27 August 2008

the Fighting Elder

Ok, so this post focuses on a man named Andrew Pickens, seen in the portrait above at the Calhoun house. While a name seemingly lost to history, his role in the Revolution and settlement of the South Carolina frontier certainly is not. Born in Pennsylvania in 1739, his family moved to the Waxhaws region, where later Andrew Jackson and James Polk would be from, in 1752. He fought in the Cherokee War, an extension of the French and Indian War, from 1760-61. In 1764 he bought land near the Seneca River and the Georgia border, and established Hopewell plantation. When the Revolution began, he was made a Captain of Militia, and eventually rose to Brigadier General. He led the militia in several important battles such as Kettle Creek in Georgia, which all but ended loyalist support in that state, the Siege of Augusta, the Siege of 96, and Eutaw Springs. But perhaps his greatest legacy was the militia's part in the overwhelming victory at Cowpens. Following the war, was a leader in negotiations with the Native Americans, signing the Hopewell Treaties near his plantation, as well as others, including the treaty at Coleraine, GA. He was also active in politics including House of Representatives 1781-94 and 1800-12, US House of Representatives 1893-95, the Georgia-South Carolina Boundary Commision, State Constitutional Convention, and the Third US Congress.
Pickens was also active in the church, leading to his men calling him "the Fighting Elder." The Old Stone Church, seen above, was built in 1802, with Pickens as one of the founding members. It is located just a few short miles south of Clemson. The guide at the Calhoun House also said that Clemson now also owns Picken's Hopewell Plantation, and is planning to restore it as well for the public. So if you need a nice historic charity to give to...

Andrew Pickens is buried next to his wife Rebecca in the Old Stone Church Cemetery.
The cemetery has some other interesting people in it, but there was a funeral happening and we (she) didn't want to be rude. Pickens was the one I was most interested in anyway.
Interior of the church, taken throught the window.

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