The Resource Owen B. Pickett pre-congressional papers

Owen B. Pickett pre-congressional papers

Owen B. Pickett pre-congressional papers, 1955-1988
Owen B. Pickett pre-congressional papers
Inclusive dates
  • Pre-Congressional Papers, 1955-1988, including advertisements, appointment books, brochures, bumper stickers, clippings, correspondence, financial records, invoices, memorandums, newsletters, notebooks, pamphlets, petitions, photographs, press releases, programs, questionnaires, receipts, reports, scrapbooks, scripts, speeches, and voter surveys, primarily relating to Pickett's legal and General Assembly legislative career, and the political campaigns and elections in which he was involved. Although the date of the collection extends beyond the beginning of his Congressional career, the bulk of the collection relates to his career before he was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives
  • SERIES I: CORRESPONDENCE, 1979-1986. Includes correspondence and memorandums, arranged in reverse chronological order, to constituents, Virginia's senators and congressmen, Democratic party officials, and General Assembly colleagues, relating to legislation, General Assembly business, legal work, Democratic Party business, and campaigns and elections. Much of the correspondence relates to issues concerning Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads. Also includes invitations accepted and regretted (1985-1986) and recommendation and financial aid letters (1983-1986)
  • SERIES II: CAMPAIGN FILES, 1967-1986. This series contains files relating to campaigns on the local, state, and national level. Includes files from campaigns in which Pickett ran for office and others in which he was actively involved, and files from his service as Chairman of the Virginia Beach Democratic Committee, Second District Democratic Committee, and Democratic State Central Committee. Includes material from the 1967 Virginia Beach Democratic Primary between the Kellam Machine (Administration Team) and the United Candidates, Pickett's election and re-election campaigns for the House of Delegates in 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, and 1985 (Due to redistricting, the General Assembly members elected in 1981 had to run again in 1982, but in single member districts. Pickett defeated Melvin Spence to represent the 81st District in the House of Delegates), and a few files from the 1986 Congressional Campaign. These campaign files include advertisements, contact lists, expenditure reports, fundraising information, invoices and receipts for advertising, and research on opponents' voting records
  • SERIES III: LEGISLATIVE FILES - SUBSERIES A: CORRESPONDENCE, 1971-1972, 1976-1978, 1984-1986. Includes correspondence, arranged in reverse chronological order, to and from constituents and General Assembly colleagues regarding legislative proposals, issues, and bills. Interspersed among the correspondence are letters relating to campaigns, elections, and Democratic Party business. SUBSERIES B: SUBJECT FILES. Arranged alphabetically, this subseries contains material relating to legislation introduced in the General Assembly and constituent mail supporting or opposing the legislation. Includes files on abortion, Camp Pendleton, education, Equal Rights Amendment, False Cape State Park, social services, Virginia Beach, and the Virginia Supplemental Retirement System, among others. Also includes opinions of Virginia's Attorney General on various issues, page and aide applications and letters, press releases and speeches, voter surveys, and questionnaires and polls
  • SERIES IV. CLIPPINGS AND SCRAPBOOKS, 1966-1988. Includes newspaper clippings and scrapbooks relating to Pickett's legislative and political career. The majority of these clippings are from the Virginia Beach Beacon, Virginia Beach Sun, Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, Richmond News Leader, and Richmond Times-Dispatch. Of note are the clippings from the 1985 General Assembly session
  • SERIES V: LEGAL FILES, 1983-1985. This series contains billing records from Pickett's law firm for legal work performed
  • SERIES VI: UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND LAW SCHOOL PERSONAL NOTES. Includes fifteen bound notebooks containing notes from various law classes taken at the University of Richmond T. C. Williams School of Law
  • SERIES VII: SCHEDULE BOOKS, 1955-1987. This series consists of schedule books breaking down Pickett's daily activities for the years from 1955 to 1987. Also includes pocket diaries
Member of
  • Accessioned
  • Described
Biographical or historical data
  • Owen Bradford Pickett was born in Richmond, Virginia on 31 August 1930. He was educated in the public schools of Richmond and Hanover County, graduating from Henry Clay High School in Ashland in 1947. In June 1952, Pickett graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute with a degree in Business Administration-Accounting. In June 1955, he received his law degree from the University of Richmond's T. C. Williams Law School and passed both the Virginia CPA and Virginia Bar examinations the same year. He practiced law in Richmond until moving to Virginia Beach in July 1965.
  • Pickett became active in Virginia Beach politics and was a political ally and protégé of Sidney S. Kellam, a top lieutenant to Harry F. Byrd, Sr. and the political boss of Princess Anne County and Virginia Beach from the 1920's to the 1960's. In 1967, Pickett ran for Commonwealth's Attorney in the Democratic primary on the Administration Team, the Kellam Machine ticket. The election marked the end of the Kellam Machine's dominance as the opposition ticket, the United Candidates, a group of independent Democrats, triumphed over the Administration Team. In November 1971, Pickett was elected to represent Virginia Beach in the House of Delegates, beginning a legislative career that would span four decades. In 1982, Pickett announced his intentions to seek the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate to replace the retiring Harry F. Byrd, Jr. The party leadership lined up behind Pickett, who during his announcement speech praised Harry F. Byrd, Jr. As a result, Doug Wilder, an African-American state senator from Richmond, announced his intentions to run as a third party candidate if Pickett received the nomination. Wilder's threat derailed Pickett's campaign and he withdrew. Dick Davis of Portsmouth was chosen as a compromise candidate to oppose Republican Paul S. Trible.
  • Pickett served in the House of Delegates from 1972 to 1986 and was considered one of its most influential and effective members. He was a member of the Appropriations Committee, Privileges and Elections Committee, Health, Welfare, and Institutions Committee, and Chesapeake and Its Tributaries Committee. In 1986, Pickett ran for the Second Congressional District seat being vacated by retiring Republican Congressman G. William Whitehurst. In a bitter campaign, Pickett defeated Republican State Senator A. Joe Canada, Jr. He was re-elected to the six succeeding Congresses before retiring in January 2001. During his tenure in the U. S. House of Representatives, he was a member of the Armed Services Committee and Resources Committee. In addition to serving in office, Pickett was an active member and leader in local and state Democratic politics. He served as Chairman of the Virginia Beach Democratic Committee (1967-1972), Second Congressional District Democratic Committee (1978-1980), and Democratic State Central Committee (1980-1982). In June 2001, Pickett joined the law firm of Troutman, Sanders, Mays, and Valentine. He will handle corporate and real estate work and consult on government contracting.
Cataloging source
Owen B. Pickett pre-congressional papers
NOTE FOR ARCHIVES REFERENCE: To call up only those boxes of Owen Pickett papers that are open to the public, search "Owen B. Pickett Pre-Congressional Papers" in the Title field of the Records tab in Infolinx
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
  • Inventory
  • Inventory
Immediate source of acquisition
Pickett, Owen B.
Organization method
Organized into the following series: I. Correspondence, 1979-1986. II. Campaign Files, 1967-1986. III. Legislative Files. IV. Clippings and scrapbooks, 1966-1988. V. Legal Files, 1983-1985. VI. University of Richmond Law School Personal Notes. VII. Schedule Books, 1955-1987.
Type of unit
cu. ft.

Library Locations

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