Thomas Jefferson Papers

Charles Pinckney to Thomas Jefferson, 18 December 1811

From Charles Pinckney

December 18: 1811 In Columbia

Dear Sir

It is sometime since I had the pleasure to write to you but as I know the pleasure you will feel in finding that the Spirit of our first revolutionary Years still exists I take the liberty of inclosing you a Report which at the request of a Committee I have drawn & submitted to this House & which has just unanimously passed without the alteration of a single word—

As the Post goes out in an hour & I am now writing in the midst of the House of Representatives I have only time to inclose it to you & to say that the Spirit of our state is fully up to it & are only waiting the Signal that Congress will unfurl the Standard of the Nation, to rally round it—

allthough less in a situation to promote manufactures than the Northern States for want of sufficient white hands & Wool yet we are beginning to emulate them—great numbers of our planters this Year clothe their own negros & all our planters nearly in the Upper & middle parts of the state (¾th of our white population—) are now clothed in homespun—more than ½ of the house of Representatives in which I now write are clothed in it & Mr Gibert a member for Abbeville is at this moment sitting close to me dressed in a suit made from a mixture of wool & silk, both the Growth of his own plantation so handsomely & finely woven & dyed that it would do honour to any manufacture in Europe—

with the most affectionate respect & Esteem I am dear sir always Your’s Truly

Charles Pinckney

RC (DLC); dateline beneath signature; endorsed by TJ as received 14 Jan. 1812 and so recorded in SJL.

Pinckney chaired a committee of the South Carolina House of Representatives appointed to consider the portion of Gov. Henry Middleton’s annual message relating to foreign relations. The enclosed report stated that “they could not avoid being deeply impressed with a sense of the injuries and humiliations inflicted on our beloved country, by the unprecedented and violent conduct of the belligerents of Europe” and hoped “that such a stand will be taken by the general government, at the present session of its legislature, as will effectually tend to secure the free enjoyment of the rights we are entitled to by the laws of nations.” It added that, “France having withdrawn her obnoxious decrees, its now to be expected that Great Britain will follow her example … if she does not, a vigorous and decisive resort will be had to those means of defence, with which a bountiful providence has so amply supplied us, and which, in the opinion of your committee, are the only alternatives for the consideration of a government, worthy of conducting the destinies of the republic.” The report also included a similarly patriotic address to President James Madison (printed broadside in DNA: RG 59, MLR, filed at 18 Dec. 1811).

Pinckney sent similar letters to Madison and to James Monroe on 18 Dec. 1811, and the South Carolina House of Representatives unanimously approved the address the same day and sent it to Madison on 22 Dec. 1811 (Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, John C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, 1962– , 29 vols.: Congress. Ser., 17 vols.; Pres. Ser., 5 vols.; Sec. of State Ser., 7 vols description ends , Pres. Ser., 4:75–6, 83–7; letter to Monroe in DNA: RG 59, MLR).

Index Entries

  • Gibert, Peter; in S.C. legislature search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Madison, James; and report of S.C. House of Representatives search
  • manufacturing, household; cloth search
  • Middleton, Henry; governor of S.C. search
  • Pinckney, Charles; and domestic manufacturing search
  • Pinckney, Charles; and report of S.C. legislature search
  • Pinckney, Charles; letters from search
  • politics; in S.C. search
  • slaves; clothing for search
  • South Carolina; and domestic manufacturing search
  • South Carolina; and U.S. foreign affairs search
  • textiles; home manufacture of search
  • textiles; silk search
  • textiles; wool search
  • wool; cloth search
  • wool; used for clothing search