at lower right.

Enos Bronson (1774-1823) Yale graduate, 1st head of the Deerfield Academy, Philadelphia publisher allied with the Federalist Party. He and his partner, Elihu Chauncey (1889-1847), also a Yale graduate and Philadelphia lawyer, published the daily “Gazette of the United States” 1801-04. They published a semiweekly newspaper, “The United States’ Gazette for the Country” 1804-18.

Type: Check

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