Rare US half-cent coin, 1809

This coin was part of the collection of prominent Charleston Revolutionary War hero and later, politician, Charles Cotesworth “C.C.” Pinckney. He was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, and ran against Thomas Jefferson in both the 1804 and the 1808 elections. He spent time as an ambassador in both the Washington and the Jefferson administrations, and rose to the rank of Major General in the Continental army. During his service, he spent some time as a prisoner of war after the siege of Charleston.

Pinckney died in August, 1825 and was buried in St. Michael’s Churchyard in Charleston, South Carolina. His tombstone reads, “One of the founders of the American Republic. In war he was a companion in arms and friend of Washington. In peace he enjoyed his unchanging confidence.”

This coin was entrusted to the SHUSH Museum by Pinckney, who put it in the possession of the Charleston chapter, and while it survived the terrible Charleston fire of 1838, it does bear its scars.