Charles William Pickering [1841-1928]

The photos and stories on these pages were lovingly assembled by Skip Pickering, a great-grandson of Charles William Pickering
Charles William Pickering pipe Charles William Pickering needles The palm push and needles were known to be CW's. The faded initials that are left are "WP"

The knife has more of a story. It was made from a broken saber. The name Joseph Rodgers and sonsis on the blade. It was sharpened into a knife and was used by CW on the days they were becalmed. He practiced throwing it to keep his eye sharpened, and also to illustrate to the crew that he was good at throwing it. Story told to me by my dad, Slim [Clifford] Pickering. The handle is bone, and the hilt and frame for the handle are silver.

The compass has no story, but it was among CW'S things, as was the Meerschaum pipe and case.
Charles William Pickering knife Charles William Pickering compass

"Dad at one time tried to teach me as much about knot-making as he could, telling me that his Grandpa had taught them to him! We are trying to identify the model of this ship that CW is holding. His brother, Henry Alfred [1847-1940], was said to have owned a model of the chip Cestrian but we're not sure if this is the same model.

Research continues . . .

Charles William Pickering, first born son of a banking and merchant family in 1841, educated in a manner afforded to that class of Englishmen, must have felt the pull of the sea early. Living near to Liverpool, and having family ships at his disposal, he would have naturally heard the " Song of the Sirens". As his father was a wool and cotton merchant, he would also just as naturally have shipped to sea as 'super-cargo' or agent for his father in keeping track of family interests. The purchase of the Steam Ship Denbigh in 1861 by his father and partners would have given him the opportunity to enjoy a different mode of transportation other than wind.

The lure took him to the then warring States...first as super-cargo and later as Captain of theDenbigh, hauling supplies to the Confederacy from Havana, and cotton back to Havana to be trans-shipped to England to supply his father's mills.[For the sake of historical accuracy, research is on-going to verify that he was the Captain of the Denbigh]

After the sinking of the Denbigh, he is next seen in Iowa, far from the aftermath of the Civil War. There he married Clara Isabella White, and relocated his then small family to western Riley and eastern Geary Counties. He was joined there by several of his brothers. As time passed, some brothers married and moved away, others remained in close proximity. The lure of the sea remained for CW. As the railroads were completed to the West coast, they were an excellent link to the sea for him. His growing family was permanently located in Junction City, Kansas, while he traveled by rail to secure work in what he'd been groomed for...Merchant Marine.

He continued to make his pilgrimage to the sea as his family grew, until the years determined that he remain at home. By that time his young family had grown in years as him grandchildren to regale with stories of blockade-running, high seas, far-away places, and also bestowing on them the lure of travel.....evidenced by the widely dispersed family that remains today.

Only a few of his personal items are left, and only a few of the stories remain, to be told and retold to the coming generations of Charles William Pickering ...Citizen of the World.

Skip Pickering