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Edward M. Pickman Papers, 1912-1950 (bulk 1915-1929): Finding Aid

Published in 1997

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
    https://www.usna.edu/Library/sca/index.php
  • Call number: MS 332
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Edward M. Pickman Papers
  • Dates: 1912-1950
  • Bulk Dates: 1915-1929
  • Size: 1.5 linear feet (4 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize folder)
  • Creator: Pickman, Edward Motley, 1886-
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Edward Motley Pickman was a U.S. Navy Reservist, embassy attaché, and historian. The Pickman Papers pertain to Pickman's service as a prison camp inspector in World War I, his World War I naval service, familial matters, and intellectual pursuits after the War.

Biography of Edward M. Pickman

Edward Motley Pickman was born on October 13, 1886 in Boston, Massachusetts to Dudley Leavitt Pickman and Ellen Rodman Motley Pickman. As a youth, Pickman attended Noble and Greenough School, before graduating cum laude with an A.B. from Harvard in June 1908. A year later, he received an M.A. in history from the same institution, and then proceeded on to Harvard Law School, where he was awarded an LL.B. in 1912.

Pickman practiced law for only two years, and in 1915 began work as an embassy attaché at the American Embassy in Paris. Among his duties, Pickman was delegated by the Ambassador of the United States in Paris to visit and report upon the camps and depots for Austro-German prisoners of war confined in France. Upon American entry into World War I, Pickman joined the U.S. Navy, serving aboard the destroyer U.S.S. Wainwright (DD-62) from April 24, 1917 to March 6, 1918. While attached to Wainwright, Pickman rose from Quartermaster First Class to a commission as an Ensign in the Naval Reserves on January 28, 1918. Following his detachment from Wainwright, he was assigned to duty as an aide to Captain R.H. Jackson, Staff Representative to Admirals Sims and Wilson in Paris, until December 1918. In May 1918, Pickman was released from active duty with the rank of Lieutenant (junior grade).

After the War, Pickman decided to further pursue his studies in history. In 1921, he and his family traveled to Europe to aid in Pickman's studies of European history, allowing him to study at the Sorbonne, in Berlin, and in Italy. Upon returning to the United States, Pickman embarked upon writing a history of his own, publishing The Mind of Latin Christendom in 1937. Chronic illness would ultimately prevent Pickman from publishing his planned second volume.

In 1915, Pickman married Hester Marion Chanler. Together, the Pickmans had six children, two sons and four daughters. Edward Motley Pickman died in 1959.

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Description of Contents

The Edward M. Pickman Papers, comprising 1.5 linear feet of documentation, span from 1912 to 1950. The papers pertain to Pickman's service as a prison camp inspector in World War I, his World War I naval service, familial matters, and intellectual pursuits after the War.

The collection consists of correspondence, reports, photographs, certificates, and travel documents.

Pickman's earliest World War I experiences are described in Series 1: Prisoner of War Camp Inspection Files. The files are the product of Pickman's time as an American embassy attaché, in which he was tasked with observing and reporting on the conditions in French prisoner of war camps. The remainder of Pickman's wartime experiences, namely those aboard U.S.S. Wainwright and as an aide to Captain R.H. Jackson in Paris, can be found in Series 2: Correspondence. This second series, the bulk of which is composed of letters between Pickman and his wife Hester, also includes information on Pickman's family life, world travel, and activities as a historian and member of Massachusetts society.

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Arrangement

The Edward M. Pickman Papers are organized into the following two series:

  • Series 1: Prisoner of War Camp Inspection Files, 1915
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1912-1950
  • Subseries 2a: Letters Sent by Edward M. Pickman, 1915-1948
  • Subseries 2b: Letters Sent by Hester Pickman, 1916-1927
  • Subseries 2c: Letters Received from Various Correspondents, 1917-1950
  • Subseries 2d: Miscellaneous Papers, 1912-1937
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Access and Use

Access

Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Edward M. Pickman Papers are the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Purchased in March 1997. Accession No. 97-16.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Additional material pertaining to Edward Motley Pickman can be found in the Dudley Leavitt Pickman Papers 1721-1938 at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Edward M. Pickman Papers, MS 332

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:

Whitney, Hugh, "Edward Motley Pickman," Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society Third Series, no. 72 (October 1957-December 1960): 364-370 http://www.jstor.org/stable/25080529

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1997. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in March 2014, based loosely on a guide written by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1997.

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Subject Headings

These materials have been indexed in the Naval Academy Library online catalog using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.

Name and Subject Terms

  • Pickman, Hester
  • Pickman, Edward Motley, 1886-
  • Prisoners of war -- Germany
  • Wainwright (Destroyer : DD-62)
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Prisoners and prisons, French
  • World war, 1914-1918 -- Naval operations, American

Genre Terms

  • Certificates
  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts
  • Photographs
  • Reports
  • Travel documents
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Contents List

Series 1: Prisoner of War Camp Inspection Files, 1915 Box 1

Series Description

Documentation of Pickman's duties inspecting World War I prisoner of war camps holding German and Austrian war prisoners in France. The series consists primarily of Pickman's reports on conditions at the camps, but also includes his travel documentation. The reports can include location and description of the facilities at the camps; number and type of prisoners; observations on clothing, food, discipline, and sanitation; and recommendations for improvements.

Series Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date of prison camp visit.

Box 1 Folder 1

Correspondence and Documents, 1915

Box 1 Folder 2

Isle de Chaussey, [1915]

Box 1 Folder 3

Isle de Groix, [1915]

Box 1 Folder 4

Pontmain, [1915]

Box 1 Folder 5

Brest Military Hospital and Fort Brest, 1915 January 15

Box 1 Folder 6

Ile Longue and Lazaret, 1915 January 16

Box 1 Folder 7

Quiberon, 1915 January 18

Box 1 Folder 8

Belle Ile, 1915 January 19

Box 1 Folder 9

St. Brieuc, 1915 January 20

Box 1 Folder 10

Coetquidan, 1915 January 21

Box 1 Folder 11

Fougeres, 1915 January 21

Box 1 Folder 12

Chateauneuf, 1915 January 22

Box 1 Folder 13

Dinan, 1915 January 22

Box 1 Folder 14

Saint-Nazaire, 1915 April 13

Box 1 Folder 15

Depot of Le Mans, 1915 August 3, 9

Box 1 Folder 16

Auxiliary Hospital 25 (Nantes), 1915 August 5

Box 1 Folder 17

Nantes (Depot de Rochemaurice), 1915 August 5

Box 1 Folder 18

Saint-Nazaire, 1915 August 6

Box 1 Folder 19

Coetquidan, 1915 August 8

Box 1 Folder 20

Belle Isle (Caserne), 1915 August 10

Box 1 Folder 21

Belle Isle (Citadelle), 1915 August 10

Box 1 Folder 22

Depot of Issoudun, 1915 August 11

Box 1 Folder 23

Quiberon (Fort Pontiere), 1915 August 11

Box 1 Folder 24

Ile Longue, 1915 August 15

Box 1 Folder 25

Brest (Chauteau d'Anne), 1915 August 16

Box 1 Folder 26

Brest Military Hospital, 1915 August 16

Box 1 Folder 27

Dinan, 1915 August 20

Box 1 Folder 28

St. Brieuc, 1915 August 20

Box 1 Folder 29

Chateauneuf, 1915 August 21

Box 1 Folder 30

Fougeres, 1915 August 23

Box 1 Folder 31

La Guerche, 1915 August 23

Box 1 Folder 32

General Observations on the Conditions at the Military Depots, 1915 September 15

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Series 2: Correspondence, 1912-1950 Boxes 2-4

Series Description

Correspondence sent and received by both Edward Pickman and his wife, Hester Pickman. The letters pertain to largely to family matters, Edward Pickman's World War I service aboard U.S.S. Wainwright and under R.H. Jackson in Paris, and the Pickmans' travels and social lives. Included at the end of the series are several miscellaneous items pertaining to Pickman's role as a Justice of the Peace and Notary Public in Massachusetts.

Series Arrangement

Organized into four subseries.

Subseries 2a: Letters Sent by Edward M. Pickman, 1915-1948 Boxes 2-4

Subseries Description

Letter written by Edward M. Pickman to his wife Hester Marion Pickman, Mrs. D.L. Pickman, Mrs. Winthrop Chamber, and others.

Pickman's early letters, from 1915-1916, pertain to family and social matters, a War relief bazaar, Pickman's naval training, naval officer acquaintances, and activities as squad leader.

During 1917, Pickman's letters turn to his service aboard U.S.S. Wainwright, and offer details on his naval duties, shipboard life, the attitudes of the ship's men, and life in port. Pickman also discusses his recommendation for commission as an acting ensign and his service as the ship's athletic manager, as well as his intellectual pursuits. The letters from 1917 were censored at the time of mailing.

Pickman's 1918 correspondence discusses his commission as a reserve ensign, as well as his detachment from U.S.S. Wainwright to serve under Captain R.H. Jackson in Paris. While in Paris, Pickman talks of his plans to have his wife join him and work under Edith Wharton doing relief work, as well as his social life, acquaintances, and intellectual interests. The letters from 1918 were censored at the time of mailing.

The remainder of Pickman's letters pertain to topics such has his family, Massachusetts social life, intellectual pursuits, research for his book, his support for music groups, and foreign travels to Bermuda, Paris, and Berlin.

Subseries Arrangement

Arranged by letter recipient, thereunder chronologically.

Box 2 Folder 1-4
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, undated
Box 2 Folder 5-6
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1915
Box 2 Folder 7-14
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1916
Box 2 Folder 15-34
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1917 May-September
Box 2 Folder 35-48
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1917 October-December
Box 2 Folder 49-57
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1918 January-February
Box 3 Folder 1-18
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1918 March-May
Box 3 Folder 19-33
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1918 June-August
Box 3 Folder 34-45
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1918 September-December
Box 3 Folder 46-47
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1919
Box 3 Folder 48
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1920
Box 3 Folder 49-56
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1922
Box 3 Folder 57-65
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1923
Box 3 Folder 66-73
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1924 October
Box 4 Folder 1-19
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1924 November-December
Box 4 Folder 20-32
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1925
Box 4 Folder 33-35
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1926
Box 4 Folder 36-44
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1927
Box 4 Folder 45-46
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1929
Box 4 Folder 47-49
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1930
Box 4 Folder 50-53
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1934
Box 4 Folder 54-57
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1941
Box 4 Folder 58
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1942
Box 4 Folder 59-62
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1943
Box 4 Folder 63-65
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1945
Box 4 Folder 66
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1946
Box 4 Folder 67-70
From Edward Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1948
Box 4 Folder 71
From Edward Pickman to D.L. Pickman, 1917
Box 4 Folder 72-79
From Edward Pickman to Mrs. D.L. Pickman, 1929-1938
Box 4 Folder 80
From Edward Pickman to Mrs. Winthrop Chamber, 1918
Box 4 Folder 81-82
From Edward Pickman, 1918

Includes a leave request.

Subseries 2b: Letters Sent by Hester Pickman, 1916-1927 Box 4

Subseries Description

Letters written by Hester Pickman to Edward Pickman and Mrs. D.L. Pickman. The letters pertain primarily to domestic and social matters, children, and travel.

One undated letter in the subseries dates from Mrs. Pickman's time in Paris, and regards her studies in painting and association with such notables as Paul Valery and James Joyce.

Subseries Arrangement

Arranged by recipient, thereunder chronologically.

Box 4 Folder 83-86
From Hester Pickman to Edward Pickman, undated
Box 4 Folder 87-91
From Hester Pickman to Edward Pickman, 1916
Box 4 Folder 92-93
From Hester Pickman to Edward Pickman, 1927
Box 4 Folder 94
From Hester Pickman to Mrs. D.L. Pickman, undated

Subseries 2c: Letters Received from Various Correspondents, 1917-1950 Box 4

Subseries Description

Letters received by Edward Pickman and Hester Pickman from various correspondents, including Winthrop Chamber, family members, and friends. Several pieces of correspondence potentially do not include either of the Pickmans as recipients. One 1917 letter from Winthrop Chamber to Edward Pickman discussed Pickman's World War I naval service and Chamber's meeting with Franklin Roosevelt.

Subseries Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Box 4 Folder 95
From unknown to Sarald, undated
Box 4 Folder 96
From Winthrop Chamber to Edward Pickman, 1917 February 1
Box 4 Folder 97
From Winthrop Chamber to Edward Pickman, 1917 May 6
Box 4 Folder 98
From Flag Secretary to Edward Pickman, 1917 May 19
Box 4 Folder 99
From R. Dureu(?) to Edward Pickman, 1918 February 12
Box 4 Folder 100
From Gerald Villiers(?) to [Edward Pickman], 1918 March 22
Box 4 Folder 101
From Muriel Villiers(?) to Edward Pickman, 1918 May 19
Box 4 Folder 102
From [Winthrop Chamber] or P.D. to Edward Pickman, 1918 August 16-31
Box 4 Folder 103
From unknown to Mrs. Winthrop Chamber, 1918 October 2
Box 4 Folder 104
From friends to Edward Pickman, 1919 July 8
Box 4 Folder 105
From R.B. Merriman(?) to Edward Pickman, 1921 September 22
Box 4 Folder 106
From Anthony Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1926 February 20
Box 4 Folder 107
From David Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1934
Box 4 Folder 108
From Martha Pickman to Hester Pickman, 1936 February 5
Box 4 Folder 109
From Thomas Cook & Son to Edward Pickman, 1937 April 5
Box 4 Folder 110
From Loring Coolidge Office to Edward Pickman, 1950 November 21

Subseries 2d: Miscellaneous Papers, 1912-1937

Subseries Description

Documentation of Pickman's appointment as a Justice of the Peace and Notary Public, as well as other miscellany. Included in the subseries are certificates, notes, and a passport photograph.

Subseries Arrangement

Organized into two files by document type.

Box 4 Folder 111
Miscellaneous Papers, 1913, 1937, undated
Drawer MSOS Folder 1
Miscellaneous Papers - Certificates, 1912-1913
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