George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, 11 July 1789

From Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

Charleston [S.C.] July 11. 1789

Dear General,

Capn Tate who served with great reputation in the Continental Regiment of Artillery attached to the line of this State, does not find his Military ardour abated either by the seven years war or the seven years of peace which have succeeded the War; but he is still anxious to enlarge his fund of military experience by serving in the armies of the Porte1—Altho’ he could have sailed to France in his way to Turkey immediately from this State, he thought it would be improper to leave the Continent with a view of entering into a foreign Service without requesting your permission so to do, & receiving any commands you may think proper to give him. I knew him well during the whole time of his being in the army & can vouch for his bravery, intelligence & honour.

It was an idea of old Mr Lynch with whom you served in Congress in the Year 1774 that the Interest of this State would be much promoted if we could send our Rice to Turkey.2 Some Cargoes were sent there with profit, notwithstanding the enormous premium paid to the English Turkey Company for liberty to trade there—Dr Turnbull of this City resided there for a number of years & speaks very highly of the advantages that would accrue to us from such a trade; as all the Turks eat Rice, and the continual commotions in Egypt render the supply from thence very precarious.3 I should apprehend the Eastern States would also be glad of such a Markett for their oil & fish, & all the States for their lumber & various other Articles—and as the Turks are not a very commercial people, such a trade would greatly encrease our shipping. Capn Tate does not seek any office or place, but I apprehend that while he is pursuing his military plans, the information he may transmitt to America relative to the situation of Turkey & the practicability of having a commerce with that Country notwithstanding the Algerines may be very useful, if you will permit him to write on those Subjects—With every sentiment of gratitude & esteem—I remain Your most obliged & obedt hble Sert

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

ALS, DNA:PCC, item 78.

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (1746–1825), a member of a prominent Charleston, S.C., family, became acquainted with GW in late 1777 when he spent over four months with GW’s army in the North before he returned to the campaign in the South. By the end of the war Pinckney was a brigadier general. He and GW met again at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, and Pinckney and his wife stopped at Mount Vernon on their way home from the convention (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:193). In 1796 GW appointed Pinckney to succeed James Monroe as minister to France (Executive Journal, description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America: From the commencement of the First, to the termination of the Nineteenth Congress. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C., 1828. description ends 1:217).

2Thomas Lynch (1727–1776), a South Carolina planter, was involved in shipping and other mercantile ventures before the Revolution and served frequently in the South Carolina assembly. A leader in the nonimportation movement in South Carolina, Lynch was elected to the First and Second Continental Congresses.

3Andrew Turnbull (c.1718–1792), a Scots physician, had traveled widely in the Near East and married the daughter of a Greek merchant of Smyrna. In the early 1760s he moved to St. Augustine with his family, acquiring from the British government a grant of more than twenty-thousand acres of land. In May 1767 he was appointed secretary of the East Florida council. In the same year Turnbull concocted a grandiose scheme to locate a large number of immigrants from the Mediterranean at a settlement to be called New Smyrna, sixty miles south of St. Augustine, and in 1768 over fourteen hundred settlers, some from the Peloponnesus but most from Minorca and Leghorn, sailed from Gibraltar for Florida. Although moderately successful at first, the experiment eventually failed and many of the settlers moved to St. Augustine. Turnbull himself, under suspicion of misconduct and heavily involved in legal proceedings, moved to British-occupied Charleston, S.C., in 1781. After the British evacuation of the city he was one of two British merchants invited to remain in the city, although he declined becoming an American citizen. In the 1780s Turnbull resumed his profession and was one of the founders of the South Carolina Medical Society.

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