PICKERING, Timothy (1745-1829)

PICKERING, TIMOTHY, a Senator and a Representative from Massachusetts; born in Salem, Mass., July 17, 1745; attended the grammar school and graduated from Harvard College in 1763; clerk in the office of register of deeds in Salem; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1768 and commenced practice in Salem; selectman and assessor 1772-1777; member of Committee on State of Rights of Colonists 1773; member of Committee of Correspondence and Safety 1774-1775; held various local offices; elected to the State legislature in 1776; entered the Revolutionary Army as colonel; appointed adjutant general and elected as a member of Board of War in 1777; became Quartermaster General of the Army in 1780; moved to Philadelphia in 1785 and to Wyoming County, Pa., in 1787; member of the Pennsylvania State constitutional convention 1789-1790; special government agent on missions to the Indians; appointed Postmaster General in the administration of President George Washington in 1791, as Secretary of War in 1795, and as Secretary of State 1795-1800; returned to Massachusetts in 1802; unsuccessful candidate for election in 1802 to the Eighth Congress; appointed chief justice of court of common pleas and general sessions of the peace in 1802; elected to the United States Senate as a Federalist in 1803 to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Dwight Foster; reelected and served from March 4, 1803, to March 3, 1811; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1811; censured by the Senate in 1811 for breach of confidence; member of the executive council of Massachusetts 1812-1813; elected as a Federalist to the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Congresses (March 4, 1813-March 3, 1817); declined to be a candidate for renomination; returned to his farm near Wenham, Mass.; returned to Salem in 1820; unsuccessful candidate for election to the Seventeenth Congress; died in Salem, Essex County, Mass., January 29, 1829; interment in Broad Street Cemetery.

American Philosophical Society
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 4 microfilm reels of selected papers on Indian affairs (1790-1793) including letters, reports, minutes, memoranda, and addresses to Indian chiefs, originals in Massachusetts Historical Society and Peabody Essex Museum; 1 microfilm reel of John McKesson papers pertaining to Indian affairs (1714-1791), originals in New-York Historical Society; correspondence in Elizabeth F. Dawes collection, 1681-1921; and Charles Nicoll Bancker family papers, ca. 1733-1894.

Boston Public Library
Boston, MA
Papers: 19 items.

Boston University
Boston, MA
Papers: 2 items and a portrait.

Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
New York, NY
Papers: 1 letter (December 17, 1777) in the Alfred Berol collection; 1 letter (September 11, 1770) in the Gay-Otis collection; and 70 letters (1795-1827) in the John Jay collection.

Cornell University
Rare Books and Manuscript Collections
Ithaca, NY
Papers: 1 letter (March 24, 1800) to Joseph Anderson and 1 letter (October 17, 1795) in Washington Irving's Life of George Washington, Volume XIV, Miscellany, 1784-1860; a portrait in Volume X, Miscellany, 1764-1805; and a portrait in Volume III, Miscellany, 1756-1807.

Georgia Historical Society
Savannah, GA
Papers: Correspondence in Eighteenth Century Governors of Georgia collection, 1754-1801.

Hagley Museum and Library
Greenville, DE
Papers: Correspondence in Henry family papers, 1758-1909, available on microfilm; and Louis de Tousard letterbook, 1796-1802, on 1 microfilm reel.

Harvard University
Houghton Library
Cambridge, MA
Papers: Ca. 1790s-1820s. Ca. 100 items. Correspondence, account books, deeds, and other papers.

Henry E. Huntington Library
San Marino, CA
Papers: 94 items in Rufus King papers, 1782-1830.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: In Stephen Moylan letters collection, 1771-1793; Richard Peters papers, 1697-1845; Frank B. Nead collection, 1663-1866; Clement Biddle papers, 1743-1835; Coxe family papers, 1638-1897 (bulk 1776-1879); John Wanamaker collection, 1779-1892; and Bradford family papers, 1747-1847.

Indiana Historical Society
Indianapolis, IN
Papers: Correspondence in Northwest Territory collection, 1721-1838.

Knox College
Seymour Library
Galesburg, IL
Papers: 1 letter (December 12, 1795) in Seymour autograph collection, 1750-1945.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1778-1828. Ca. 60 items. Largely transcripts and photocopies.
Additional Papers: 69 reels of microfilm of originals (1731-1927) in the Massachusetts Historical Society; correspondence in Hugh Hughes papers, 1768-1875; Andrew Ellicott papers, 1777-1829, available on 2 microfilm reels; Alexander Hamilton papers, 1708-1903; John Fisher papers, 1777-1802, available on 4 microfilm reels; George Morgan papers, 1775-1822; John Kilham Porter collection; John Marshall papers, 1776-1844, chiefly photocopies; and Custis-Lee family papers, 1711-1924.

Massachusetts Historical Society
Boston, MA
Papers: 1731-1927. 29 linear feet. Family and general correspondence; political, legal, and business papers; military papers; agricultural papers; papers concerning missions to the Indians; correspondence, official documents, and historical notebooks collected for a proposed history of the United States during the Revolution; account books of quartermaster general's office; and an account of personal life and professional career as Revolutionary War officer, land speculator in Pennsylvania, Indian commissioner, postmaster general, secretary of war, secretary of state, and Massachusetts congressman. Available on 69 microfilm reels. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: Correspondence in Samuel Cabot papers, 1713-1858; and Meshech Weare papers, 1776-1785, available on microfilm.

New Jersey Historical Society
Newark, NJ
Papers: Correspondence in Anderson family papers, 1762-1950; and Hugh Hughes letterbooks, part of Ely collection, 1782.

New-York Historical Society
New York, NY
Papers: 1777-1824. 400 items. Chiefly correspondence with Rufus King. Also in John McKesson papers, 1714-1791, available on 1 microfilm reel.

New York Public Library
New York, NY
Papers: Ca. 132 items (ca. 1784-1827) in various collections.

New York Society Library
New York, NY
Papers: Miscellaneous items in various collections.

New York State Library
Manuscripts and Special Collections
Albany, NY
Papers: 12 letters (1780-1797) in Benson John Lossing collection, transcriptions; discussed in Nicholas Quackenbush letter (April 23, 1781); correspondence in Isaac Tichenor papers, 1771-1833, microfilm of originals at Vermont State Archives; discussed in William North letter (May 14, 1800); correspondence in Alexander Hamilton papers, 1760-1830, on 46 microfilm reels of originals at Library of Congress.

Ohio Historical Society
Columbus, OH
Papers: Correspondence in Arthur St. Clair papers, 1763-1870.

Peabody Essex Museum
Salem, MA
Papers: 1771-1827. 12 volumes, 17 envelopes. Includes diaries, Adams correspondence, and material on the Ohio Company.
Additional Papers: Correspondence in Nathan Read papers, 1709-1914.

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
Harrisburg, PA
Papers: 1776-1800. 13 letters.

Pierpont Morgan Library
New York, NY
Papers: 18 items (1776-1827); and 13 items (1775-1824) including a letterbook (1781) on various political and foreign affairs topics in the Gilder Lehrman collection. Finding aid.

Rosenbach Museum and Library
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1783-1799. 9 items. 8 letters and 1 appointment.

Rutgers University Libraries
Special Collections and University Archives
New Brunswick, NJ
Papers: 1777-1799. 11 letters.

University of Delaware Library
Newark, DE
Papers: Correspondence in Paul Joseph Guerard de Nancrede papers, ca. 1789-1845. In part photocopies and microfilm. Finding aid.

University of Michigan
William L. Clements Library
Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: 79 items (1760s-1810s) in various collections. Personal, business, and congressional papers and correspondence. Finding aid.

Vassar College Library
Poughkeepsie, NY
Papers: Addresses and messages (1803-1823) in Jasper Parrish papers, 1757-1954 (bulk 1757-1869).

Virginia State Library and Archives
Richmond, VA
Papers: In Virginia Office of Quartermaster General, Fredericksburg records, 1767, 1777-1782, 1787; and Anderson-Latham papers, 1771-1887.

Washington's Headquarters State Historic Site
Jonathan Hasbrouck House
Newburgh, NY
Papers: 1780-1822 (bulk 1780-1790). 212 items. Correspondence and documents relating to his service as quartermaster general during the Revolution. Finding aid.

Wichita State University Library
Wichita, KS
Papers: 1763-1845. 40 items. Correspondence, diaries, account books, and financial statements; together with correspondence and memorabilia of Pickering's son, Jonathan Pickering. Includes material relating to his service in Washington's cabinet and in the U.S. Senate. Finding aid.

Wyoming Historical and Geological Society
Wilkes-Barre, PA
Papers: 1778-1823. 75 items.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives
New Haven, CT
Papers: 69 microfilm reels of originals (1731-1966 (bulk 1772-1829)) at Massachusetts Historical Society.
Additional Papers: Correspondence in Department of State letters relating to John Trumbull, 1796-1841, 1 microfilm reel of originals at National Archives; Department of State selected papers concerning the mission of John Quincy Adams to Prussia, 1797-1801, 1 microfilm reel originals at National Archives; in Humphreys-Marvin-Olmstead collection, 1776-1867; David Daggett papers, 1781-1851; Samuel Blachley Webb papers, 1756-1819; and in American Revolutionary War collection, 1775-1786.
Research Libraries Information Network In addition to the institutions listed above, items are also cataloged in collections at: Brown University, Providence, RI; Hamilton and Kirkland Colleges, Clinton, NY; Ontario County Historical Society, Canandaigua, NY; Putnam County Historical Society, Cold Spring, NY; Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, CA; and University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Allis, Frederick S., Jr., ed. Timothy Pickering Papers, 1758-1829. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1966. Microfilm. 69 reels guide. Distributed by UMI, Ann Arbor, MI.
  • Brown, Jeffrey Paul. "Timothy Pickering and the Northwest Territory.'' Northwest Ohio Quarterly 53 (Fall 1981): 117-32.
  • Clarfield, Gerard H. "Postscript to the Jay Treaty: Timothy Pickering and Anglo-American Relations, 1795-1797.'' William and Mary Quarterly, 3d. ser. 23 (January 1966): 106-20.
  • ___. Timothy Pickering and American Diplomacy, 1795-1800. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1969.
  • ___. Timothy Pickering and the American Republic. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1980.
  • ___. "Timothy Pickering and French Diplomacy, 1795-1796.'' Essex Institute Historical Collections 104 (January 1968): 58-74.
  • ___. "Victory in the West: A Study of the Role of Timothy Pickering in the Successful Consummation of Pinckney's Treaty.'' Essex Institute Historical Collections 101 (October 1965): 333-53.
  • Guidorizzi, Richard Peter. "Timothy Pickering: Opposition Politics in the Early Years of the Republic.'' Ph.D. dissertation, St. John's University, 1968.
  • Hickey, Donald R. "Timothy Pickering and the Haitian Slave Revolt: A Letter to Thomas Jefferson in 1806.'' Essex Institute Historical Collections 120 (July 1984): 149-63.
  • McLean, David. Timothy Pickering and the Age of the American Revolution. New York: Arno Press, 1982.
  • Phillips, Edward Hake. "The Public Career of Timothy Pickering, Federalist, 1745-1802.'' Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University, 1950.
  • ___. "Salem, Timothy Pickering, and the American Revolution.'' Essex Institute Historical Collections 111 (January 1975): 65-78.
  • ___. "Timothy Pickering at His Best: Indian Commissioner, 1790-1794.'' Essex Institute Historical Collections 102 (July 1966): 163-202.
  • Pickering, Octavius, and Charles W. Upham. The Life of Timothy Pickering. 4 vols. Boston: Little, Brown, & Co., 1867-1873.
  • Pickering, Timothy. Political Essays. A Series of Letters Addressed to the People of the United States. Canandaigua, NY: J.D. Bemis, 1812.
  • Prentiss, Hervey Pittman. "Pickering and the Embargo.'' Essex Institute Historical Collections 69 (April 1933): 97-136.
  • ___. "Timothy Pickering and the Federalist Party, 1801-1804.''Essex Institute Historical Collections 69 (January 1933): 1-35.
  • ___. Timothy Pickering as the Leader of New England Federalism, 1800-1815. 1934. Reprint. New York: Da Capo Press, 1972.
  • ___. "Timothy Pickering and the War of 1812.'' Essex Institute Historical Collections 70 (April 1934): 105-46.
  • Wilbur, William Allan. "Crisis in Leadership: Alexander Hamilton, Timothy Pickering and the Politics of Federalism, 1795-1804.'' Ph.D. dissertation, Syracuse University, 1969.
  • ___. "Timothy Pickering, Federalist Politician: An Historiographical Perspective.'' Historian 34 (February 1972): 278-92.