PICKERING, TIMOTHY, Secretary of State under Wahington. Autograph letter signed (''Timothy Pickering Junr.'') to his father Timothy Pickering, Sr., York Town, 23 February 1778. 2 pages, 4to, browned, a bit weak at folds.
PICKERING, TIMOTHY, Secretary of State under Wahington. Autograph letter signed ("Timothy Pickering Junr.") to his father Timothy Pickering, Sr., York Town, 23 February 1778. 2 pages, 4to, browned, a bit weak at folds.
REBEL SON TO LOYALIST FATHER, 1778.
A poignant letter of Pickering (1745-1829), one of nine children of Timothy and Mary Pickering of Salem, Massachusetts. He became active in the independence movement at an early stage, helped organize the Massachusetts militia and was named a Colonel. He participated in the Lexington and Concord skirmishes of April 1775, then, after joining Washington's army, fought in the campaigns of 1776-77. At the date of this letter he was serving as adjutant general of the Continental Army. Apparently his father either disapproved of his military service, or, more probably, of his political stand on independence. "With much grief I received the account of your indisposition; but at the same time I was happy to find you rather growing better, & that there was a prospect of your recovery....When I look back on past time, I regret our difference of sentiment in great as well as (sometime) in little politics....Yet you had always too much regard to freedom in thinking & the rights of conscience to lay upon me any injunctions which could interfere with my own opinion of what was my duty. In all things I have endeavoured to keep a good conscience, void of offence towards God and man. Often have I thanked my maker for the greatest blessing of my life - your example & instructions in all the duties to God, and my neighbor...I am deeply indebted too for your care in my education; I only regret that I improved my time no better. But altho' the line of action that I have pursued has not always been such as you would have chosen; yet (but I boast not) in regard to religion and morality I hope you have never repented that I was your son. By God's grace I will in my future life aim at higher attainments...."