Joshua Pico business records, 1760-1840 (inclusive)

Content Notes

The Joshua Pico business records consist of seven account books of Joshua Pico and his business partners, including Samuel Treat (-1766), dated 1760-1840, recording charges for packing, heading, gauging, full-binding, repacking, and branding hogsheads and barrels of commodities like fish, molasses, and oil. Customers included Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814; Harvard AB 1762, MA 1765), Samuel A. Otis (1740-1814; Harvard AB 1759), John Adams (1735-1826; Harvard AB 1755), John Hancock (1737-1793; Harvard AB 1754), and John Rowe (1715-1787). Accounts for Treat & Pico appear until shortly after Treat's death in 1766. Pico and Treat were apparently also involved in mercantile voyages to the Caribbean and the West Indies, and there are accounts related to "adventures" to Jamaica and Guadeloupe. By 1777, Pico had gained a new partner, and accounts reflected charges by Pico & Avis. The collection also contains some personal receipts of Pico and merchant correspondence. Additional customers include: Leonard Jarvis (1742-1813); Thomas Boylston (1721-1798); Melatiah Bourn (1722-1778); Daniel Sargent (1730-1806); Thomas Brattle (1742-1801; Harvard AB 1760); Joseph Barrell (1739-1804); Thomas Cushing (1725-1788; Harvard AB 1744); and the firms of John & William Powell and Benjamin Greene & Son. Later accounts in the last volume from approximately 1805-1840 are attributed to Boston cooper John Bray (1761-1829) and the company of J. & J. Child, but it is unclear if they had a business relationship with Pico.

Biographical Notes

Joshua Pico (1732-1807) was a packager and cooper in Boston. He was a member of the Sons of Liberty during the American Revolutionary War. Pico partnered with fellow merchant and cooper Samuel Treat (-1766) for part of the 1760s, and later went into business as Pico & Avis in about 1777. Pico packed, headed, gauged, repacked, and branded hogsheads and barrels for other merchants. The commodities he traded included fish, such as mackerel and alewife, molasses, wine and liquor, flour, potash, and oil. He also occasionally constructed or mended furniture.