Date Original



This collection contains unpublished manuscripts and typescripts of poems written by Alfred W. Arrington.

Biographical/Historical Note

Alfred W. Arrington, son of John and Sophia Arrington, was born in Iredell County, North Carolina, on September 17, 1810. Arrington began his career as a Methodist preacher but renounced his faith in 1832 in order to make a living writing poetry and novels. After a short respite, he returned to the ministry in 1833 but was expelled in 1834. Months prior to his expulsion, he married Sarah Connor of Washington County, Arkansas. They had four children: Mary, John, Alfred, and Annette Elizabeth. He became a member of the bar in 1838 and practiced law in the northwest Arkansas and southwest Missouri area. After a brief but colorful support of the Whig party, including running for presidential elector, he left for Texas in 1844, and never returned to his wife and children. He continued to practice law while in Texas but left for New York and New England to seek literary ambition in 1847, making the acquaintances of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Thoreau. Later that year, he married Lydia Leora Abigail Holden, the twenty-one year old daughter of a banking family. They had three children: Flora, Alfred, and Genevieve. In 1849, Arrington and family moved to Brownsville, Texas, where he became the judge for the 12th Judicial District. He continued to write poetry and novels and eventually moved to New York and Madison, Wisconsin, briefly, before settling in Chicago in 1857, where he became a distinguished member of the bar. One of his most famous cases was the Reverend Hartt L. Stewart divorce case. He suffered a stroke in the fall of 1867 and succumbed to its effects December 31, 1867. His published literary works include "Duelists and Dueling in the South-west" (1847), "The Rangers and Regulators of the Tanaha" (1856), and "Poems" (1869). His series of short stories on the Cherokees and the Ross-Ridge feud were printed in the New York Dispatch. Many of his works were published under the pseudonym Charles Summerfield.

Physical Description

Document, 8.5" x 11"

Geographical Area






Resource Type



Alfred W. Arrington poems, SMC.001.009


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Alfred W. Arrington poems, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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United States History