04/04/2018

JAMES C. PICKETT


JAMES C. PICKETT 1835

James Chamberlayne Pickett was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, on February 6, 1793. His family moved to Kentucky when he was a young boy. He attended the best schools, including the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York. He served in the army during the War of 1812. 

Pickett practiced law in Kentucky and was editor of a newspaper. He married Ellen Desha, daughter of Kentucky’s governor. He was elected to the Kentucky legislature, after which he spent four years in South America as a U.S. diplomat. He was fluent in several languages and a prolific writer on scientific subjects and diplomatic history.

Secretary of State John Forsyth appointed Pickett superintendent of the Patent Office on February 1, 1835. He was the fourth head of the office, then still operating under the Patent Act of 1793. Patents were issued without examination, but Pickett assigned an employee to advise patent applicants on the novelty of their inventions. 

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