Sunday, October 2, 2011
Pacificus Ord (1816-1900)
A prominent lawyer and judge during the California pioneer era, Pacificus Ord was originally born in Maryland on October 16, 1816, one of twelve children born to James and Rebecca Ruth Cresap Ord. The Ord family relocated to Washington, D.C. when their son was a child, and it was here that young Pacificus began showing "marked ability as an artist." He followed a career as a painter until 1842, whereafter he removed to New Orleans.
Admitted to the bar in Louisiana in 1844, Ord relocated to California in 1848 and was named as a member of the first California Constitutional Convention the following year. In 1849 Ord was elected as a Justice of the California Territorial Supreme Court, although no source mentions how long he served. In 1855 he was appointed as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California and served in this capacity for four years, resigning in 1859.
After a number of years in California Pacificus Ord returned East in 1870. Settling in Farquier County, Virginia, Ord farmed and raised stock there until 1873, when he removed back to Washington, D.C. In 1887 he was admitted to the Washington Stock Exchange and died on May 11, 1900 at the age of 83. He was subsequently cremated.
The portrait of Pacificus Ord above appeared in a 1905 edition of the New York Sun, which featured a full page article detailing the history of the Ord family. One should also note that Pacificus's younger brother was Major General Edward Otho Cresap Ord (1818-1883), who commanded troops under Ulysses Grant during the Vicksburg campaign.