Charles Pinckney National Historic Site
1214 Middle Street
Sullivan's Island, South Carolina 29482
WELCOME to Charles Pinckney National Historic Site
The Forgotten Founder
Charles Pinckney was a principal author and a signer of the United
States Constitution. This remnant of his coastal plantation is preserved
to tell the story of a "forgotten founder," his life of public
service, the lives of enslaved African Americans on South Carolina
Lowcountry plantations and their influences on Charles Pinckney.
The early years of the South Carolina Lowcountry represented a
microcosm of events occurring in the new Republic. In 1776, the signers
of the Declaration of Independence heralded the formation of the United
By the mid-1780s, the new nation�s government experienced growing
pains, and statesmen realized the need to restructure the foundation of
the fledgling government. Charles Pinckney, a native and leader of the
South Carolina Lowcountry, was one of the men to mold and shape this
structure into the Constitution.
Snee Farm, Pinckney�s coastal plantation, offers an opportunity to
learn about the cultural environment that influenced Pinckney and his
contributions to the framing of the Constitution, and is an important
element in the understanding of the first 30 to 40 years of the United
States as a young nation.
The wealth of elite South Carolina Lowcountry families was reflected
in their numerous plantations. Unlike their counterparts in Virginia,
however, these families also owned houses in Charleston and frequently
moved from town to plantation and back, depending on the season.
Snee Farm, a favorite �country seat,� was among the many
properties owned by the Pinckneys. Purchased by his father in 1754, the
715-acre estate was inherited by Pinckney in 1782. President George
Washington visited the site in 1791 while touring the southern states.
Often an absentee landlord while serving his country here and abroad,
Pinckney was forced to sell Snee Farm in 1817 to satisfy his debts. The
property had been greatly mismanaged during his absence and had
diminished in value.
Today, only 28 of the 715 acres remain essentially undeveloped. The
current house, built in the early 19th century, probably replaced the
Did You Know?
Charles Pinckney National Historic Site is the only site in the National
Park System that was owned by a signer of the United States
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