James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Charles Pinckney, 18 December 1811

From Charles Pinckney

In Columbia December 18: 1811

Dear Sir

It is some time 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 I have drawn & submitted to the House of Representatives & which has just unanimously passed without the alteration of a single word:1 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.

Although 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 negroes & all our planters nearly in the Upper & middle parts of the State (3/4th 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 Gibat2 a member fr[om] Abbeville is 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.

Your address to Congress has met with universal approbation here & the general wish is that the Congress will act up to it & on this Subject We have no doubt. I must request you to believe me with great respect & Esteem dear sir Yours Truly

Charles Pinckney

I expect the Speaker will sign & transmit the address by the next post.


1Although Pinckney apparently did not enclose a copy of his report in this letter, he sent a printed copy to James Monroe in a similar letter of the same date (DNA: RG 59, ML), which he asked Monroe to show to JM. The report of “the Committee appointed on that part of his Excellency the Governor’s Message, No. 1, which relate to our foreign relations” included the address to the president recommended by the committee. Pinckney made several corrections on the printed copy and signed his name as “Chairman” following the report. Speaker John Geddes forwarded the address to JM on 22 Dec. 1811.

2Peter Gibert (1755?–1815) was a Huguenot from Languedoc who had moved to London in 1770 before settling in South Carolina in 1772. He represented the Abbeville District in the South Carolina General Assembly, 1807–12 (Edgar et al., Biographical Directory of the South Carolina House of Representatives, 4:229–30).

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