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Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Henry Benbridge, 20 Oct 1743 - 25 Jan 1812
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, 25 Feb 1746 - 25 Aug 1825
c. 1773
Oil on canvas
Stretcher: 76.7 x 64 x 3.8cm (30 3/16 x 25 3/16 x 1 1/2")
Frame: 92.7 x 79.4 x 6.7cm (36 1/2 x 31 1/4 x 2 5/8")
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney: Male
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney: Law and Crime\Lawyer
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney: Politics and Government\Presidential candidate
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney: Military and Intelligence\Army\Officer\Revolutionary War Army officer
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney: Politics and Government\Diplomat
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney: Military and Intelligence\Army\Officer\General
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney: Politics and Government\Diplomat\Minister
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney: Politics and Government\US Congressman\South Carolina
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney: Politics and Government\Governor\South Carolina
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney: Politics and Government\Statesman\Signer of Constitution
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney: Politics and Government\State Senator\South Carolina
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney: Military and Intelligence\Prisoner of War
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; frame conserved with funds from the Smithsonian Women's Committee
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
Script # E142-08 wall label AU: GDS WC:144
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Born Charles Town (now Charleston), South Carolina
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney was a leading South Carolina lawyer, military figure, and statesman, whose wealth stemmed from the labor of those he enslaved on his rice plantations. Educated in England, he was an active participant in the colonial government and served in the royal militia before siding with the rebels and becoming a captain in the Continental Army.
Around 1773, Henry Benbridge portrayed Pinckney in a red British uniform coat. Pinckney later asked the artist to repaint the garment’s color to represent his new allegiance. Traces of red remain visible along the edges of the sitter’s left sleeve.
After the Revolution, Pinckney served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. When Northern delegates argued that the Constitution should ban the import of African people, he proposed the compromise that allowed it to continue for another twenty years, until 1808.
Henry Benbridge (1743–1812)
Oil on canvas, c. 1773
Framed conserved with funds from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Nacido en Charles Town (hoy Charleston), Carolina del Sur
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney era un prominente abogado, militar y estadista de Carolina del Sur cuya riqueza provenía del trabajo de personas esclavizadas en sus plantaciones de arroz. Educado en Inglaterra, participó activamente en el gobierno colonial y sirvió en la milicia real antes de aliarse a los rebeldes y ser capitán en el Ejército Continental.
Hacia 1773, Henry Benbridge lo retrató con la casaca roja del uniforme británico. Luego Pinckney pidió al artista que repintara la ropa para reflejar su nueva filiación. En los bordes de la manga izquierda aún pueden verse rastros del rojo.
Tras la Revolución, Pinckney fue delegado a la Convención Constitucional de 1787. Cuando los delegados del norte alegaron que la Constitución debía prohibir la importación de personas africanas, Pinckney propuso un término medio que permitió continuar la práctica 20 años más, hasta 1808.
Henry Benbridge (1743–1812)
Óleo sobre lienzo, c. 1773
Marco conservado con fondos del Smithsonian Women’s Committee
(Kennedy Galleries, New York); purchased 1967 NPG.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Out of Many: Portraits from 1600 to 1900
On View
NPG, East Gallery 142