Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, 25 Feb 1746 - 25 Aug 1825
Oil on canvas
Stretcher: 76.7 x 64 x 3.8cm (30 3/16 x 25 3/16 x 1 1/2")
Frame: 92.7 x 79.4 x 6.7cm (36 1/2 x 31 1/4 x 2 5/8")
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Frame conserved with funds from the Smithsonian Women's Committee
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney posed for his portrait around 1773 in the red coat (traces of which remain) of the Charles Town colonial militia. By 1775, despite formative years spent in England, Pinckney was an enthusiastic rebel. He asked artist Henry Benbridge to repaint the uniform, showing him as a captain in the second South Carolina regiment raised to go against the British. Pinckney, a friend remarked, had "a passion for glory and Zeal for the cause of his country."
Military glory eluded Pinckney-he was fated to participate in a string of defeats, never in victory-but seven years of faithful service won him the rank of brigadier general at the close of the war. Pinckney made his mark not as a soldier, but as a framer of the Constitution, an envoy to revolutionary France, and a Federalist presidential candidate.
(Kennedy Galleries, New York); purchased 1967 NPG.