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William Albert  Hickman  William Albert Hickman[1, 2, 3, 4]
 1878 - 1957

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  • Birth  22 Dec 1878  Dorchester Parish, Westmorland, New Brunswich, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6
    Gender  Male 
    Education  Nova Scotia Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Pictou Academy 
    Education  1896  [7
    entered Harvard University 
    Lived in  1899  London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Graduated  1899  Cambridge, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    Harvard University 
    Occupation  inventor of the "Hickman Sea Sled" 
    Occupation  1899  [7
    Commissioner for New Brunswick 
    Occupation  1900 
    Author - "Handbook of New Brunswick" 
    Occupation  1903 
    Author - "The Canadian West and Northwest" 
    Occupation  1903 
    Author - "The sacrifice of the Shannon" 
    Occupation  1909 
    Author - "An Unofficial Love Story" 
    Occupation  1914 
    Author - "Canadian Nights" 
    Died  10 Sep 1957  [7
    Buried  Lot 8, Section 9, Grove Street Cemetery, New London, CT Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I3302  Main
    Last Modified  17 Sep 2007 15:33:00 
     
    Father  Albert J. H. Hickman, Esq., b. Abt 1848, Nova Scotia  
    Mother  Ellen Wilson, b. 1853 
    Family ID  F1170  Group Sheet
     
    Family 1  Esther Foss 
    Married 
    • Paul Foss notes:

      "In a needless-to-say extraordinary occurrence, Albert divorced Esther and Dorothy divorced Benjamin thereby enabling Albert and Dorothy to be wed."

      Helen M. Petchey in "The Hickmans in Dorchester's Heyday!" p.11 notes:

      "W. Albert Hickman was twice married, first to Esther Foss, a daughter of Eugene Foss, a three-term govenor of Massachussets; and second to Dorothy Chapman Foss of California."

      JSH notes:

      The tree appearing in the appendix of The Hickman's in Dorchester's Heyday incorrectly shows Foss spelled Goss.  The correct spelling is Foss.  [10, 11]
    Last Modified  27 Feb 2006 10:02:00 
    Family ID  F2231  Group Sheet
     
    Family 2  Dorothy Emily Chapman, b. 4 Oct 1889, prob. San Francisco, San Francisco, California  
    Married  Aft 21 Aug 1921 
    • Paul Foss notes:

      "In a needless-to-say extraordinary occurrence, Albert divorced Esther and Dorothy divorced Benjamin thereby enabling Albert and Dorothy to be wed."

      Helen M. Petchey in "The Hickmans in Dorchester's Heyday!" notes:

      "W. Albert Hickman was twice married, first to Esther Foss, a daughter of Eugene Foss, a three-term govenor of Massachussets; and second to Dorothy Chapman Foss of California." [10, 12]
    Last Modified  27 Feb 2006 09:58:00 
    Family ID  F2232  Group Sheet
     
  • Photos
    Hickman Sea Sled
    Hickman Sea Sled
    William Albert Hickman
    William Albert Hickman
    Hickman Sea Sled
    Hickman Sea Sled
    Drawings included with patent application.
    Sacrifice of the Shannon cover. (reprint edition)
    "Sacrifice of the Shannon" cover. (reprint edition)
    by William Albert Hickman
    Sacrifice of the Shannon
    Sacrifice of the Shannon
    by W. Albert Hickman
    Published in May, 1903
    Cover image
    Sacrifice of the Shannon
    Sacrifice of the Shannon
    Inside Cover
    Gertude MacMichael the girl - Sacrifice of the Shannon
    Gertude MacMichael "the girl" - "Sacrifice of the Shannon"
    (Photo appears before title page)

    Caption: "She had evidently been gazing into the flames, as we all love to do at times, and she looked up as we went in."

    Gertrude MacMichael - Hickman's fictional(?) heroine, and the target of the affection of the books two friends, Captain Ashburn and the mysterious and highly capable Mr. Wilson.

    Ashburn (p2): "Another reason I want to tell you the story is that the girl is a wonder, a living wonder, and I know you'll be interested in her, though some women have expressed their interest in queer ways which were not always intended to be complementary. If you analyzed them you usually found that they were complementary if they were anything, no matter what they were intended to be. I've called the girl a wonder, because though if you take the average girl as your criterion she is far away from it, still, from a cool, unbiased, critical point of view, she is normal, - thoroughly normal. Kindly remember that "normal" is not "average." She's got a circulation that swings a crimson flush in under her sun-tanned cheeks. She walks like a tiger, and looks at a thing or a person, not for the effect of her eyes, but to see. Incidentally she gets the effect a thousand times better than if she tried for it."
    Liffey - Sacrifice of the Shannon
    "Liffey" - Sacrifice of the Shannon
    A photo from "Sacrifice of the Shannon", by W. Albert Hickman. My guess is that Hickman took this photo himself - and it is of the icebreaker "Minto" which Hickman served on. Caption:"One moonlight night in the following December a boat of twenty-five hundred tons gross steamed up Caribou harbor and berthed at the Norhumberland Company's wharf. - p.86"
    Capt. Ashburn - Sacrifice of the Shannon
    Capt. Ashburn - Sacrifice of the Shannon
    A photo from "Sacrifice of the Shannon", by W. Albert Hickman. My guess is that Hickman took this photo himself - and it is of the Captain on the icebreaker "Minto" which Hickman served on.

    Caption: "Storms that kept the Liffey's Captain peering anxiously into the snow ahead for hours at a time."
    Mr. Wilson - Sacrifice of the Shannon
    Mr. Wilson - Sacrifice of the Shannon
    A photo from "Sacrifice of the Shannon", by W. Albert Hickman. My guess is that Hickman took this photo himself - and it is of the icebreaker "Minto" which Hickman served on. As long as we are speculating...this is probably Hickman in the photo...and the character "Wilson" is our own Mr. Hickman. (If you have read the book, tell me what you think!)

    Caption: "For three solid days the Liffey gave up and waited for a shift of wind, while Wilson used to go out and parade around the pack."
    Liffey - Sacrifice of the Shannon
    "Liffey" - Sacrifice of the Shannon
    A photo from "Sacrifice of the Shannon", by W. Albert Hickman. My guess is that Hickman took this photo himself - and it is of the icebreaker "Minto" - on which Hickman served.

    Caption: "The Liffey came roaring out into the path of the moon. - p. 206"
    Minto
    "Minto"
    "Liffey", the fictional icebreaker in "Sacrifice of the Shannon" is modeled on the real-life "Minto". I found this photo of the Minto in "The Ships of Canada's Marine Services" by Charles D. Maginley and Bernard Collin.

    You don't have to look to hard to see the similarities between Minto and Liffey.

    Perhaps the photos that appear in "Sacrifice of the Shannon" were taken by Hickman, as he was known to be an avid photographer.

    MINTO
    Date completed: 1899. Tonnage: 1089 gross. Dimensions: 225 x 32.5 x 20.5 (depth) ft. Machinery: Single screw, steam triple expansion, 2900 IHP. Speed: 16 kts.
     
    Documents
    p. 120 Sacrifice of the Shannon
    p. 120 Sacrifice of the Shannon
    Hickman again describes his heroine "The Girl" Gertrude MacMichael, through the words of Captain Ashburn - p 120-121.
    p. 121 Sacrifice of the Shannon
    p. 121 Sacrifice of the Shannon
     
  • Notes 
    • From "Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada", by William Herbert New

      "Hickman, William Albert. Novelist; b. Dorchester, NB, 22 Dec 1877, d Boston, MA 10 Sept 1957, son of Ellen (Wilson) and Albert Joseph Hickman, a lawyer, Born into a shipbuilding family, he was educated in NS and at Harvard U, from which he graduated with a degree in marine engineering in 1899.  He then lived in Saint John and conducted experiments in speedboat technology.  After the First World War he moved his marine engineering firm to New England.  While a New Brunswick commissioner, Hickman prepared A Handbook of New Brunswick (1900), but he later turned to writing fiction.  His novel The Sacrifice of the Shannon (1903) has a nautical theme, and his Canadian Nights (1914) is a collection of stories set in Pictou and Saint John." - Peter Mahon

      ------Begin Marlene Hickman's excerpts and notes:---------

      His father died when Wm Albert was about 1 years old. His mother did not remarry until he was about 14 years old. He is listed with his mother in the 1881 Census at age 3 in his maternal grandfather's household (William Wilson). In the 1891 Census he is listed in his paternal uncle John Hickman's household with his mother. In 1893 his mother married entrepreneur D H Purves of Pictou, NS.

      September 11, 1897 - The Spectator - "W A Hickman, [Wm Albert] son of the late A J Hickman, [Albert Jay] who has been studying zoology in the Scentific department of Harvard University during the last year is now in Dorchester visiting J H Hickman. Mr. Hickman on account of the advanced character of the work in Pictou Academy where he was working previous to entering Harvard was allowed to enter on third year work in the university, which he has completed. Mr Hickman has spent part of the summer with R W Gelder, the Editor of the Century at his summer home near Lexon and later has been working with Alexander Agassiz at this laboratory in Newport."

      September 25, 1897 - The Spectator- "W A Hickman of Pictou who was enroute to Cambridge where he will resume his studies in natural science at Harvard spent Friday with friends in the Shiretown."

      January 1, 1898 - The Spectator - "W A Hickman of Harvard is spending his vacation with friends in Dorchester."

      William Albert was remembered in the wills of both is paternal grandparents - Joseph left him $3000 and Ruth Hickman left him $700 for his education to be held in trust by his Aunt Ellen Douglas.

      "The Sacrifice of the Shannon" was his only full length novel, originally published in 1903 by Frederick A Stokes, New York. Other works included: (ref: ww.kingkong.demon.co.uk/ngcoba/hi.htm)
      - Handbook of New Brunswick (1900)
      - The Canadian West and Northwest (1903)
      - An Unofficial Love Story (1909)
      - Canadian Nights (1914)


      Excerpted from the introduction by Ian Johnston, in the 2001
      Formac Publishing reprinted version of "Sacrifice of the Shannon":

      "Hickman was educated at Pictou Academy and entered Harvard Universtiy in 1896 where he earned a BS in Marine Engineering. A talented and, in many ways, remarkable young man, he took up sculling. When he was in England, a few years after graduation, he was proud to report that he participated in the Diamonds Scull at Henley-on-Thames, where he was defeated by none other than Harry Blackstaffe, Olympic Champion fro Great Breton in 1908.
      This novel is dedicated to Hon Clarence Primrose, Member of the Senate of Canada - the author's relative. Family connections were important to young men like Albert Hickman, and in 1899, aged 21 and fresh out of Harvard, he was appointed Commissioner for the Province of New Brunswick. Stationed in London, he wrote articles and gave illustrated lectures to stimulate interest in immigration to the province, especially for the purposes of farming. His success at this work led to a similar appointment from the federal government, which took him into parts of central and western Canada to observe the areas being opened up for farming in Manitoba and Ontario.

      Hickman's interests and lifestyle were entirely appropriate for a nineteenth-century gentleman with a twentieth-century mindset; he was a sportsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing; he played tennis and was most likely proficient at winter sports. When travelling he stayed in the best hotels, and in Montreal, New York and London he belonged to suitable social and athletic clubs. He had a keen interest in natural sciences - botany and zoology - and a fascination of engines. He experimented with cutting-edge technology in marine craft, developing the Viper speedboat in 1906. He developed cigar-shaped, high-speed motor boats and a motorized sea-sled that rode on the water using a surface, not a submerged, propeller. In 1914 he tried to interest the British Admiralty in the sea-sled's application for carrying and discharging torpedoes. He did not make any breakthrough until late in the war, and at the same time, the United States navy adopted the sea-sled for aircraft tenders. In 1920 he moved to the States and established two firms for the design and construction of motorboats, and set world speed records racing sea-sleds on the Great Lakes.

      Coming from a privileged, wealthy family meant that as a young man Hickman moved around quite freely, spending time in Montreal and in the fashionable resort of St Agathe-des-Monts, returning to Pictou periodically, as well as to Saint John and Dorchester, NB. In most of these places he visited relatives and family friends. He took up writing as a profession during a two year-period of convalescence that began in 1903. For subject matter he took places and people that were familar - Pictou and the ship owning and shipbuilding elite......

      In a 25th anniversary Harvard alumnus report Hickman lists his occupations as "Literature, Manufacturing." In spite of the popularity of his novel, his literary life did not develop and grow with the same impetus from which it started. He published short novels and magazine articles, and contributed fiction and marine sport articles to the "Century" and the "American Magazine". Two of his stories appeared in the "Canadian Magazine" and others appeared in "Scribners". In 1914, a single volume entitled "Canadian Nights" appeared which comprised three short novels and four short stories. Both "An Unofficial Love Story" and "The Cockawee" illustrate Hickman's innovation in bringing technology into fiction.

      Hickman died in Massachusetts in 1957. He was survived by his mother who was 103 years old at the time..." His mother died shortly after Wm. Albert.

      Other references to his Sea Sled are found at <http://easyreader.hermosawave.net/news2000/0316/vintage.asp>

      Scientific American September 26, 1914: "Invented the Hickman Sea Sled - A new type of vessel, which promises to revolutionize water craft and which takes the same place on the water that the automobile does on land."

      Excerpted from Saint Mary's University online Archive info (The records were transferred form the Saint Mary's History Department to the St Mary's University Archives in 2001. They are divided into the following series: Series 1: Personal Correspondence; Series 2: New Brunswick Government Commissioner Records; Series 3: Speedboats - textual records; Series 4: Photographs of boats; Series 5: Business Correspondence; Series 6: W. A. Hickman - general records; Series 7: Photographs; Series 8: Purves Family records):

      After his mother married David H Purves the family relocated to his home in Pictou. WA attended the Pictou Academy from 1893 to 1896 after which he attended the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard University in Cambridge Mass. As a student he spent his summers working at the Alexander Agassic Institute in Newport. A sculler for the Harvard crew team, he would also later row with the Diamond Skulls at Henely-on Thames in England. Upon graduating from Harvard with a S.B cum laude in June of 1899, WA obtained the position of "Agent General for New Brunswick" or "New Brunswick Government Commissioner" and was stationed in London, England. In 1903, Hickman had finished working for the New Brunswick government and undertook work for the Dominion of Canada in presenting lectures on New Brunswick throughout Great Britain. After delivering approximately seventy-five lectures, WA returned to Pictou and conducted extensive research into people and landscapes of western Canada. This research was published in the form of a paper, entitled The Canadian West and Northwest and was published by the Royal Canadian Institute in January of 1903. Hickman's novel, The Sacrifice of the Shannon, published by the Frederick A Stokes Company of New York in 1903, told the story of a sea rescue in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. While living in Pictou, Hickman established his "Viper Company Limited" and patented designs for speedboats.


      An excerpt from an e-mail from Paul Foss, grandson of Dorothy Foss - W. A. Hickman married Esther Foss, daughter of ex-Governor Foss of Massachusetts on the 10 October 1914. (See notes on Marriage to Dorothy Chapman Foss...)

      "WAH's first contact with the Foss Family was as a result fo seeing an advertisement for the Sturtevant Aeroplan Company while attending a boat show in New York. He subsequently meet Noble Foss, then President of SAC, a subsidiary of the B F Sturtevant Company of Hyde Park, MA. The two met later in New London to attempt to install a SAC aeroplane engine in one of WAH's boats. Evidently the experiment didn't work. However WAH was introduced to the Foss famly and eventually married Esther (1914), Noble's sister. Both Noble and brother Ben attended Harvard - 1908 & 1910. (Ben completed a Masters degree in Economics in 1909 but Noble dropped out of Harvard after his first year to travel the SW and around the world. During this time he discovered airplane R&D taking place in France). Noble who was a capable entrepreneur must have seen the possiblity of adding air power to speed boats and the possibility of an expanded market for SAC engines or even a speedboat product line. WAH no doubt saw the advantages of an alliance with owner-managers of the BF Sturtevant Company, a major regional diversified manufacturing line with strong political connections in the Northeast and in Washington."

      WAH divorced Esther and married Dorothy Chapman of California on the 18 March 1922. Their were no children from their marriage. As a result of the divorce Dorothy lost custody of her four young children - Eugene, Benjamin, Dora and Barbara, ages 2-9 approx. WAH and Dorothy were married only 9 years when Dorothy,age 42, died in 1931, of an embolism following minor surgery.

      From Dora Foss Mann's email - "He disappeared after my mother's death and we never received any of her possessions and jewelry."


      There is no record that William remarried or had any children. His mother, age 103, died shortly after WAH in 1957. Dorothy and William were both buried in Lot 8 Section 9 Grove Street Cemetery in New London, Conn.

      ------End Marlene Hickman's excerpts and notes:---------

      From "They Come and They Go", by Conrad and Steel:

      "As the international economy began to pick up at the end of the century, efforts to attract immigrants were intensified at both the federal and provincial levels.  Laurier's Minister of the Interior, Clifford Sifton, may have pursued the "peasants in sheep-coats" in Eastern Europe, but New Brunswick governments were more selective, continuing to focus on British, German, and Scandinavian stock.  In 1900, New Brunswick tax payers spent $6481 on immigration, up from $1,334 in the previous year.  Most of the money was used to hire a young Dorchester native and Harvard graduate (BS in Marine Engineering), William Albert Hickman, to serve as immigration commissioner in London, a position he held for two years.  Equipped with lantern slides and illustrated literature, including a 248-page 'Handbook of New Brunswick" that he authored, Hickman clearly made an impression.  His work was supported by a payment of $3 a head for immigrants placed in the province by various agents and organizations.."

      Invented the Hickman Sea Sled -- "A new type of vessel, which promises to revolutionize water craft and which takes the same place on the water that the automobile does on land." -- Scientific American Sept. 26, 1914

      Other references to the Sea Sled:
      http://easyreader.hermosawave.net/news2000/0316/vintage.asp

      "The Sacrifice of the Shannon"
      By W. Albert Hickman
      Introduction and Notes by Ian Johnston
      Series edited by Gwendolyn Davies

      About the author

      W. ALBERT HICKMAN was born in Dorchester, New Brunswick in 1877 and raised in Pictou County. He was an inventor, a sportsman and manufacturer of speedboats and a writer of novelettes and magazine articles. He began writing his only full-length novel, The Sacrifice of the Shannon,in 1902 while aboard the icebreaker Minto.

      About this book

      Two men and a woman in a thorny love triangle are forced to band together to save the crew of a ship sinking in the ice fields of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

      Gertrude MacMichael, a high-spirited young woman, sea captain Frederick Ashburn and his mysterious best friend, Dave Wilson embark on a mission aboard an icebreaker to save Gertrude's father, whose ship is caught in pack ice. Adventure escalates when, during the attempt to return to port, the icebreaker Shannon itself becomes victim to the ice.

      In The Sacrifice of the Shannon Hickman gathers an unusual combination of themes-technology and business development, natural history and the environment, the role of women in business and finance-into a fast-paced, gripping narrative.

      A Formac Fiction Treasures series title. ISBN 0-88780-542-6
      EAN 978-088780-542-4
      5"x8"
      352 Pages
      2001
      $16.95

      A review by Cecily Devereux:

      "W. Albert Hickman's only novel, The Sacrifice of the Shannon, first appeared in 1903, identified in the author's preface as a story based on his own experiences on the Minto, an icebreaker in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Most of the story's action-and there is a lot, and it is exciting-occurs on the ice fields between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, as the ship of the title, the Shannon, races to rescue a trapped steamer. This novel is a great read; it is also an interesting work in terms of its relation to early twentieth-century constructions of gender and place in popular and genre fiction: the icebreaker's race, like the yacht race that begins the story and sets up the later contest, is embedded in a love story that repeatedly draws attention to shifting ideals of masculinity and femininity and their performance. Ian Johnston's introduction is brief and useful, providing information about the little-known Hickman and about the context for the story. "

      Regarding burial, Dora Mann notes:

      "Lot 8, Section 9 in the Grove Street Cemetery in New London, Ct. has two occupants:  Dorothy C. Hickman, buried in 1931, and Albert Hickman, buried in 1957. WAH owned the lot." [3, 4, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18]
     
  • Sources 
    1. [SAuth] John Spencer Howell, Jr., John Spencer Howell, Jr., (http://www.jhowell.com/ jhowell@jhowell.com).

    2. [S1179] Conrad and Steel, Margaret Conrad and Heather Steel, (Department of History, University of New Brunswick, Presented at Rendez-vous Immigration 2004, St. Andrews, New Brunswick.).

    3. [S1180] David Seidman, David Seidman, (Article appearing in Wooden Boat 100, May/June 1991 http://members.fortunecity.com/invertedvboats/Hickman_Bio.html), http://members.fortunecity.com/invertedvboats/Hickman_Bio.html (Reliability: 0).

    4. [S1181] Canadian Literature - A Quarterly of Criticism and Review, http://www.canlit.ca/reviews/183/5709_devereux.html (Reliability: 0).

    5. [S1147] Barbara Trenholm - Trenholm, Barbara Trenholm, (www.trenholm.org - stray cat genealogy), "b. 1877, Dorchester P., Westm. Co. NB" - http://www.trenholm.org/ (Reliability: 0).

    6. [S622] 1881 Canadian Census, (1881), Marlene Hickman notes: "The 1881 Census (2 years after Albert Jay had died) lists a Millie Hickman, age 27, and William A Hickman, age 3, living in the home of William Wilson, Medical Doctor. This would seem to be Ellen, Albert's widow.  Dr Wilson d. 1882 (Reliability: 0).

    7. [S1157] Charlie Hickman, (Charlie Hickman [chickman@nbnet.nb.ca]), -- from "joseph_1821.pdf" file emailed to JSH - 29 Mar 2005 (Reliability: 0).

    8. [S1157] Charlie Hickman, (Charlie Hickman [chickman@nbnet.nb.ca]), "residence 2 abt. 1899, London England ( introduction to Sacrifice of The Shannon, 2nd publishing 2001) -- from "joseph_1821.pdf" file emailed to JSH - 29 Mar 2005 (Reliability: 0).

    9. [S1411] Quinquennial Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates of Harvard University, (Pub 1915 Adamant Media Corporation ISBN 1402163525), p. 407 (Reliability: 0).

    10. [S1306] Paul Foss, (Paul Foss [pwfoss@earthlink.net]), 25 Feb 2006 email (Reliability: 0).

    11. [S1132] Helen M. Petchey - The Hickmans in Dorchester's Heyday, Helen M. Petchey, (Published cir.1992 ISBN-0-9691600-4-6), P. 11 (Reliability: 0).

    12. [S1132] Helen M. Petchey - The Hickmans in Dorchester's Heyday, Helen M. Petchey, (Published cir.1992 ISBN-0-9691600-4-6), p. 11 (Reliability: 0).

    13. [S1179] Conrad and Steel, Margaret Conrad and Heather Steel, (Department of History, University of New Brunswick, Presented at Rendez-vous Immigration 2004, St. Andrews, New Brunswick.), p. 24 - http://lusankya.hil.unb.ca/en/projects/communities/immigration/docs/they_come_and_they_go.pdf (Reliability: 0).

    14. [S1263] John Crouse, John O. Crouse, (Crouse Publications (1989) 646 pages. ASIN: B0006ES9C6).

    15. [S1264] Don Hayward - IVB Boats, Don Hayward, (http://ivb-boats.netfirms.com/HistoryOf-SeaSled.html), http://ivb-boats.netfirms.com/HistoryOf-SeaSled.html (Reliability: 0).

    16. [S1409] Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada, William Herbert New, (University of Toronto Press, 2002), p. 486 (indexed text available online via books.google.com) (Reliability: 0).

    17. [S1410] Handbook of New Brunswick (Canada), William Albert Hickman, (Published 1900, 248 pages. "Issued by the authority of the Crown Land Department, Hon. A.T. Dunn, Surveyor General." # ISBN: 0665585411 9780665585418 Original available at the University of Michigan. Digitized Nov 7, 2006 (http://books.google.com)).

    18. [S1459] Marlene Hickman's WA Hickman notes, Marlene Tingley Hickman.

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