Copyright notice

This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

Printer-friendly page

Dunn, Poindexter

by Mary Bodman Kenner, 1986

3 Nov. 1834–12 Oct. 1914

An engraving of Poindexter Dunn published in the June 10, 1893 New-York Tribune. Image from the Library of Congress.Poindexter Dunn, Arkansas congressman, was born near Raleigh, the son of Grey Dunn, a prosperous planter, and his wife, Lydia Baucum Dunn. In 1837 he moved with his parents to Limestone County, Ala., where he attended the county schools. In 1854 he was graduated from Jackson College, Columbia, Tenn., and then studied law. During this period he was married and in 1856 moved to Saint Francis County, Ark. There he was elected to the state house of representatives and served from 1856 to 1861. He also was engaged in growing cotton. At the beginning of the Civil War he was elected captain of a company but did not see actual military service. After the war he completed his study of law and was admitted to the bar. He established a practice in Forrest City, Ark.

Dunn was a presidential elector on the Democratic ticket of Greeley and Brown in 1872 and of Tilden and Hendricks in 1876. As a Democrat he was elected to the Forty-sixth and the four succeeding congresses, serving from 4 Mar. 1879 until 3 Mar. 1889. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1888. Following his last term in Congress he moved to Los Angeles, Calif., where he continued to practice law until 1893. That year he was named to a special commission for the prevention of frauds on the customs revenue in New York City. In 1895 he moved to Baton Rouge, La., and engaged in railroad construction. In 1905 he finally settled in Texarkana, Bowie County, Tex., where he died and was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery. The names of his wife and children, if any, are unknown.


Bio. Dir. Am. Cong. (1961).

J. H. Brown, ed., Lamb's Biographical Dictionary of the United States, vol. 2 (1900).

John Hallum, Biographical and Pictorial History of Arkansas (1887).

Little Rock Arkansas Democrat, 4 Apr. 1884.

David Y. Thomas, Arkansas and Its People: A History, 1541–1930, vol. 1 (1930).

Additional Resources:

"Dunn, Poindexter, (1834 - 1914)." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Washington, D.C.: The Congress. (accessed January 24, 2014).

Ben Perley Poorie. Congressional Directory Compiled For The Use Of Congress Third Edition. Washington: U.S. Govt. Printing Office. 1882. 7. (accessed January 24, 2014).

Image Credits:

"Poindexter Dunn." Engraving. New-York Tribune. June 10, 1893. 1. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress. (accessed January 24, 2014).

Origin - location: