| Share

Timothy Pickering

Pickering, Timothy, 1745–1829, American political leader and Revolutionary War army officer, b. Salem, Mass. He was admitted to the bar (1768) and played an active part in pre-Revolutionary activities against the British. In 1774 and 1775 he was connected with the Massachusetts committee of correspondence. A colonel in the Massachusetts militia, he joined George Washington's army in the American Revolution, served (1777) as Washington's adjutant-general, was a member of the board of war, and was (1780–85) quartermaster general. After the Revolution, he moved to Pennsylvania and was sent by the Pennsylvania government to the Wyoming valley region of Pennsylvania to organize the newly formed Luzerne co. and to represent the state in the dispute over land claims between Connecticut settlers and Pennsylvania. He was a member of the state constitutional convention (1789–90) and negotiated treaties with various Native American tribes for the federal government. He was Postmaster General (1791–95), Secretary of War (1795), and Secretary of State (1795–1800). Pickering was dismissed after President John Adams learned that he had been scheming with the Alexander Hamilton branch of the Federalist party to steer the United States into war with France. Returning to Massachusetts, he became chief justice of the court of common pleas and was later a U.S. Senator (1803–11) and Representative (1813–17). A strong Federalist and an opponent of Adams, Pickering was a leading figure in the Essex Junto and an outspoken opponent of the War of 1812. He wrote Political Essays (1812).

See biography by his son, O. Pickering, and C. W. Upham (4 vol., 1867–73); G. H. Clarfield, Timothy Pickering and American Diplomacy, 1795–1800 (1969).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Timothy Pickering from Infoplease:

  • Timothy PICKERING - Timothy PICKERING (1745-1829) Senate Years of Service: 1803-1811 Party: Federalist PICKERING, ...
  • Cabinet Members Under Washington - Cabinet Members Under Washington Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, 1789 Edmund Randolph, 1794 ...
  • Cabinet Members Under J. Adams - Cabinet Members Under J. Adams Secretary of State Timothy Pickering (Cont.) John Marshall, 1800 ...
  • Essex Junto - Essex Junto Essex Junto, group of New England merchants and lawyers, so called because many of them ...
  • Cabinet Members Under Jackson - Cabinet Members Under Jackson Secretary of State Martin Van Buren, 1829 Edward Livingston, 1831 ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History: Biographies

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring