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Pedrick Family Papers

Pedrick Family Papers

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PEDRICK FAMILY PAPERS, 1799-1918, undated

Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Pedrick family
Title:Pedrick Family Papers
Dates:1799/1918, undated
Quantity:0.25 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract:The Pedrick Family Papers include letters and other papers relating to John C. Pedrick, 3rd (1773-1853) and his son John Carder Pedrick (1804- ), plus photographs and other genealogical information about the Fettyplace and Pedrick families.
Collection Number:MSS 347

Series List

Scope and Content Note

The Pedrick Family Papers include letters and other papers relating to John C. Pedrick, 3rd (1773-1853) and his son John Carder Pedrick (1804- ), plus photographs and other genealogical information about the Fettyplace and Pedrick families. Also included are papers concerning Samuel Burche, related to the Pedricks by marriage, and his attempt to recover a Revolutionary War claim on behalf of heirs of General Baron deKalb.

Folder 1 consists of an incomplete autobiography written by John C. Pedrick, 3rd shortly before his death at 80 years of age in 1853. Both the original manuscript (39 pages total; pages 1 and 2 missing)) and a typewritten transcript are present. Early pages refer to his uncle John Pedrick (1733-1780), a prominent merchant whose house still stands on Washington Street in Marblehead, and other relatives including Dr. Elisha Story and Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story. There is a detailed description of the cod and mackerel fishery in Pedrick's youth, an industry that declined sharply after the Revolution. Pedrick started shipping fish to Europe as a young man and he described in detail how the fish were caught, dried and shipped to Europe or the West Indies. He enjoyed an extended romance with "Miss F" (Elizabeth Fettyplace) and married her in 1803 after recovering from a long illness, presumably consumption.

Folder 2 contains 22 letters from Henry K. Fettyplace written in 1806 to his brother-in-law John C. Pedrick, 3rd or to Pedrick's business associates, Captain Nicholas Bartlett and Jesse Blanchard. Fettyplace accompanied a shipment of fish and cocoa from Marblehead to Spain and France in 1806, shortly before the Embargo Act in 1807 led to the removal of American shipping from the seas. The cargo was sold in Bilboa, Spain, and cognac and dry goods such as gloves, hose, and lace were purchased in France for the return voyage. The letters contain detailed information about trade of a variety of goods including sugar, fish, fish oil, cocoa, cognac brandy, hides, spices, and dry goods in different European markets. There is frequent mention of Marblehead vessels and captains engaged in the Europe trade, as well as concern on Fettyplace's part for not having generated greater profits for his Marblehead sponsors. Also included in Folder 2 is a promissory note (1818) due Pedrick and one letter (1820) to Pedrick from Edward Fettyplace describing the recent death of Edward's brother Henry Fettyplace.

Folder 3 includes approximately 60 letters and other documents belonging to John C. Pedrick, 3rd written between 1831 and his death in 1853. Most of the letters portray a merchant struggling to collect outstanding debts, particularly loans made to relatives. There were prolonged negotiations with William Fettyplace's estate ending in 1843, and others with nephew Stacy Courtis through at least 1849. Relatively few of the letters shed light on Pedrick's family or his years as an agent in Rio Grande, Brazil, or other ports in South America. But Pedrick's last letters, written to his son and daughter in 1851-1852 as Pedrick approached his 80th birthday, were more personal and reveal a healthy, independent man. A major interest in his later years was genealogy, and Pedrick researched the arrival of Martins, Curtisses, Carders, and Pedricks to America. The documents in Folder 3 also include remarks made by Pedrick when he was terminally ill, and papers concerning his death on July 15, 1853.

Folder 4 includes approximately 20 letters and documents belonging to John Carder Pedrick, eldest son of John C. Pedrick, 3rd. There is a detailed statement of Pedrick's business assets and land holdings in 1855, and several of the other letters pertain to his business transactions, including an outstanding claim in Somerville, Tennessee, finally settled in 1869. In one letter from 1861, Pedrick is recommended for a position in the United States Army due to "his large commercial experience", with further explanation that he was recently discharged from the government for reporting frauds that had been perpetuated on the government. In another letter (1863) he is commended as having produced "a superior article of cheap coffee."

Folder 5 contains miscellaneous documents and photographs concerning the Pedrick family. Three documents pertain to Richard Pedrick, Jr. (1742-1814), John C. Pedrick, 3rd's father. One lists cargo sold in Bilboa, Spain, on Richard's second voyage on the ship Fox, one lists accounts payable to Richard on that voyage, and the third concerns inheritance of lands in Essex County following Richard's death in 1814. Two documents (1888, 1898) concern family property on Washington Street, Marblehead, and one (1918) refers to a print formerly owned by Mehitabel (Pedrick) Story. There are five photographs of Major John Pedrick's house on Washington Street, Marblehead, partial pedigrees of the Pedrick family, a comprehensive list of seventeenth and eighteenth century Pedrick marriages, eight pages of tracings of a 1700 map of Marblehead, and a list of all Pedrick family appearances in the Marblehead town records from 1795 through 1829. Of note is that John C. Pedrick, 3rd served in several capacities, including selectman and representative to the General Court, between 1810 and 1813, the year of his wife's death.

Folder 6 contains papers and photographs of the Fettyplace family. Two documents concern the origins of the Fettyplace family and coat of arms in England, and one lists the Fettyplace ancestors of John Carder (1804- ) and Elizabeth Carder (1810-1882) Pedrick. There are twelve photographs, most of which are identified, and they depict Fettyplaces, Hawthornes or Jauges in Boston or Salem, Massachusetts, Mobile, Alabama, or Marseilles, France.

Folder 7 contains five unidentified photographs, four of which were taken in Washington, D.C. These are probably images of John Carder Pedrick's family or his wife's family; one is addressed to "Aunt America".

Folders 8 and 9 concern the Samuel Burche family, relatives of John Carder Pedrick by his marriage to America (Burche) Fazio. Folder 8 documents title to land in Washington, D.C. purchased in 1824 by the Wilson family and sold in 1875 by Samuel and Susan (Wilson) Burche's grandchildren. Papers in Folder 9 describe Samuel Burche's efforts to petition the United States House of Representatives to settle a claim on behalf of the heirs of General Baron deKalb. General deKalb was a prominent military figure in the American Revolution. He arrived from France with General Lafayette in 1777 and served under Generals Washington and Gates until 1780, when he was killed in the Battle of Camden in South Carolina. A copy of the report from the Committee on Revolutionary Claims submitted to Congress in 1844 is included together with documentation supporting General deKalb's contribution to the Revolution.

Folder 10 includes a copy of the last will of Joshua B. Leavens of Mobile, Alabama, and also copies of deeds documenting the inheritance of lands in Illinois and Mississippi by his daughter Helen Naomi (Leavens) Butler, wife of Thomas J. Butler. One document includes a notation by Franklin B. Pedrick dated January 12, 1922. The relationship between the Leavens-Butler family and Pedrick family is not known.

Folder 11 contains two copies of a 52-page manuscript book containing a detailed description of trade in Rio Grande, Brazil, written by John C. Pedrick, 3rd, sometime before 1843.

Biographical Sketch

John C. Pedrick, 3rd was born on April 23, 1773, in Marblehead, Massachusetts. He was the son of Richard and Elizabeth (Carder) Pedrick, and was descended from a prosperous merchant family dealing primarily in fish traded to the West Indies and Europe. John married Elizabeth Fettyplace on September 16, 1803, and they had four children, John Carder, Richard, William Henry Fettyplace, and Elizabeth Carder. Pedrick was a merchant in Marblehead and later a trade agent in South America. He died on July 15, 1853, and was buried in Marblehead.

John Carder Pedrick was born in 1804, the son of John C. Pedrick and Elizabeth (Fettyplace) Pedrick. Little information is available about his career although the correspondence suggests he was a businessman and investor in Washington, D.C. In about 1853 he married America (Burche) Fazio, a widow with three children, and they had one son, John Carder (1856- ). John Carder Pedrick, Jr. married Fanny Porter Harkness and their son, Franklin Burche Pedrick, was born in 1887.

Samuel Burche, the son of Benjamin and Rebecca (Baron) Burche, was born in 1788. He and his wife Susan (Wilson) Burche had one son, John Covington Burche. For many years Samuel Burche was chief clerk in the clerk's office of the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., and, at the time of his death, he was a member of the city council. He died in 1846 in Washington, D.C.

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Burche, Samuel, 1788-1846
De Kalb, Johann, 1721-1780
Fettyplace family
Pedrick, John Carder, b. 1804
Pedrick, John, b. 1773
Marblehead (Mass.)
Marblehead (Mass.)--Commerce--Europe
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Administrative Information


Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

Pedrick Family Papers, MSS 347, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


This material was purchased on February 26, 2001 (Acc #2001.006).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Lee Jacoby, December 2004.

Related Material

Memorandum Book, 1843, MSS 0.141, Remarks by John C. Pedrick on trade in Rio Grande, Brazil.

United States Census 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880.

Additional material on the Pedrick family is housed at the Marblehead Historical Society.

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