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George Poindexter


In office
October 15, 1830 – March 3, 1835
Preceded by Robert H. Adams
Succeeded by Robert J. Walker

Born 1779
Louisa County, Virginia, USA
Died September 5, 1853
Jackson, Mississippi, USA
Political party Democratic-Republican
Profession Politician, Lawyer, Judge
Religion Baptist

George Poindexter (1779 – September 5, 1853) was an American politician, lawyer and judge from Mississippi.

Contents

Background

Born in Louisa County, Virginia, Poindexter had a sporadic education growing up. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1800, commencing practice in Milton, Virginia (today West Virginia).

Mississippi

Poindexter moved to the Mississippi Territory in 1802, and continued to practice law in Natchez, Mississippi. He served as Attorney General of the Territory, was a member of the Territorial House of Representatives in 1805 and was a delegate to the United States House of Representatives from the Territory in the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Congresses from 1807 to 1813.

Judgeship and the House of Representatives

Poindexter was a judge for the Mississippi Territory from 1813 to 1817, served in the War of 1812, and, after Mississippi was admitted to the Union in 1817, was elected a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He served in the Fifteenth Congress from 1817 to 1819, when he chaired the Committee on Public Lands. He was then elected Governor of Mississippi in 1819, serving from 1820 to 1822. Poindexter was an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1820 to the Seventeenth Congress and in 1822 to the Eighteenth Congress.

United States Senate

Poindexter was appointed to the United States Senate in 1830 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Robert H. Adams and served from 1830 to 1835. He served as chairman of the Committee on Private Land Claims in Twenty-second Congress from 1831 to 1833, of the Committee on Public Lands in the Twenty-third Congress from 1833 to 1835 and was President pro tempore of the Senate from June to November 1834. Poindexter had been a supporter of President Andrew Jackson but had slowly become less happy with the President's policies. In 1834 Poindexter had his home in Washington, D.C. painted by one Richard Lawrence. Lawrence, a deranged man, thought he was the ruler of England and the United States and that Jackson was a usurper. In January 1835 Lawrence shot at Jackson with two pistols while the President was attending a memorial service for a Congressman at the House of Representatives. It was the first attempt to assassinate a President. Jackson accused various political enemies as being behind Lawrence. Among them was Poindexter, who denied any connection except for the painting. But the accusations followed Poindexter back to Mississippi. He was unsuccessful for a second term.

Retirement from politics

Afterward, Poindexter moved to Kentucky and continued practicing law in Lexington, Kentucky. He later moved back to Jackson, Mississippi and continued his law practice until his death there on September 5, 1853. He was interred in Greenwood Cemetery in Jackson. Allegedly, a scuffle broke out after the funeral between Poindexter's cousin, Longfellow Poindexter, and infamous Washington rabblerouser Logan "Charlie Two-Shirts" Morland. Although some sources are difficult to confirm, several eye-witness accounts state that Morland attempted to beat Longfellow with his cane (given to him by Andrew Jackson and made from a Seminole spear) after the latter made a jab about Tennessee politicians, in particular the revered Davy Crockett. When the attack was thwarted, Morland reportedly yelled as he disappeared in the forest, "Mississippians are the most absurd excuse for Gentlemen this land ever produced. I will not forget this day and your descendents will live in fear; and your wife has the look and scent of a common Scottish whore!"

References

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
William Lattimore
Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
from Mississippi Territory

March 4, 1807 – March 3, 1813
Succeeded by
William Lattimore
Preceded by
(none)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Mississippi's At-large congressional district

December 10, 1817 – March 3, 1819
Succeeded by
Christopher Rankin
Political offices
Preceded by
David Holmes
Governor of Mississippi
January 5, 1820 – January 7, 1822
Succeeded by
Walter Leake
Preceded by
Hugh Lawson White
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
June 28, 1834 – November 30, 1834
Succeeded by
John Tyler
United States Senate
Preceded by
Robert H. Adams
United States Senator (Class 2) from Mississippi
October 15, 1830 – March 3, 1835
Served alongside: Powhatan Ellis and John Black
Succeeded by
Robert J. Walker
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