Timothy Pickering and the Essex Agricultural Society
Sunday, February 12, 2023
Presented by Otis Edwards
Scientific and Learned Societies were established in America since Colonial Times. One of the earliest agricultural societies in the United States was The Massachusetts Society for Promoting Agriculture (M.S.P.A.), incorporated in 1792. Another was the Essex Agricultural Society, established in 1816. Both organizations have three things in common: both are actively operating today, both seek to contribute knowledge in their communities, and finally both may claim the participation of Col. Timothy Pickering in their founding. After retiring from public life, Pickering was an active horticulturist on the grounds of the family estate in Salem, as well as his farm in Wenham. These associations were the perfect forum where he could share his findings with others.
Pickering, and many others at the time, instituted their belief in the importance of agriculture to benefit society based on “universally acknowledged” principles. Yet, the perception that Indigenous societies had been able to raise crops and feed their societies for millennia before the arrival of Europeans could not have been lost on Pickering, so what accounts for their conviction?
Join us for a fascinating talk when Archive Committee member Otis Edwards uses recently discovered diaries entitled “Husbandry,” to explore how concepts such as Agricultural Improvement were conceived and distributed in late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and continue today.
Otis Edwards moved to Salem in 2018 after a 27-year career in China. With an MBA and MA in History, his current Ph. D. research centers on early American commercial relations with China. He joined the Pickering Foundation Board in 2019.
$15 Members; $20 Non-members
Location:Pickering House: 18 Broad Street, Salem