The Pinckney Building
Family patriarch Thomas Pinckney arrived in Carolina in 1692 after spending a brief time as a privateer in the West Indies. He became a merchant in Charles Town and purchased lots in the city and land on the Ashepoo and Ashley Rivers that would be developed by his descendants. Thomas’s son Charles, like many Low Country planters was active in politics, serving as assemblyman for St. Philip’s Parish, Speaker of the Commons House, and a member of the South Carolina Royal Council. Charles may be equally well-known for his marriage to Eliza Lucas, who changed agriculture in colonial South Carolina by developing indigo as one of its most important cash crops. Its cultivation and processing as dye produced one-third the total value of the colony's exports before the Revolutionary War.
The ties between the Pinckney and Middleton families began in 1773 when Charles and Eliza’s son Charles Cotesworth Pinckney married Sarah Middleton, the seventeen-year-old daughter of Henry and Mary Middleton. Bonds were strengthened during the Revolutionary War when Eliza and her daughter Harriot provided refuge for many of the Middleton women, including Sarah, her sister Henrietta, and sister-in-law Mary (Arthur’s wife).The couple had four children before Sarah’s untimely death in 1784 at age twenty-eight.