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Charles E. Pickett


Date Party Office Votes Result
06-03-1849 Nonpartisan Delegate 0 Win
11-13-1849 Nonpartisan SD-Sacramento 904 Loss

Candidate Biography:

Charles Edward Pickett
AKA "Philosopher" Pickett

Born: 1820 in Virginia
Military Service: Oregon Rangers
Family: Cousin of Confederate General George E. Pickett
Died: November 16, 1882 in Mariposa, CA

1845-1846: District Judge, Clackamas County (Oregon)
1846: Served as a guard during the detention of Mariano Vallejo at Sutter's Fort following the Bear Flag Revolt.
1846: Offered the appointment as Alcalde of Yerba Buena by Captain John B. Montgomery (declined the appointment)
1847: Appointed Indian Agent for Oregon Territory by President Polk (declined the appointment)
1849: Delegate, First California Constitutional Convention (Elected from the Sacramento District but did not attend)
1851: Candidate for State Printer (Lost to James B. Devoe)

  • LEGAL TROUBLES: Due to a disagreement, Captain Joseph B. Hull (of the USS Warren) ordered Pickett be incarcerated as a Prisoner of War (POW) at William Heath Davis' general store in San Francisco.
  • LEGAL TROUBLES: During a dispute over a property line, Pickett killed Isaac W. Alderman at Sutter's Fort during the winter of 1848. Pickett killed Alderman with a shotgun as Alderman was advancing on him with a pick-ax. This was the first trial held in Sacramento County.
  • QUOTABLE: After attending the first session of the California legislature, Pickett described it as "an infamous, ignorant, drunken, rowdy, perjured and traitorous body of men... [known] for its venality and corruption beyond any legislative body that ever sat in Christendom."
  • Reportedly, it was Pickett who published the first newspaper on the West Coast (the Flumgudgeon Gazette and Bumble Bee Budget placed the first real estate listing in Oregon history (in The Spectator, 1845
  • Personality: Pickett was described in an obituary as "an affable, upright and intelligent, but decidedly eccentric gentleman"


Source: Philosopher Pickett by Laurence Clark Powell (University of California Press; 1942)
Source: History of Political Conventions in California, 1849-1892 by Winfield J. Davis
Source: Governmental Roster, 1889. State and County Governments of California by W. C. Hendricks
Source: "A PHILOSOPHER'S DEATH. Incidents of the Career of Charles E. Pickett," Sonoma Democrat, Volume XXVI, Number 6, 25 November 1882