John Christian Bullitt

Infobox Person
name = John Christian Bullitt

image_size = 200px
caption = Statue of John Christian Bullitt on the South Plaza of Philadelphia City Hall
birth_name =
birth_date = 1824
birth_place = Kentucky
death_date = 1902
death_place = Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
residence = Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
nationality = American
known_for = founding Drinker Biddle & Reath, drafting Philadelphia's city charter
education =
alma_mater = Centre College
occupation = Lawyer
spouse = Therese Langhorne

John Christian Bullitt (1824-1902) was a prominent lawyer and civic figure in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He founded the law firm known today as Drinker Biddle & Reath, and drafted the modern city charter of Philadelphia.

Early life

Bullitt was born to a prominent Kentucky family in 1824. His family had a political background: his grandfather, Alexander S. Bullitt, was President of Kentucky’s first Constitutional Convention, and his father, William C. Bullitt (a slave owner), was a member of Kentucky’s Constitutional Convention of 1850.

Legal career

Bullitt graduated Centre College and moved to Philadelphia in 1849, on the advice of Secretary of State and future President James Buchanan, whom he had met on a tour in Washington, D.C. It was in Philadelphia that Bullitt began his legal practice. One of his earliest clients was the Bank of Kentucky. Bullitt and his law partner, Samuel Dickson, soon created one of the most successful and lucrative law offices in the city. Bullitt would later represent financier Jay Cooke in the aftermath of the Panic of 1873.

Bullitt served as a delegate to the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention of 1873, and in 1885 drafted the "Bullitt Bill", which would become the Philadelphia City Charter two years later. He also founded the Fourth Street National Bank in 1886.

He would continue his legal practice until his death in 1902. His grandson, William Christian Bullitt, Jr., would become the United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union.

External links

* [ Furness/Bullitt Family Papers, from the Pennsylvania Historical Society]
* [ History of Drinker, Biddle & Reath]

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