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Andrew Pickens

PICKENS, Andrew, soldier, born in Paxton, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 19 September, 1739; died in Pendleton district, South Carolina, 17 August, 1817. His parents, who were of Huguenot descent, removed in 1752 to the Waxhaw settlement, South Carolina The son served as a volunteer in Colonel James Grant's expedition against the Cherokees in April, 1761, after which he removed to the Long Cane settlement. At the beginning of the Revolution he was made a captain of militia, and rose rapidly to the rank of brigadier-general He kept the field at the head of a partisan corps after the state had been overrun by the British, and in February, 1779, with 400 men, he defeated a party of 700 under Colonel Boyd, at. Kettle creek, and his horse was killed under him while he was covering the retreat at the battle of Stone, 20 June, 1779. In that year he inflicted a severe defeat on the Cherokees at Tomassee. At the battle of Cowpens, 17 January, 1781, he commanded the militia, which he rallied, and brought a second time into action after the ranks had been broken and compelled to retreat, for which service congress gave him a sword. He next invested the British forts at Augusta, Georgia, which surrendered after a two weeks' siege. After participating in the unsuccessful campaign of Ninety-Six under General Nathanael Greene, he followed the retreating enemy toward the coast, and participated in the battle of Eutaw Springs, where he led a brigade of Carolina militia, and was struck by a bullet which, but for the buckle of his sword-belt, would have inflicted a mortal wound. Owing to a successful expedition against the Cherokees in 1782, he obtained a large cession of territory that is now in the state of Georgia, and settled in Hopewell, on Keowee river. From the close of the war until 1794 he was a member of the South Carolina legislature, and he was also elected to congress, serving from 2 December, 1793, till 3 March, 1795. He was a member of the State constitutional convention, was made majorgeneral of militia in 1795, and served in the legislature again in 1801 and 1812. He was a commissioner in many treaties with the southern Indians, and by that of Hopewell obtained from the Cherokees the part of South Carolina that is now Pendleton and Greenville. In 1765 he married Rebecea Calhoun, aunt of John C. Calhoun, and the wedding was an epoch in the social history of the district in which the bride, who was a noted beauty, resided. Gem Pickens was remarkable for his simplicity, decision, and prudence, and scrupulous performance of duty.--His grandson, Francis Wilkinson, statesman, born in Togadoo, St. Paul's parish, South Carolina, 7 April, 1805: died in Edgefield, South Carolina, 25 January, 1869, was educated at South Carolina college, was admitted to the bar in 1829, and began practice in Edgefield district. In 1832 he was elected to the legislature by the Nullification party of his district and soon attracted notice as a debater. At the age of twenty-five he was an active member of the judiciary committee, and of that on foreign relations. As chairman of a sub-committee in 1833 he made a report to the effect that sovereignty and allegiance were indivisible, and that congress, as the agent and mere creature of the states severally, had no claim to allegiance and could exercise no sever-eighty. He was elected to congress as a Nullifier, serving from 8 December, 1834, till 3 March, 1843. In 1836 he made an elaborate speech, denying the right of congress to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia without the consent of Maryland and Virginia. In 1844 he was elected to the South Carolina senate from Edgefield. Here he voted with the majority against the " Bluffton movement," a secession demonstration then in progress in the state. After several years of private life he was elected a delegate to the Nashville southern convention in 1850-'1, and in 1856 he was a delegate to the National Democratic convention in Cincinnati. From 1858 till 1860 he was United States minister to Russia, and on his return in the latter year was elected governor of South Carolina. He was conspicuous with the secession movement, demanded of Major Robert Anderson the surrender of Fort Sumter, gave the order to fire upon the "Star of the West," and rendered all the aid in his power to the Confederate cause. He retired from office in 1862. Governor Pickens was a wealthy planter, gave much attention to scientific agriculture, and enjoyed a reputation in the southern states as an orator before colleges and literary societies.

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