Eliza Pinckney — a Fire in Her Belly and Dye on Her Hands

Poor, oppressed women. We’ve been kept barefoot and pregnant our whole existence with little chance to improve our lot in life. America, this Land of Opportunity, provided no better alternatives…Or so spout the feminazis.

Gimme a break. If you read my blog, then you know women with fire in their bellies rocked their worlds…and no corset could hold them back.

Eliza

Eliza

Take the refined and educated Eliza Lucas Pinckney. The woman was a Donald Trump before there was a Trump.

Born in the West Indies in 1722, she attended school in England and learned all the proper lady subjects, such as French, needlework, and music, but she adored Botany. Her father, a British military officer, moved the family to Charleston, SC where he owned three plantations. His wife, however, died shortly after this move. At only 16, Eliza stepped up, helping raise her siblings and running the plantations whenever her father was called away for military duties.

A naturally savvy businesswoman, she spotted trends in the burgeoning textile industry right off. Dyes were in high demand world-wide so she actually cultivated an improved indigo plant, the plant that makes the stable blue dye.

Hitting this mark was nothing short of a Herculean task. Her first two crops were crippled by frost and then worms. Her third was robust and healthy, but the gentleman hired to extract the die purposely sabotaged the results. Hailing from Montserrat, he couldn’t allow South Carolina to develop an industry that would rival that of his home country. Eliza and her father both recognized the man for the scoundrel he was and fired him. Ironically, the man’s brother came in and salvaged the mess. Once Eliza knew she had a winner, she shared the seeds with other SC plantations.

In 1745-1746, only 5,000 pounds of indigo were exported from the Charleston area. Eliza’s strain bumped that to more than 130,000 pounds within three years!

When she was twenty-two, she married widower Charles Pinckney, a successful lawyer, politician, and neighbor. He had seen Eliza handle her father’s plantations and fell in love with the bright, independent young woman. He never tried to rein her in and Eliza loved him dearly…perhaps for his wisdom. Pinckney traveled frequently, but was well aware his home was in good hands. She continued to run both her father’s and her husband’s plantations, and raise her own brood of four children.

Amazingly, Eliza also invested a great deal of time in educating her children. To no one’s surprise, her sons played major roles in the Revolutionary War and one would sign the Declaration of Independence. Why am I not surprised?

Eliza Pinckney died in 1793. She and her daughter had hosted George Washington once during his presidency and apparently made quite an impression. Upon hearing of her death, he volunteered to be a pallbearer at her funeral.

Eliza worked hard, loved well, and blessed many. She should inspire us all to become Ladies in Defiance!

Copyright 2014 Heather Blanton

Follow me on https://www.facebook.com/heatherfreyblanton and
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About Heather Frey Blanton

"I believe Christian fiction should be messy and gritty, because the human condition is ... and God loves us anyway." -- Heather Blanton

Posted on April 22, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Loved this post! What an amazing woman. In fact, my great uncle was named after her family. Pinckney was not a very manly name (especially since his nickname was “Pink”), but it was a very honored name in our state.

    • Angie, that is so weird. I had a great-uncle named Pinckney Frink. Yes, he went by Pink Frink. He sat down in front of a shotgun rigged with a pull wire and shot himself. Wonder if his depression had anything to do with the name.

  2. The picture supposedly of Eliza Lucas Pinckney is in fact her granddaughter-in-law Eliza IZARD Pinckney. The original portrait this picture is based on is at the Gibbs Museum in Charleston SC.

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