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George Poindexter

Gov. George Poindexter

  • January 5, 1820 - January 7, 1822
  • Democratic
  • January 1, 1779
  • August 5, 1853
  • Virginia
  • Married twice--Lydia Carter, Agatha Chinn; two children
  • Representative, Senator


GEORGE POINDEXTER, the second governor of Mississippi, was born in Louisa County, Virginia in 1779. His early education was limited and attained in the common schools of his native state. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1800, and then established a successful legal practice in Natchez, Mississippi. Poindexter first entered politics as the attorney general of the Mississippi Territory. He served as a member of the Territorial General Assembly in 1805, was a U.S. congressional delegate from 1807 to 1813, and served as the U.S. district judge of the Mississippi Territory from 1813 to 1817. He also served as a member and chairman of the 1817 Mississippi Constitutional Convention and was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1817 to 1819. Poindexter next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on August 2, 1819. During his tenure, the state militia was restructured; a literary fund for educational programs was authorized; the state’s first free public school was founded; the judicial system was reorganized; industrial growth was promoted; and Jackson was selected as the site for the new state capital. After declining to run for reelection, Poindexter left office on January 7, 1822. Later that same year, he ran unsuccessfully for a congressional seat. In 1830, he was appointed to the U.S. Senate, a position he held five years. Governor George Poindexter, who authored The Revised Code of Laws of Mississippi, passed away on September 5, 1853. He was buried in the Jackson Cemetery in Jackson, Mississippi.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Mississippi Historical Society

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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