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Pickering, Timothy (1745-1829) to Timothy Pickering, Sr.

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02325 Author/Creator: Pickering, Timothy (1745-1829) Place Written: Yorktown, Virginia Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 23 February 1778 Pagination: 2 p. ; 25 x 19 cm.

Summary of Content: Colonel Pickering writes a poignant letter to his loyalist father, Deacon Pickering, who he recently learned was gravely ill. Expresses happiness over an improvement in his father's health and regret over their political differences. Thanks his father for his "example & instructions in all the duties to God, and my neighbor." Also states that "altho' the line of action I have pursued has not always been such as you would have chosen...in regard to religion and morality, I hope you have never repented that I was your son." The "prospect for recovery" mentioned was not realized; Deacon Pickering died a few months later.

Full Transcript: York Town Feb.y 23. 1778.

My Honoured Father,
With much grief I received the account of your indisposition; but at the same time was happy to find you rather growing better, & ...that there was a prospect of your recovery. Not that I
deemed you anxious to live; I supposed the contrary: -- but whether to live or die, I know you are
perfectly resigned to the will of Heaven.-But for the sake of your family & friends, I wished you to live yet many years: that I too might again see you, & manifest that filial duty which I feel, & would chearfully pay, to your latest breath.
When I look back on past time, I regret our difference of sentiment in great as well as (sometimes) in little politics; as it was a deduction from the happiness otherwise to have been enjoyed. 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 [inserted: 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 [2] my life-your example & instructions in all the duties I owe to God, and my neighbour. They have not been lost upon me; tho' I am aware that in many things I have offended, & come short of my duty. For these things I am grieved; but not as those who have no hope.
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 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 in those all-essential points; not only from a sense of duty to my Creator-from a regard to my own happiness here and beyond the grave-but that I may never wound the breast of a parent to whom I am under so many and so great obligations.
My love and duty to you and my mother,
conclude me your obedient son,
Tim. Pickering junr:

To M.r Tim.o Pickering
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People: Pickering, Timothy, 1745-1829
Pickering, Timothy, 1702-1778

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: ReligionRevolutionary WarLoyalistChildren and FamilyHealth and MedicalPoliticsMorality and Ethics

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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