Andrew Pickens, Jr.

16th Governor of the State of South Carolina 1816 to 1818

Date Born: December 13, 1779

Date Died: July 1, 1838

Place Born: Edgefield County, SC

Place Buried: Old Stone Church Cemetery in Clemson, SC

Residence: Edgefield, SC    

Occupation: Planter, Lt. Colonel in US Army, Bank President

College of New Jersey

Gov. Andrew Pickens, Jr., the son of Revolutionary War hero Brig. Gen. Andrew Pickens and Rebecca Floride (Calhoun) Pickens, was born on December 13, 1779 in the Ninety-Six District, in what later became Edgefield County.

He was raised a Presbyterian and educated at the College of New Jersey (Princeton). Another source asserts that he was educated at Rhode Island College (Brown) where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1801. He returned home and studied law (1803-1805) and pursued agricultural interests. In 1805, his father gave him part of Hopewell Planation on the Seneca River, and he made his home there for many years.

In 1806, Pickens was appointed a commissioner to superintend the construction of a courthouse in the Pendleton District. He held other similar commissions in and around the Pendleton District from 1808-1816.

In 1810, Andrew Pickens, Jr. was elected to represent the Pendleton District in the House of Representatives of the:
- 19th General Assembly that met from 1810-1812
- 20th General Assembly that met from 1812-1813

On March 12, 1812, Andrew Pickens, Jr. was commissioned a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812 and he first commanded the 10th Regiment of U.S. Regulars and later the 43rd Infantry (April 1814) on the Canadian frontier. He resigned this commission on June 15, 1814. Afterwards, he was elected a full Colonel (December 1814) to command one of the two regiments raised by South Carolina for the defense of Charleston.

After that war, he returned home to establish his plantation, "Oatlands," in Edgefield District and to practice law. He also established a residence, "Halcyon Grove," in the village of Edgefield and married Susannah Smith Wilkinson on April 19, 1804. They had one son, Francis Wilkinson Pickens, who became a U.S. Congressman and also governor of South Carolina, and one daughter, Susan Wilkinson Pickens, who married James M. Calhoun. Pickens married a second time to Mary Willing Nelson, and they had no children.

Andrew Pickens, Jr. was a Presidential Elector from the 3rd District of North Carolina in 1813.

On December 5, 1816, the South Carolina General Assembly elected Andrew Pickens, Jr. as governor by secret ballot. During his administration, a program of internal improvements was begun using public funds. Pickens championed the construction of roads and canals. The price of cotton rose to a high point that was not exceeded at any other time in South Carolina during the antebellum period. The city of Charleston was struck with yet another disastrous Yellow Fever epidemic in the summer of 1817. He served as governor until December 1818.

In 1819, after leaving office, Andrew Pickens, Jr. moved to Alabama and was appointed the President of the Alabama Bank. In 1820, he received a commission from the U.S. Congress with full power and authority to hold conferences and make treaties with the Creek Indians of Georgia. For a period of time around 1829, he lived in Augusta, GA. Growing up living near Indians, he had a very tight bond with them.

Pickens died July 1, 1838, near Pontotock, Mississippi, and was subsequently interred at Old Stone Church Cemetery in Clemson, South Carolina.

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