Admiral Picking’s Shoulder Boards, Hat and 1861 Issued Sword

REAR ADMIRAL HENRY F. PICKING ESTATE (1840 – 1899)

We have been selected by the Picking family to inventory, authenticate, restore, certify and register his artifacts.

It is rare to find a complete 1898 admiral’s uniform.  It is rarer still when it includes his original U.S. Naval Academy sword presented at Annapolis in 1861 graduating with his friend William T. Sampson.  This sword accompanied Lt. Picking while serving on the U.S. frigate St. Lawrence during the battle of Hampton Roads (capturing the Herald, Petrel and Jenny Lee) and on the famous  U.S.S. Nahant iron-clad monitor.

Post Civil War, Lt. Commander Picking served on the U.S.S. Swatara, frigate Colorado under RADM Rodgers, then as Commander on the U.S.S. Michigan and the U.S.S. Kearsarge.   His final ship was as Captain of the cruiser U.S.S. Charleston in 1895.  Captain Picking served at the U.S. Navy Yard, New York during the Spanish American War and in August 1998, Commodore Picking became Commandant of the U.S. Navy Yard, Boston where he finished out his career.

On March 3, 1899, former classmates and now Commodores Picking and Sampson were both promoted to Rear Admiral serving under Admiral Dewey at a time when the U.S. Navy consisted of only six active admirals (Compared to approximately 290 active admirals today)

USS Nahant Ironclad Monitor Henry Picking Commanded