Skip to main content

Dudley Leavitt Pickman (1779-1846) Papers

Dudley Leavitt Pickman (1779-1846) Papers

1 of 2
Open Finding Aid
small (250x250 max)
medium (500x500 max)
Extra Large
large ( > 500x500)
Full Resolution

DUDLEY LEAVITT PICKMAN (1779-1846) PAPERS, 1721-1938, 1967, 1985, 1990

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:Pickman, Dudley Leavitt, 1779-1846
Title:Dudley Leavitt Pickman (1779-1846) Papers
Dates:1721/1938, 1967, 1985, 1990
Quantity:3 Linear feet (6 boxes)
Abstract:The bulk of the Dudley Leavitt Pickman Papers reflects the business and personal activities of Dudley Leavitt Pickman (1779-1846), a wealthy businessman and legislator.
Collection Number:MSS 360

Series List

SERIES I. Business Papers
SERIES II. Personal Papers
SERIES III. Relatives' Papers

Scope and Content Note

The bulk of the Dudley Leavitt Pickman Papers reflects the business and personal activities of Dudley Leavitt Pickman (1779-1846), a wealthy businessman and legislator. The collection also contains business and personal papers of other family members. The collection is divided into three series.

Series I. Business Papers contains correspondence, legal, and financial papers reflecting Dudley's business and domestic concerns. Dudley served as trustee of Simon Forrester's estate (see 2 envelopes in Family Manuscripts) along with Nathaniel Bowditch and Leverett Saltonstall. Of special note are the Letter of Marque for the ship Endeavor (1815), his appointment as Justice of the Peace, and an amendment to his will.

Series II. Personal Papers contain diaries of daily activities from 1805-1818.

Series III. Relatives' Papers contain correspondence, legal, and financial papers of various Pickman family members. Of special note are the naturalization papers of Benjamin Pickman from 1787, the correspondence to Benjamin Pickman's wife, and a journal of Edward M. Pickman's trip to Spain in 1915.

Biographical Sketch

Dudley Leavitt Pickman (1779-1846) was born in Salem, Massachusetts. After finishing his formal schooling in his teens, he went to work at the Salem Custom House. He worked a few years as a clerk and in 1799 John Crowninshield offered him the opportunity to serve as supercargo (business agent) on the ship Belisaurius to Madras, India. He then sailed again in 1801 in the Anna to Sumatra and in 1802 in the ketch Three Sisters to Havre-de-Grace. In 1803 he sailed as supercargo of the Derby to Calcutta. With the profits from these voyages, Pickman retired from the sea in his late twenties to devote himself to business. He was a founder of Pickman, Stone, and Silsbee. He invested in companies that developed land and water power for manufacturing in Lowell, Lawrence, and Manchester, Massachusetts. He served as director of several corporations, including the New Market Manufacturing Company, a cotton mill. He was elected several times to the Massachusetts legislature, representing Salem in the House of Representatives and Essex County in the Senate. He served as secretary to the Salem East India Marine Society from 1810 to 1812 and as president from 1817 to 1820. He married Catherine Sanders (1784-1823) in 1810 and they had three children, Catherine Sanders Pickman (1811-1901), Elizabeth Leavitt Pickman (1814-1853), and William Dudley Pickman (1819-1898). When he died in 1846, he was the richest man in Salem, with an estate worth $1.2 million.

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.

Bowditch, Nathaniel, 1773-1838
Dodge, Pickering
Dow, George Francis, 1868-1936
Forrester, Simon, 1746-1817
Grafton, Lucy, 1811-1901
Motley, Ellen Rodman
Pickman, Benjamin, 1707-1773
Pickman, Dudley Leavitt, 1779-1846
Pickman, Edward Motley, b.1886
Pickman, Love Rawlins, 1709-1786
Pickman, Nelly
Pickman, William Dudley, 1819-1890
Saltonstall, Leverett, 1783-1845
Sanders, Catharine, 1784-1823
Smith, Jabez
Endeavor (Ship)
Nashua Manufacturing Company
Stone, Silsbee, and Pickman
Account books--1800-1856
Account books--Massachusetts--Salem
Justices of the peace--Massachusetts--Essex County
India--Commerce--United States
United States--Commerce--India


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

Dudley Leavitt Pickman (1779-1846) Papers, MSS 360, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


This material was a gift of the Pickman family (acc #2005.012) on September 15, 2005.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Tamara Gaydos, July 2007.

Related Material

Bean, Susan S. Yankee India: American Commercial and Cultural Encounters with India in the Age of Sail 1784-1860. Salem, MA: Peabody Essex Museum, 2001.

Dow, George Francis. The Diary and Letters of Benjamin Pickman (1740-1819) of Salem, Massachusetts with a Biographical Sketch and Genealogy of the Pickman Family. Newport, RI, 1928.

Whitehill, Walter Muir. Portraits of Shipmasters and Merchants in the Peabody Museum of Salem. Salem, MA: Peabody Museum, 1939.

Charles H. Allen Papers, MH 28

Barton Family Papers, MSS 110

Derby Family Papers, MSS 37

George B. Loring Papers, MSS 183

Benjamin Pickman Papers, MSS 5, Box 9, Folder 5

Rogers Family Papers, MSS 87

Stone, Silsbee and Pickman Records, MSS 63

you wish to report:

Select the collections to add or remove from your search