Charles Pinckney National Historic Site held its 16th annual naturalization ceremony on Constitution Day. On Tuesday, September 17th, Federal District Judge Richard Gergel administered the Oath of Allegiance to 111 new citizens from 52 countries.
The National Park Service and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have partnered to enhance citizenship ceremonies by holding them in national parks throughout the country. Since 1997 these ceremonies have been held annually on the grounds of historic Snee Farm. “This is a most appropriate site to welcome new citizens into this country and to reflect on the meaning and responsibilities of citizenship,” said Superintendent Tim Stone. “It is because of Charles Pinckney’s role in framing the U.S. Constitution and the initiative of local citizens that this treasured place is a part of the National Park Service.”
A delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Charles Pinckney was a principal framer and signer of the United States Constitution. He presented a fully developed draft of a government framework to the convention that included many of the provisions contained in the U.S. Constitution, including the naturalization of citizens. The park preserves the last remnant of his Mount Pleasant, South Carolina plantation.
The annual naturalization ceremony is part of a week-long series of events celebrating the birth of the United States Constitution. Other activities included an "I Signed the Constitution" program where visitors signed a scroll in remembrance of the Constitutional Convention, and a special screening of the 2010 documentary Forgotten Founder: the Story of Charles Pinckney.