Benjamin Pickman Jr.

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Benjamin Pickman Jr.
BenjaminPickman ca1843 byChesterHarding MFABoston.jpeg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1809 – March 3, 1811
Preceded by Joseph Story
Succeeded by William Reed
Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
In office
Member of the Massachusetts Senate
In office
Personal details
Born September 30, 1763
Salem, Massachusetts
Died August 16, 1843(1843-08-16) (aged 79)
Political party Federalist
Spouse(s) Anstiss Derby
Children Hasket Derby Pickman, Benjamin T. Pickman[1]

Benjamin Pickman Jr. (September 30, 1763 – August 16, 1843) was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts.


Pickman was born in Salem, Massachusetts, a descendant of Benjamin Pickman, an Englishman from Bristol.[2][3] Pickman graduated from Harvard University in 1784 after having attended Dummer Academy (now known as The Governor's Academy). The descendant of a Salem merchant family dynasty related to other prominent Salem families such as the Derbys, the Pickerings and the Crowninshields,[4] Pickman studied law in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and was admitted to the bar, but soon relinquished the practice of law to engage in commercial pursuits, becoming one of the most active merchants of his day in Salem.

Portrait of Benjamin Pickman, Sr., by John Singleton Copley

Pickman's father Col. Benjamin Pickman, Sr.,[5] one of the most important merchants in Salem, had been a Loyalist, his estates confiscated by the Colonial government and was forced to flee America for England, only returning to Salem in 1785 after the end of the Revolutionary War.[6]

Benjamin Pickman Jr., served the new nation in several capacities. He was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1797-1802, 1812, and 1813. Benjamin Pickman Jr. also served in the Massachusetts Senate in 1803, as well as a member of the executive council of the State in 1805, 1808, 1813, 1814, and 1819-1821.

Pickman was elected as a Federalist to the Eleventh Congress (March 4, 1809 – March 3, 1811), but he was not a candidate for renomination in 1810. He served as member of the convention to revise the constitution of the State of Massachusetts in 1820. He served as overseer of Harvard University 1810-1818. He served as president of the board of directors of the Theological School at Cambridge. He died in Salem, Massachusetts, August 16, 1843, and was interred with his Pickman ancestors in Salem's Broad Street Cemetery.[7] He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1815.[8]

Pickman was instrumental in the commercial development of much of the heart of historic Salem. In 1815 he and John Derby III acquired property belonging to Derby family heirs to develop Derby Square, which would encompass three brick commercial rows. The Pickman-Derby Block, built in 1817, still stands. The Pickman Building on Derby Square, built in 1816, was part of the development.[9] The Pickman family also owned Pickman farm. Salem's Pickman Street is named for them.[10]

Benjamin Pickman Jr. was married to Anstiss Derby, daughter of Elias Hasket Derby and Elizabeth Crowninshield.[11] The son of Benjamin Pickman and the former Anstiss Derby was Hasket Derby Pickman, who died in 1815, the same year he graduated from Harvard College.[12]


  1. ^ Roberts, Oliver Ayer (1897), History of the Military company of the Massachusetts, now called The Ancient and Honorable Company of Massachusetts. Volume II. 1738-1828., Boston, MA: The Ancient and Honorable Company of Massachusetts., p. 408.
  2. ^ The Founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Sarah Sprague Saunders Smith, Sun Printing Company, Pittsfield, Mass., 1897
  3. ^ Naturalization papers of Benjamin Pickman, Dudley Leavitt Pickman Papers, Phillips Library Collection, Peabody Essex Museum, Archived December 18, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Pickman House, Essex Institute Historical Collections, Essex Institute, Peabody Essex Museum, Vol. XXXIX, Printed for the Society, Salem, 1903
  5. ^ The Founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Sarah Sprague Saunders Smith, Sun Printing Company, Pittsfield, Mass., 1897
  6. ^ The Journal and Letters of Samuel Curwen, An American in England, Samuel Curwen, George Atkinson Ward, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1864
  7. ^ Pickman family tomb, Broad Street Cemetery, Salem, Massachusetts, Archived August 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter P" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  9. ^ Architecture in Salem, Bryant Franklin Tolles, Jr., Bryant F. Tolles, Carolyn K. Tolles, Paul F. Norton, reprinted by UPNE, 2004
  10. ^ The Pickman Silver, Essex Institute Historical Collections, Essex Institute, Peabody Essex Museum, Vol. XXXIX, Salem, Mass., 1903
  11. ^ Life in a New England Town, 1787, 1788, John Quincy Adams, Charles Francis Adams, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1903
  12. ^ Gravestone of Hasket Derby Pickman, Old Burying Point, Salem, Massachusetts,

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See also[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Joseph Story
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 2nd congressional district

March 4, 1809 – March 3, 1811
Succeeded by
William Reed