Louis Joseph Ernest Picard, a French statesman, born in Paris, Dec. 24, 1821. He began to practise law in 1846, and acquired a fortune. Subsequently he was prominent in journalism as an opponent of Louis Napoleon. He was elected to the legislative body in 1858, 1863, and 1869. After the downfall of the empire (Sept. 4, 1870), he became a member of the government of national defence as minister of finance. In January, 1871, he was associated with Jules Favre in negotiating with Bismarck the terms of capitulation, after having declared prolonged resistance to be a heroic folly. On Feb. 19 Thiers appointed him minister of the interior, but he resigned May 31. Thiers offered him the place of governor of the bank of France. He declined, but accepted the mission to Brussels, and retained it till after the retirement of Thiers, May 24, 1873. In 1874 he greatly contributed to the overthrow of De Broglie's administration, and in July he supported in the assembly Casimir-Perier's unsuccessful constitutional bill.