Memucan Hunt, legislator and secretary of the Texas Navy, was born on August 7, 1807, in Vance County, North Carolina. He engaged in planting and business until 1834, when he removed to Madison County, Mississippi. In 1836 he volunteered his services to Texas, where he arrived shortly after the battle of San Jacinto. President David G. Burnet appointed him brigadier general in August 1836 to meet an expected invasion from Mexico, but the danger soon passed, and Hunt resigned his commission. President Sam Houston appointed Hunt agent to the United States to assist William H. Wharton in securing the recognition of Texas. That task successfully accomplished in March 1837, Hunt became Texan minister at Washington. His proposal of annexation in 1837 was rejected by the United States, but he succeeded in negotiating a boundary convention in 1838.
Under President Mirabeau B. Lamar, Hunt was secretary of the navy from December 1838 to May 1839, when he became the Texas representative on the joint United States-Texas boundary commission. In 1841 he was an unsuccessful candidate for vice president. He was inspector general of the army and then adjutant general in the Somervell expedition in 1842. He served briefly in the Mexican War. After annexation he served one term in the legislature, 1852, and in 1853 he was appointed United States commissioner to adjust the southwestern boundary. He spent his last years trying to recoup his fortune, which he had sacrificed in the cause of Texas. The legislature granted him full compensation in land. To develop his holdings he promoted a railroad from Galveston Bay to Red River. While he was thus engaged, his health failed, and he died at his brother's home in Tipton County, Tennessee, on June 5, 1856. Hunt County, Texas, was named for him.