George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Charles Pinckney, 4 July 1790

From Charles Pinckney

Charleston [S.C.] July 4: 1790

Dear Sir,

I had the honour of writing you by the Maria some weeks ago1—since which I have heard that Colonel Willett had proceeded by Land, with Mr McGillivray & a number of the Creek Chiefs on a Visit to New York.2 As this confidence in them in consenting to travel through the Country has induced the inhabitants of our frontiers to suppose that every thing either is accommodated or in a fair way of being so, I will be much obliged to you for the earliest information of a peace being concluded with the terms they may have agreed to, that I may have the pleasing opportunity of removing the anxieties of a number of very deserving men who live in their neighbourhood.

This will be delivered to you by Mr Chesnut3 a very worthy man who resides in our interior Country & who is on a Visit to the Northern States—he proposes to return in October & will with pleasure forward any dispatches you may commit to his Care.4

I am pleased to find that you are perfectly recovered from your late indisposition5 & with requesting your goodness to excuse the trouble I am sometimes obliged to give you I remain with the highest Regard and Esteem Dear Sir much obliged yours truly

Charles Pinckney

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters.

1The sloop Maria, Capt. William Elliott, provided regular packet service between New York and Charleston, S.C. (see New-York Daily Gazette, 2 and 5 July 1790, and the Daily Advertiser [New York], 8 July 1790). For the text of Pinckney’s earlier letter to GW of 14 June 1790, see GW to Pinckney, 8 July 1790, n.2.

3John Chesnut (Chesnutt, Chestnut; 1743–1813) was born in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and moved to South Carolina with his mother and stepfather in 1756. He became a successful Camden area merchant and slaveholder by the 1770s. During the Revolutionary War he served as a captain in Col. William Thomson’s 3d South Carolina Regiment and was captured at the fall of Charleston in May 1780. He served in both houses of the South Carolina legislature and voted for the federal Constitution as a member of the state ratifying convention in 1788. Chesnut was a member of the state constitutional convention, which had adjourned on 3 June 1790. GW attended a public dinner at Chesnut’s house in Camden during his southern tour in May 1791. Chesnut was buried at the family’s Knight’s Hill plantation in 1813, not 1818 as noted in Bio. Dir. of the S.C. House of Representatives, description begins Joan Schreiner Reynolds Faunt et al., eds. Biographical Directory of the South Carolina House of Representatives. 4 vols. Columbia, S.C., 1974–84. description ends 3:138, 140 (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 6:147–48; Lloyd, “Inscriptions from Camden Cemeteries,” 48; Greene and O’Neill, S.C. Historical Mag., Index, description begins South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine. Charleston, 1900—. description ends 64, 370).

4On 10 July 1790 Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, a cousin of Gov. Charles Pinckney and one of GW’s aides-de-camp during the Revolution, also wrote GW from Charleston, introducing his “friend Mr Chesnutt [who] will pay his respects to you on his arrival at New-York. He is a gentleman of worth and fortune, and of very great influence in our interior country. He has never before been out of Carolina and intends to amuse himself this summer in travelling through the Middle and Eastern States. As you may not yet have seen a copy of our new Constitution, I have desired him to take charge of one for you” (DLC:GW).

5For GW’s illness of May 1790 and his recovery the following month, see William Jackson to Clement Biddle, 12 May 1790, editorial note, and Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 6:76–77.

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