m. 19 MAR 1765
m. WFT Est 1800-1809
Facts and Events
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.