Arrington, Alfred W. (1810–1867)

By: Marie Giles

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: November 1, 1994

Alfred W. Arrington, author and judge, was born in Iredell County, North Carolina, on September 17, 1810. In 1819 he moved to Arkansas, where he was a preacher from 1828 to 1834. He was admitted to the bar in Missouri in 1835, when he returned to Arkansas and was elected to the state legislature; he served until 1845 and moved to Texas. He visited Boston and New York in 1847 and there published Desperadoes of the South and Southwest (1849) under the pen name Charles Summerfield. He also contributed "Sketches of the South and Southwest" to various newspapers. After returning to Texas, Arrington was elected judge of the Twelfth (Rio Grande) Judicial District in 1850. He retired in 1856 because of ill health, returned to New York, and, again under a pen name, published The Rangers and Regulators of the Tanaha, or Life Among the Lawless: A Tale of the Republic of Texas (1857). He went to Chicago to practice law in 1857 and died there on December 31, 1867, leaving three children. His poems were published posthumously under the title Poems of Alfred W. Arrington (1869).

Dictionary of American Biography. Sam Houston Dixon, The Poets and Poetry of Texas (Austin: Dixon, 1885). Pat Ireland Nixon, "Judge Alfred W. Arrington, Judge William H. Rhodes, and the Case of Summerfield," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 55 (January 1952). Leonidas Warren Payne, Survey of Texas Literature (New York: Rand McNally 1928).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Marie Giles, “Arrington, Alfred W.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 29, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994