George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 14 November 1797]

14. Remarkable fine morning but lowering & windy from No. W. in the afternoon. Mer. 58 & 42. Mrs. Ramsay, Mr. & Mrs. Potts Mr. Wilson, Mr. Harrison & Da[ughter] & son dined here. In the afternoon Majr. Pinckney & Lady arrived.

Maj. Thomas Pinckney (1750–1828), of South Carolina, was the son of Charles and Eliza Lucas Pinckney and brother of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. Reared and educated in England, Pinckney attended the Inner Temple and was admitted to the bar in 1774. He returned to America and served in the Continental Army, receiving a promotion to major of the 1st South Carolina Regiment in 1778. From 1792 to 1796 he served as minister to Great Britain and from 1794 to 1795 was in Spain as special commissioner and envoy to settle the outstanding differences between the United States and Spain. In 1796 Pinckney was the Federalist candidate for vice-president. At the present time he was a member of the House of Representatives from South Carolina. Pinckney’s first wife, Elizabeth Motte Pinckney, had died while he was in England, and on 19 Oct. 1797 he had married her sister, Frances Motte Middleton, widow of John Middleton. The Pinckneys were undoubtedly on their way to Philadelphia for the new session of Congress.

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