Richard A. Dawson

Richard A. Dawson (1848 - 1906) was a lawyer and state legislator in Arkansas.[5][6] He was born in Virginia and his father was a minister. Dawson studied at Oberlin College,[7] and received his law degree from the Old University of Chicago.[5] Dawson practiced law in Pine Bluff, Arkansas and represented the area in the Arkansas General Assembly from 1873 to 1874 and from 1879 to 1881.

Richard A. Dawson
Member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
from the Jefferson County district
In office
January 13, 1879 – January 8, 1881[1]
Member of the Arkansas Senate
from the 20th district
In office
January 6, 1873 – November 10, 1874[3]
Serving with John M. Clayton[4]
Preceded by(redistricted)
Succeeded by(redistricted)
Personal details
Died1906(1906-00-00) (aged 57–58)
Chicago, Illinois
Political partyRepublican (until–1900)
Democrat (1900– death)
EducationOberlin College
Old University of Chicago

Political careerEdit

Dawson served alongside other African American legislators in both houses of the Arkansas General Assembly in the post-Reconstruction era. Dawson represented the 20th district in the Arkansas Senate (Bradley, Grant, Lincoln, and Jefferson counties) alongside John M. Clayton in the 19th Arkansas General Assembly and the 1874 Extraordinary Arkansas General Assembly.[8] Dawson was elected to represent the Jefferson County district in the Arkansas House of Representatives during the 22nd Arkansas General Assembly alongside J. A. Hudson & William C. Payne. A Republican, he switched to become a Democrat by 1900.[7]


  1. ^ "SOS" (1998), pp. 242–245.
  2. ^ Priest, Sharon (1998). Runnells, Jonathan (ed.). Historical Report of the Arkansas Secretary of State. Office of the Arkansas Secretary of State. p. 243. OCLC 40157815.
  3. ^ "SOS" (1998), pp. 238–239.
  4. ^ "SOS" (1998), pp. 236–237.
  5. ^ a b "Minorities in the Arkansas Senate". Arkansas Senate.
  6. ^ Williams, Bettye J. (January 22, 2020). The Pioneers: Early African-American Leaders in Pine Bluff, Arkansas: Freedmen, Newly Freed, and First/Second Generation, Born from 1833-1892. Archway Publishing. ISBN 9781480871922 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ a b "Richard A. Dawson - Arkansas Black Lawyers".
  8. ^ "SOS" (1998), pp. 238–239.