Researching the American Revolution

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Timothy Pickering

Timothy Pickering

Timothy Pickering, 3rd Secretary of State (1795-1800) under President George Washington and John Adams
Conrad, Arthur S.; Stuart, Gilbert (after) – 1948 – US Department of State

During the American Revolution, Timothy Pickering served in the Massachusetts militia during the Battle of Lexington and Concord.  The Continental Congress appointed Pickering as Adjutant General in 1777 and  Quartermaster General in 1780.  After the war, Pickering served the Washington and Adams administrations as Postmaster General, Secretary of War and Secretary of State.  Subsequently, Pickering was twice elected Senator from Massachusetts  and twice elected to the House of Representatives from Essex County, Massachusetts.

A life long writer, Pickering left an unusual large volume of letters, papers and political tracts.

Primary Sources

Timothy Pickering papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Pickering, Timothy, 1745-1829. Papers – Harvard Univeristy including his Accounts and memoranda : autograph manuscript account book, 1776-1817., 1776-1817. Digital


Clarfield, Gerard H. Timothy Pickering and the American Republic. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1980.

Gannon, Kevin M. “Escaping ‘Mr. Jefferson’s Plan of Destruction’: New England Federalists and the Idea of a Northern Confederacy, 1803-1804.” Journal of the Early Republic 21, no. 3 (2001): 413–43.

McLean, David. Timothy Pickering and the Age of the American Revolution. New York: Arno Press, 1982.

Pickering, Octavius, and Charles Wentworth Upham. The Life of Timothy Pickering. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1867-1873.

Prentiss, Hervey Putnam. Timothy Pickering as the Leader of New England Federalism, 1800-1815. New York: Da Capo Press, 1972.

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