January 25, 2016 | Charles Pinckney National Historic Site
If you ever want to feel inadequate about yourself and your accomplishments, you really need to visit here and learn about Charles Pinckney. This man did EVERYTHING. I’d like to say though that this was way back during the American Revolution, so technically there weren’t that many people over here so it was easier for him to earn more titles and be pretty productive… Okay, enough with the excuses. Curtis and I actually visited this site a couple of months ago on a Monday morning. (Before responsibilities took over…) It’s one of the 3 Nationally Administered Sites here in Charleston (along with Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter National Monument) and it made for a nice little educational start to our week. It’s located in Mount Pleasant, North of the 526 and across the street from Boone Hall Plantation. It’s free to visit and makes a lovely short walk and history lesson if you’re in the area.
Charles Pinckney was one of the American Founding Fathers who drafted and signed the US Constitution. Aside from that, he also had 42 years of public service under his belt. He was the South Carolina Governor for 4 terms. He was an Ambassador to Spain. He was elected to the Continental Congress for the 1777-1778 term, when he was 19 years old. He enlisted in the Militia during the Revolutionary War, where he became a Lieutenant and served in the Siege of Savannah. He was captured by the British in the capture of Charleston and held until 1871. He later served more on the Continental Congress and was a State Legislator. He retired from politics in 1821 and died in 1824 at the age of 67. A busy man, who worked hard during the beginning of the American Independence and saw a lot of progress during his time serving.
He also inherited Snee Farm from his father, also named Charles Pinckney. Today, you can tour the farm and learn about the area that influenced Pinckney in his upbringing and decisions. Some of his workings in the Continental Congress are rather controversial, mostly for his views on slavery. His family had slaves on their plantation, and you can learn about what that looked like here at the national historic site. The site features the house – the one standing is not the one that Pinckney would have lived in – it was built in 1828. Inside the house is the park museum (which only Curtis toured because we brought Charlotte with us). Outside, there are a couple trails with informational signs to help you understand what the plantation once looked like, and to learn about the cultural environment. A boardwalk takes you out over a swamp, and another set of trails winds through a thickly wooded area. When we visited in January, the camilla blossoms were in full bloom and brought more color to the land. A memorial for Charles Pinckney stands under a big oak tree – however, he is buried downtown Charleston at St. Philip’s Episcopal Churchyard.
This site is free to visit and dog-friendly (because dogs enjoy learning about history and the environment through smells, says Charlotte). After our visit, we went to Isle of Palms Beach for low tide, and found many shells and saw starfish chilling all over the place. On a Monday morning, the beach was empty, peaceful, and quiet besides the waves rolling in. The same could not be said the next time we visited – on the first warm and beautiful Saturday down here in March!