James Tilton “Jimmie” Pickett

James Tilton “Jimmie” Pickett

Birth
Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington, USA
Death 28 Aug 1889 (aged 31)
Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA
Burial Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA
Plot Section 15, Lot 4, Grave 3
Memorial ID 5986323 · View Source
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Artist. He was the first son of the Confederate General George E. Pickett and his second wife, a girl who was "Northern Indian" from Alaska or British Columbia. Shortly after his birth his mother died. He was left in the care of local women, possibly his grandmother, because his father, who commanded the local garrison, had been called to San Juan Island incident or "Pig War". In 1861 Captain Pickett, who had decided to join other Virginians in defense of it dominion, had two problems with "Jimmie". The first was a battle zone was no place for a child, especially with a father who was a single soldier. The second was the society of eastern America was not ready to deal with a "half-breed' American. Pickett and his friend, Maj. James Tilton, felt that the best solution was to find a childless family. This was accomplished through Isaac and Catherine Collins, of whom Pickett knew and regarded as the best of his choices. George Picketts then kept contact with "Jimmie" through Maj. Tilton, but before leaving he presented "Jimmie" with his official commission in the United States Army, a family Bible with a transcribed page, a letter about his mother, and a lock of his baby hair. His grand mother put these into a red leather trunk, along with his baby clothes,"so the child would know who his father was." Later Collins placed his early art work and poetry in the trunk. "Jimmie" placed letters from Catherine Collins and LaSalle Pickett. At an early age he demonstrated artistic ability. Both his foster parents and his teachers at the Union Academy, in Olympia Washington, took interest and aided him. LaSalle often offered assistance and wrote letters to Jimmy throughout his life. He attended art school in California. While he was there he met George, Jr. Evidence suggests that there was an altercation and somehow "Jimmie" was asked to bow out of the family "situation". He "won" the Washington property. Long after his death LaSalle painted a picture of "Jimmie" as a "gift" (1908) to George, in spite her prior denial of his existence as did other family members. James Tilton Pickett took a staff position as an artist on the Seattle "Post Intelligencer". Later he worked as an artist and sometime reporter on the Portland "Oregonian". In a nearly page long eulogy after James Pickett died, David Wexlar wrote in the Portland Oregonian; "His life seems as a picture of magnificent conception laid away half finished As a beautiful poem half written, or a sweet sad song whose melody is shattered just as we begin to be enchanted by its music. James Pickett will ever live in the memory of those who knew him best as one of the truest, purest, manliest of men, as well as one of the rarest geniuses this Northwest has ever produced". After his death a painting by James Pickett was sold for $600 and his debts were paid. It was the highest price paid for a painting in that time and for an unknown artist. His boyhood home became a monument and museum, which remains today.

Bio by: K M


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  • Created by: RB
  • Added: 20 Nov 2001
  • Find a Grave Memorial 5986323
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for James Tilton “Jimmie” Pickett (31 Dec 1857–28 Aug 1889), Find a Grave Memorial no. 5986323, citing River View Cemetery, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA ; Maintained by RB (contributor 45982754) .