Guide to the Collection

Collection Summary


This collection consists primarily of the papers of Benjamin T. Pickman, son-in-law Samuel Baker Walcott, and grandson Charles Folsom Walcott.

Biographical Sketches

Benjamin Pickman, Jr. (1763-1843) was a lawyer in Salem, Mass.; graduate of Harvard, Class of 1784; overseer of Harvard, 1810-1818; and member of Congress, 1809-1811.

Benjamin Toppan Pickman (1790-1835), the son of Benjamin Pickman, Jr., was a Boston merchant; commander of the New England Guards; and lieutenant in the 2nd Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Militia. His daughter Martha married Samuel Baker Walcott in 1829.

Samuel Baker (originally Jesse) Walcott (1795-1854), the son-in-law of Benjamin T. Pickman, was a Hopkinton, Mass. lawyer; graduate of Harvard, Class of 1819; and associate in the law office of Daniel Webster.

Charles Folsom Walcott (1836-1887), the son of Samuel Baker Walcott and Martha (Pickman) Walcott, was a Boston lawyer; captain in the 21st Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Militia; and lieutenant-colonel in the 61st Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, 1861-1865. He also served as representative to the Massachusetts General Court, 1871-1872. He married Anna Morrill Wyman, the daughter of Dr. Morrill Wyman and Elizabeth (Pulsifer) Wyman.

Collection Description

This collection consists primarily of the papers of Benjamin T. Pickman, son-in-law Samuel Baker Walcott, and grandson Charles Folsom Walcott. Pickman family papers, 1806-1856, relate mainly to Benjamin T. Pickman and consist of correspondence, drafts of addresses, promissory notes, indentures, bills for household expenses at his residence on Mt. Vernon Street, commissions, and certificates of membership. Youthful pieces include copies of addresses delivered during his education at Phillips Exeter Academy, 1806-1807. A letter from his father Benjamin Pickman, Jr. offers parental advice and describes his expectations as a newly elected representative to Congress, 15 May 1809.

Papers documenting Benjamin T. Pickman's association with the New England Guards, 1811-1819, include receipts, inspection and muster reports, garrison regulations at Fort Strong, a subscription list of Boston philanthropists to underwrite costs of supplies, drafts of Pickman's addresses to the company on official occasions, and testimonials upon his resignation as commander. Letters from George Sullivan, 1814, concern the Guards' military efficiency and speculation about an enemy attack. Major correspondents include Gov. John Brooks, 1820-1821, and Robert W. Barnwell, 1822-1833, with accounts of his activities as a lawyer and politician in South Carolina, as well as later congressional matters in Washington.

Among the occasional correspondents are John Quincy Adams, 1832; Edward Everett, 1835; Levi Lincoln, 1833; Theodore Lyman; and Josiah Quincy, 1834. Family correspondence includes letters from Pickman and his wife Hannah (Bright) Pickman to their daughter Martha (Pickman) Walcott, 1826-1842. Letters of condolence, copies of resolves of the Massachusetts General Court, and testimonials sent to Hannah Pickman on the death of her husband in 1835 include messages from Samuel T. Armstrong, Horace Mann, and Josiah Quincy.

Additional papers of Benjamin Pickman, Jr., 1805-1856, consist of several letters; a deed of conveyance for a share of the ship William, 1816; and papers related to the settlement of Pickman's estate, 1844-1856.

Walcott family papers, 1814-1887, include early papers of Samuel Baker Walcott. Among these are letters written during his education at Phillips Academy in Andover, 1814; notes from his Harvard undergraduate classes, 1816-1818; and letters related to his teaching posts at Salem and Cambridge, 1819-1820. Correspondence regarding his law practice, 1826-1851, includes a number of letters from Daniel Webster, 1829-1834 (Walcott was connected with Webster's legal office), as well as professional correspondence from George Morey and Alfred Dwight Foster. Walcott's interest in legislative and governmental affairs is reflected in letters from James Gordon Carter, Marcus Morton, and Willard Phillips, 1839-1843. Other correspondents include John Pickering about philology and work on his lexicon, 1819-1821; Charles Folsom, 1822-1856; Francis Bowen on Harvard alumni matters, 1842; Fletcher Webster, 1834; and J. Ingersoll Bowditch.

The collection also contains an account book, 1837-1854, and papers related to the settlement of Walcott's estate, administered by Andrew B. Almon and Thomas C. Smith. Letters of condolence on his death include one from George Peabody concerning a portrait from his widow.

Papers of Charles Folsom Walcott consist of correspondence, commissions, receipts, deeds, briefs, and documents related to legal cases, 1855-1887. Letters to his fiancée Anne Morrill Wyman describe military actions during the Civil War, 1862-1864, including the Battle of Roanoke, rear guard action during the retreat from Cedar Run, holding action along the Potomac at Antietam Ford, and strategy at the Battle of Fredericksburg, as well as Walcott's reactions to camp life and opinions on the ineptness of military and government leaders.

Correspondence of 1880-1885 contains information on army personnel used in the publication of Charles F. Walcott's History of the Twenty-First Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers in the War for the Preservation of the Union (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1882). Also included are letters regarding French spoliation claims of Elias Haskett Derby, 1885.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Dr. Charles F. Walcott, December 1970.

Box List to the Collection

Box 1
Undated papers
Box 2
Box 3
Box 4
Box 5
Box 6

Preferred Citation

Walcott-Pickman family papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.


Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848.
Barnwell, Robert Woodward, 1801-1882.
Brooks, John, 1752-1825.
Everett, Edward, 1794-1865.
Folsom, Charles, 1794-1872.
Lincoln, Levi, 1749-1820.
Mann, Horace, 1796-1859.
Morton, Marcus, 1784-1864.
Pickering, John, 1777-1846.
Pickman, Benjamin T., 1790-1835.
Pickman family.
Quincy, Josiah, 1772-1864.
Walcott, Charles Folsom, 1836-1887.
Walcott family.
Walcott, Samuel Baker, 1795-1854.
Webster, Daniel, 1782-1852.


New England Guards.


United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Campaigns.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives.