In 1814 William Raiford Pickett was a sheriff, tax collector, and state legislator in Anson County, North Carolina. He and his wife had three children, the youngest a four year old boy named Albert James Pickett. When William heard about the Treaty of Fort Jackson and all of the new Creek land available for purchase in the Mississippi Territory, he decided to take part in the land rush. In 1818 he bought a tract of land in Autauga County in the newly separated Alabama Territory, and established the Cedar Grove plantation and a trading post. He went on to be a very successful planter and served in both houses of the Alabama state legislature.