The Life and Times of General Andrew Pickens

Revolutionary War Hero, American Founder

By Rod Andrew Jr.

424 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 3 halftones, 7 maps, notes, bibl., index

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-3153-0
    Published: April 2017
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-3154-7
    Published: February 2017

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Awards & distinctions

Finalist, 2017 George C. Rogers Jr. Award, South Carolina Historical Society

Andrew Pickens (1739–1817), the hard-fighting South Carolina militia commander of the American Revolution, was the hero of many victories against British and Loyalist forces. In this book, Rod Andrew Jr. offers an authoritative and comprehensive biography of Pickens the man, the general, the planter, and the diplomat. Andrew vividly depicts Pickens as he founds churches, acquires slaves, joins the Patriot cause, and struggles over Indian territorial boundaries on the southern frontier. Combining insights from military and social history, Andrew argues that while Pickens’s actions consistently reaffirmed the authority of white men, he was also determined to help found the new republic based on broader principles of morality and justice.

After the war, Pickens sought a peaceful and just relationship between his country and the southern Native American tribes and wrestled internally with the issue of slavery. Andrew suggests that Pickens’s rise to prominence, his stern character, and his sense of duty highlight the egalitarian ideals of his generation as well as its moral shortcomings--all of which still influence Americans’ understanding of themselves.

About the Author

Rod Andrew Jr. is professor of history at Clemson University.
For more information about Rod Andrew Jr., visit the Author Page.


“A comprehensive biography of Andrew Pickens, a backcountry planter, general, and diplomat on the southeastern frontier in the era of the American Revolution and new nation. Recommended.”--Choice

“An outstanding book, long awaited by history buffs that will serve as a milestone on an important Revolutionary War military leader.”--McCormick Messenger

“Invaluable for those interested in the finer points of the Revolution in the Carolina backcountry, the postwar shaping of frontier democracy, or a historical work that centers evangelical Christianity in the Revolution and early republic.”--North Carolina Historical Review

“A prominent military leader in the Revolutionary South, Andrew Pickens believed in virtue, courage of the heart and body, and sacrificing individual interest for the public good. Rod Andrew offers a nuanced history of this complicated man, tracing his early life, his military career, his contributions to early U.S. Indian diplomacy, and his attempts to reconcile Christian virtue with human slavery. Masterfully written, The Life and Times of General Andrew Pickens is the definitive biography of an understudied American leader of the founding generation.”--David Nichols, author of Engines of Diplomacy

"Andrew Pickens is often portrayed as an enigma, but Rod Andrew brings him vividly to life, linking Pickens to his Scotch-Irish Presbyterian roots and revealing how his beliefs about duty, order, liberty, and honor affected his career as an accomplished diplomat and warrior in the South Carolina backcountry."--Lawrence Babits, author of Long, Obstinate, and Bloody