Table of Contents
Thaddeus Pickens, born in 1774, was a New Bedford, Massachusetts, shipmaster and commercial agent who sailed merchant vessels out of New York City, New York, and Boston, Mass. between 1798-1811. He sailed to such European ports as Amsterdam and St. Petersburg, as well as to the East Indies for Murray & Mumford, New York merchants. Thaddeus Pickens' brother, John Pickens Jr. (1779-1825), was a Boston, Mass., merchant who occasionally sold goods for his brother, although he never had Thaddeus in his own employ. In 1797, Thaddeus Pickens married Peace Bennett (1775-1812), of New Bedford, Mass. He was lost at sea in 1811.
Materials in this collection concentrate on the business activities of Thaddeus Pickens between 1796-1811. His business and personal correspondence, 1799-1811, includes letters to his wife, Peace Bennett Pickens, and brother John Pickens Jr., as well as numerous letters to and from his employer, Murray & Mumford and various ship brokers and shipmasters. Many of these letters concern the Tripolitan War, 1801-1805, and the trade acts passed by Great Britain and France during the period of the Napoleonic Wars, 1803-1815. Also included are several letters referring to the United States Embargo Acts of 1807-1809.
Complementing Pickens' rich correspondence are financial records, 1796-1811, consisting of a day book, ship's papers for vessels of which he was master or agent, insurance records, accounts current, and bills and receipts; legal documents, 1800-1806, including a ship's protest and power of attorney certificates; and a merchant signal sheet, ca. 1805.
Other family members represented in the collection are Thaddeus Pickens' wife and brother. Peace Bennett Pickens' papers, ca. 1803-1811, consist of incoming and outgoing personal correspondence, including a letter to her husband, and bills and receipts. The papers of John Pickens Jr. are comprised of business and personal correspondence to Thaddeus and Peace Bennett Pickens, 1800-1811.
Arrangement of Collection
Access to the Collection
Unrestricted. Consult librarian for an appointment.
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 24 [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]
The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 United States Code 552a) governs the use of materials that document private individuals, groups, and corporations.
Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a reproduction if the document does not infringe the privacy rights of an individual, group, or corporation. These specified conditions of authorized use include:
- non-commercial and non-profit study, scholarship, research, or teaching
- criticism or commentary
- as a NBWM archives preservation or security copy for research use
- as a research copy for deposit in another institution
If the researcher later uses a copy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," the researcher is personally liable for copyright. privacy, or publicity infringement and agrees to indemnify the New Bedford Whaling Museum from any legal action as a result of the error. Permission to obtain a photographic, xerographic, digital, or other copy of a document does not indicate permission to publish, exhibit, perform, reproduce, sell, distribute, or prepare derivative works from the document without permission from the copyright holder and from any private individual, group, or corporation shown or otherwise recorded.
Permission to publish, exhibit, perform, reproduce, prepare derivative works from, sell, or otherwise distribute the item must be obtained separately in writing from the holder of the original copyright (or if the creator is dead, from his/her heirs) as well as from any individual(s), groups, or corporations whose name, image, recorded words, or private information (e.g. employment information) may be reproduced in the source material. The holder of the original copyright is not necessarily the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The New Bedford Whaling Museum is not legally liable for copyright, privacy, or publicity infringement when materials are wrongfully used after being provided to researchers for "fair use."
This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if fulfillment of the order is judged in violation of copyright or federal or state privacy law. This institution also places restrictions on the use of cameras, photocopiers, and scanners in the research room.
Materials in this collection were given to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society by Mrs. Elizabeth Taber Price on 4 October 1935 and by Mildred C. Teeling, 11 December 1965.
Processed by: Barbara E. Austen, with assistance from Helen Frasier, ca. 1982
Encoded by: Kermit Dewey, 27 July 2011; box list appended by Mark Procknik, 10 January 2012
Funds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Account books--New Bedford, Mass.--1803-1811
Business records--Mass.--New Bedford
Commercial agents--Mass.--New Bedford
Europe--Politics and government--1789-1815
France--History--Consulate and Empire, 1799-7815
Great Britain--Commerce--United States
Great Britain--Commercial policy
Merchant seamen--Mass.--New Bedford--Salaries, pensions, etc.
Merchant ships--Mass.--New Bedford
Merchant ships--New York--New York City
Murray & Mumford, New York City, New York
New York (City)--Commerce
Pickens, John Jr., 1779-1825
Pickens, Peace Bennett, 1775-1812
Pickens, Thaddeus, 1774-ca. 1811
Shipping--New York--New York City
United States--Commerce--Great Britain
United States--Commercial policy
United States--History--Tripolitan War, 1801-1805
Samuel Elam (Ship)
- Sailors’ Series Lectures
- Lecture Series: Famine, Friends & Fenians
- February Vacation Week
- Lecture: Curators discuss Artist Albert Pinkham Ryder
- New Bedford Lyceum: Bob Woodward
- Symposia: Inner Light – The World of William Bradford
- Second Half Lectures: Influential Women
- 8th Annual Nautical Antiques Show
- 29th Annual Scrimshaw Weekend
- 2017 Members’ Trip
- Annual Family Activities
- Community Programs
- Annual Events
- Past Programs
- Exhibit Enhancements
- Discovery Center
- Herman Melville
- Captain Paul Cuffe