Andrew Pickens (1779 - 1838)

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Birthplace: Edgefield, SC, USA
Death: Died in Pontotoc, MS, USA
Occupation: Govenor of South Carolina, American military and political leader who served as the 46th Governor of South Carolina from 1816 until 1818
Managed by: Doug Robinson
Last Updated:

About Andrew Pickens

Pickens was the son of the well-known American Revolutionary general Andrew Pickens (1739–1817). He was born on his father's plantation on the Savannah River in Horse Creek Valley in Edgefield County, South Carolina. He was raised a Presbyterian and educated at the College of New Jersey. Pickens served as a lieutenant-colonel in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812, and returned home to establish a plantation, "Oatlands," in Edgefield County and practice law. He also established a residence, "Halcyon Grove," in the village of Edgefield and married Susannah Smith Wilkinson.

On December 5, 1816, the South Carolina General Assembly elected Pickens as the 46th governor by secret ballot. He served from 1816 until 1818. During his term of office, fellow South Carolina politician and cousin of Pickens mother, Rebecca Floride (nee Colhoun), John C. Calhoun, was named U.S. Secretary of War. 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 a disastrous yellow fever epidemic. After leaving office, Pickens moved to Alabama and helped negotiate a treaty with the Creek Indians of Georgia. For a period of time around 1829, he lived in Augusta.

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

His son, Francis Wilkinson Pickens (1805–1869) was a U.S. Congressman and the Governor of South Carolina when the state seceded from the Union in 1860

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Pickens_(governor) -------------------- Chattanooga Quarterly 2004

Who Was General Andrew PickensReprinted with permission from the U.S. Forest Service

General Andrew Pickens, the “Wizard Owl”

Long before Harry Potter, the upstate of South Carolina had it’s own Wizard Owl. Known by the Cherokee as Skyagunsta, or the Wizard Owl as a tribute to his skill as a warrior, General Andrew Pickens played an important role in the history of the state and the nation. Pickens, the stern old Presbyterian, was also known as the “Fighting Elder.” He was a veteran Indian fighter and took part in several decisive battles with the British during the American Revolution including the battle of Cowpens that turned the tide of war in favor of the Americans. He, along with Thomas Sumter, the “Gamecock,” and Francis Marion, the “Swamp Fox,” were the fathers of the guerilla tactics that enabled the outgunned and out numbered American army to defeat the larger and better equipped British forces. Pickens was viewed by some historians as a courageous hero and by others as one who exploited the Cherokee, killing them and burning their villages as a soldier, while at the same time amassing a personal fortune in Indian trade. Paradoxical as his life may have seemed, an elder and a warrior, a farmer and a trader, respected by the Cherokee as a soldier and yet their enemy, Pickens nonetheless was a tactical genius and a man of true courage. Here is a brief history of General Andrew Pickens, the Wizard Owl, whose life has left an indelible mark on our culture and our history.

General Andrew Pickens is the namesake for the mountain district of the Sumter National Forest in the northwest corner of South Carolina. An able commander of South Carolina rebel militia during the American Revolution, Pickens was born near Paxtang, Pennsylvania, of Scots Irish immigrants. His family moved south to the Waxhaws with other Scots Irish families in the mid 1700s. Andrew Pickens served in the Cherokee War of 1760-1761 and was an officer in a provincial regiment that accompanied Colonel James Grant and British regulars in an expedition against the Lower Cherokee towns in 1761. He moved in 1764 to the Long Cane Creek settlement in Abbeville County where he married Rebecca Calhoun, aunt of John C. Calhoun. In 1768, Pickens built a blockhouse at the future location of Abbeville, to defend against Indian attack and to serve as his base for the Indian trading business.

Pickens, an elder in the Presbyterian Church, was described as a severe, dour, Scots Irishman of few words. He fathered six children. Much of his future wealth was built on trade with the Cherokees. He was also a farmer, justice of the peace, and church leader at the outbreak of the Revolution. He became a captain of rebel militia under Andrew Williamson at Ninety Six in 1775 and took part in the 1775 Snow Campaign against loyalist militia in the piedmont. A majority of the settlers in the back country remained loyal to the king or did not support rebellion.

The Cherokees attacked several settlements along the frontier and killed many settlers in July 1776. Captain Andrew Pickens led militiamen from the Long Canes in Williamson's expedition to burn the Lower Cherokee towns in northern South Carolina. The settlements of Essenecca (Seneca), Tomassee, Jocassee, Estatoe, Tugaloo, Brass Town, Cane Creek, Chehohee, Qualhatchee, Toxaway, Chittitogo, Sugar Town, Keowee, and others were destroyed. Andrew Pickens was leading a detachment of 25 men to destroy Tamassee when they were attacked by a large Cherokee force estimated at over 150 men and surrounded in an open field. The militiamen formed a small circle and fired out at the surrounding Indians in what came to be called the “Ring Fight.” Pickens won the fight after being reinforced. Following the destruction of the Lower Cherokee towns, Williamson conducted a campaign into Georgia and North Carolina to destroy the Cherokee Valley Towns. Andrew Pickens was elected major for this expedition. Williamson's forces fought five battles with the Cherokees and destroyed 32 towns and villages in the Lower and Valley settlements.

Major Pickens served in General Williamson’s army in 1778 in a failed attempt to take British St. Augustine. In the spring of 1778, he was appointed colonel of the Regiment of Ninety Six South Carolina Militia. The British occupied Augusta and were recruiting loyalist troops in the western piedmont when Andrew Pickens’ militia surprised and defeated a loyalist force of 700 men gathered at Kettle Creek about 50 miles northwest of Augusta. The British were forced to withdraw from Augusta and serious efforts by them to control the back country were suspended until the fall of Charleston in 1780. After Charleston was surrendered to the British, Andrew Pickens, along with many other rebel leaders accepted parole and British rule.

When loyalists burned his home and plundered his property in late 1780, Pickens informed the British that they had violated the terms of his parole and he was rejoining the rebels. He was soon leading operations in the vicinity of Ninety Six and over to Georgia. Pickens cooperated well with Continental forces. He was in charge of the South Carolina militia at the Battle of Cowpens in January 1781. There, with Continental troops under General Daniel Morgan, the rebels won a great victory over British regulars commanded by Colonel Banastre Tarleton. Following the Battle at Cowpens, Andrew Pickens command worked with the Continental Army under Nathaniel Greene in North Carolina.

After the Battle at Weitzel’s Mill, Andrew Pickens’ South Carolina and Georgia militia were called home from North Carolina to defend local rebel interests and missed the major battle at Guilford Courthouse. General Pickens worked with Colonel Elijah Clarke in harassing British forces in the area between Ninety Six and Augusta. The British in Augusta surrendered to Pickens, Clarke, and Continental troops under Colonel “Light Horse Harry” Lee in April 1781. The Star Fort at Ninety Six withstood a siege and attack by General Greene and the Continental Army in June. As Greene withdrew from Ninety Six, he instructed Pickens to harass the enemy and most importantly keep peace between the rebels and loyalists in the back country. In July the British destroyed the fort and village at Ninety Six and withdrew south.

See mountain picture under "pictures"

Pickens Nose is a 4,900 ft. mountain that lies on an ancient Indian trail near Rabun Gap, where Pickens once fought the Cherokee.

As the British withdrew, Andrew Pickens gave strict orders to his men to observe justice, and restore peace and order. He soon joined General Nathaniel Greene who was moving to attach the British under Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Stewart on the Santee River. At the Battle of Eutaw Springs on September 8, Pickens was shot off of his horse by a bullet which hit the buckle of his sword belt. He was not seriously wounded, but the wound troubled him in later years. The battle ended in a draw.

In September, while General Pickens was recuperating from his wound, the Cherokees attacked settlements on the western frontier. With the withdrawal of the British Army, Governor Rutledge moved to re-establish civil government in South Carolina. In January 1782, Andrew Pickens became a member of the South Carolina General Assembly. Recovered from his wound, in March 1782, Pickens led a force again against the Lower Cherokees and burned several villages in Oconee County.

In 1785, he met with the Cherokee at the Treaty of Hopewell where the Indians ceded their lands to the state.

In 1787, Pickens moved to Seneca and his plantation at Hopewell. About 1802, he moved to the site of the former Cherokee Village Tomassee, near where he had the “ring fight” in 1776 and built a plantation which he named after the village. Pickens lived at Tamassee until 1817. He remained an elder in the Presbyterian Church and was the first United States congressman from the Pendleton District.

The Andrew Pickens Ranger District was named after this early South Carolina military and political leader. His final home at Tamassee is located at the eastern edge of the district. The General Pickens District began with land acquired in 1914 in what was called the Savannah Purchase Unit under the authority of the 1911 Weeks Act. It became part of the Sumter National Forest by presidential proclamation in 1936.

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Andrew PickensBy G. Scott Withrow, Park Ranger

Andrew Pickens was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, on September 19, 1739. Like many of the Scots-Irish1, Andrew and his family moved south, traveling the Great Wagon Road2 in search of new land. Records show they lived first in Augusta County in the Shenandoah3 Valley of Virginia, later in the Waxhaw4 settlement along the North Carolina-South Carolina border, and, eventually, in the Long Cane5 settlement in Abbeville County, South Carolina, bordering Georgia.

It was in the Long Canes that young Andrew Pickens would marry and begin a family. He not only farmed and raised cattle as many of the other Scots-Irish; he became acquainted with his Indian neighbors through a prosperous trading business. As the American Revolution approached feelings were strong in the South from the start, its inhabitants split between Patriots6 and Loyalists7 (or Whigs and Tories). Pickens, as many of his Scots-Irish neighbors, was an ardent Patriot.

It was in the Long Canes, too, that he emerged as a military leader, first in expeditions against the Cherokee, who had allied with the Loyalists in hopes of retaining their lands. In 1779, Pickens was to distinguish himself in a Revolutionary War battle. That year, British commander Sir Henry Clinton sent British soldiers to South Carolina and North Georgia to encourage Loyalist support. Colonel Pickens and his three-hundred man militia, in efforts to aid the Patriot cause, overtook and defeated a much larger force of 700-800 men under Colonel Boyd at Kettle Creek in North Georgia just south of the Long Canes.

The victory at Kettle Creek slowed the recruitment of Loyalists, but by 1780, the British dominated as they took Charleston, captured the southern continental army, and swept inland from coastal Carolina. The situation looked gloomy -- so much so -that Pickens and other militia leaders surrendered to the British, and, on oath, agreed to sit out the war under British protection.

Pickens’ parole was not to last, however. When Tory raiders destroyed much of his property and frightened his family, he gathered his militia once again and resumed guerilla activities against the British. He was soon to play a key role in defeating British Colonel Tarleton at the Battle of Cowpens, January 17, 1781. The victory came at a crucial time for Patriots in the South who had been repeatedly forced to retreat. Andrew Pickens, who with his militia, arrived as reinforcements, urged Morgan to make a stand. According to one source, Pickens offered to stand alone with his militia if necessary.

Morgan was convinced to make a stand and relied heavily on Pickens’ militia in the ensuing battle. The militia, in fact, got off two shots before their planned retreat, something not done in previous battles, and reformed to help envelop the enemy. The bravery of the militia, combined with the well-disciplined Continental troops and William Washington’s cavalry, won the day in the battle that turned the tide for American forces in the south.

After the Revolution, Pickens acquired land in frontier South Carolina on the banks of the Keowee River, across from the old Cherokee town of Seneca. There, he built a house he called Hopewell and lived life as part of the backcountry elite. There, too, he served as a political middleman between the Cherokees and the new American nation and sympathized with Indian causes in his later years. Andrew Pickens borrowed heavily from Cherokee warfare skills and used those skills in partisan warfare including the courageous and brilliant victory at Cowpens. For his "spirited conduct" at Cowpens, the Continental Congress presented Pickens with a sword and the State of South Carolina promoted him to Brigadier-General in the state militia.



Glossary

1 Scots-Irish – Scottish Calvinists (Presbyterian) of Lowland (southern) Scotland who removed to Ireland and later migrated to America in the early eighteenth century. In many instances, they were seen as frontier people and served as a buffer between the colonies and Indians. They played an important role in the Revolutionary War.

2 Great Wagon Road – A wagon road stretching from Philadelphia, south to the Carolinas, used by countless pioneer families traveling south from the early 1700s to the Civil War.

3 Shenandoah – Shenandoah is often translated as "Daughter of the Stars" (from Native-American origins). The Shenandoah Valley was described as prairie-like because of Native-American use of fire as a hunting tool.

4 Waxhaws - A number of theories exist for the origin of the word Waxhaws.

  1. Named after the Waxhaw Indians, the word "Waxhaw", not translated;
  2. Anglicized word referring to the Waxhaw Indians and also meaning: The Waxhaws were named for the waxy-looking haw and "hawfields", prominent because of Native-American use of fire. 

The Waxhaw settlement was just off the Great Wagon Road, including today, parts of both Carolinas in an area southeast of Charlotte.

5 Long Cane – The Long Canes were named for the native canes that grew and formed dense canebrakes in the bottomlands. Again, these were sustained through Native-American use of fire as a cultural tool. The Scots-Irish settlement there inherited a region full of deer and other game, including the Buffalo. Because of its proximity to the trading path to the Indian village of Keowee, Long Cane, more than any other settlement, was an intercultural settlement. The Long Cane settlement was in present-day Abbeville County.

6 Patriots (Whigs) – Those Americans who supported the colonists against Britain in the American Revolution.

7 Loyalists (Tories) – Those Americans loyal to Britain in the American Revolution.



Bibliography

Babits, Lawrence E. A Devil of a Whipping – The Battle of Cowpens. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1998. *

Bearss, Edwin C. Battle of Cowpens: A Documented Narrative and Troop Movement Maps. Johnson City, Tennessee: The Overmountain Press, 1996. *

Boatner, Mark M. Encyclopedia of the American Revolution. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books, 1994. *

Buchanan, John. The Road to Guilford Courthouse: The American Revolution in the Carolinas. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1997. *

Hatley, Tom. The Dividing Paths: Cherokees and South Carolinians Through the Revolutionary Era. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. *

Hilborn, Nat and Sam. Battleground of Freedom. Columbia, South Carolina: Sandlapper Press, Inc., 1970.

Ketchum, Richard M. The American Heritage Book of the Revolution. New York: American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc., 1971.

Majtenyi, Joan E. Andrew Pickens. Oconee County Historical Society, 1992.

Morrill, Dan L. Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution. Baltimore: The Nautical and Aviation Publishing Company of America, 1992. *

Moss, Bobby Gilmer. The Patriots at the Cowpens. Revised Edition. Blacksburg, South Carolina: Scotia Press, 1994. *

National Park Service. Cowpens – Official National Park Handbook. Washington, D. C.: Division of Publications, National Park Service, U. S. Department of the Interior, 1988. Also titled as Downright Fighting, The Story of Cowpens by Thomas J. Fleming. *

Skelton, Lynda Worley. General Andrew Pickens: An Autobiography. Pendleton, South Carolina: Pendleton District Historical and Recreational Commission, 1976.

  • Available for purchase at Cowpens National Battlefield Visitors Center. Online bookstore.

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http://www.nps.gov/cowp/pickens.htm; Last Updated: 2/8/05 2:48PM; HTML donated by volunteer: John Robertson -------------------- Andrew Pickens, Jr. (December 13, 1779 – July 1, 1838) was an American military and political leader who served as the 46th Governor of South Carolina from 1816 until 1818.

[edit] Biography

Pickens was the son of the well-known American Revolutionary general Andrew Pickens (1739–1817). He was born on his father's plantation on the Savannah River in Horse Creek Valley in Edgefield County, South Carolina. He was raised a Presbyterian and educated at the College of New Jersey. Pickens served as a lieutenant-colonel in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812, and returned home to establish a plantation, "Oatlands," in Edgefield County and practice law. He also established a residence, "Halcyon Grove," in the village of Edgefield and married Susannah Smith Wilkinson.

On December 5, 1816, the South Carolina General Assembly elected Pickens as governor by secret ballot. During his term of office fellow South Carolina politician and cousin of Pickens mother, Rebecca Floride (nee Colhoun), John C. Calhoun, was named U.S. Secretary of War. 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 a disastrous yellow fever epidemic. After leaving office, Pickens moved to Alabama and helped negotiate a treaty with the Creek Indians of Georgia. For a period of time around 1829, he lived in Augusta.

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

His son, Francis Wilkinson Pickens (1805–1869) was a U.S. Congressman and the Governor of South Carolina when the state seceded from the Union in 1860.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Pickens_(governor) -------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Pickens_%28governor%29

Andrew Pickens, Jr. (December 13, 1779 – July 1, 1838) was an American military and political leader who served as the 46th Governor of South Carolina from 1816 until 1818.

Pickens was the son of the well-known American Revolutionary general Andrew Pickens (1739–1817). He was born on his father's plantation on the Savannah River in Horse Creek Valley in Edgefield County, South Carolina.

Through his mother, Rebecca Floride (nee Colhoun), he is a cousin of fellow South Carolina politician John C. Calhoun, who served as U.S. Secretary of War and Vice President of the United States. Calhoun was also married to Floride Calhoun (née Colhoun), a niece of Pickens' father.

He was raised a Presbyterian and educated at the College of New Jersey. Pickens served as a lieutenant-colonel in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812, and returned home to establish a plantation, "Oatlands," in Edgefield County and practice law. He also established a residence, "Halcyon Grove," in the village of Edgefield and married Susannah Smith Wilkinson.

On December 5, 1816, the South Carolina General Assembly elected Pickens as governor by secret ballot. During 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 a disastrous yellow fever epidemic. After leaving office, Pickens moved to Alabama and helped negotiate a treaty with the Creek Indians of Georgia. For a period of time around 1829, he lived in Augusta. Growing up living by Indians, he had a very tight bond with them.

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

His son, Francis Wilkinson Pickens (1805–1869) was a U.S. Congressman and the Governor of South Carolina when the state seceded from the Union in 1860.

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Gov. Andrew Pickens Jr.'s Timeline

1779
December 13, 1779
Edgefield, SC, USA
1805
April 7, 1805
Age 25
Colleton, SC, USA
1805
Age 25
Colleton County, South Carolina
1838
July 1, 1838
Age 58
Pontotoc, MS, USA
????
????
Clemson, SC, USA