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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Pulaski County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Charles E. Cunningham, a well-known resident of Little Rock, Ark., was born in Frederick County, Md., July 1, 1823, and was one of five children, four sons and one daughter, born to James Cunningham and wife. Capt. James Cunningham was a British officer, and came to America shortly after the War of 1812. He located in Frederick County, Md., and there married a Miss Catherine Campbell, a native of Maryland. The daughter and Charles (the subject of this sketch) are the surviving members of this family, the father, James Cunningham, having died in 1833 and the mother in 1834. After her mother’s death, Miss Cunningham went to live with and was chaperoned by Mrs. Jane Washington, at Mount Vernon, and afterward married Mrs. Washington’s nephew, Thomas B. Washington, of Jefferson County, Va. During the war, Mrs. Washington was living at Charlestown, Va., but was banished out of the lines, and also lost two sons with Stonewall Jackson. She is now residing in England. Charles E. was educated in the schools of Maryland and Virginia, receiving a practical English and classical education. In 1849 he was married to Miss Elizabeth A. Jones. Mrs. Cunningham died in 1883. By this union eight children were born, three sons and five daughters: Kate C. (living at home and now editing The Woman’s Chronicle, a popular paper of Little Rock), Nannie R. (wife of S. B. Sparks, of Warrensburg, who is State senator of his district), Mollie (unmarried, died at the age of twenty-one), James W. (living at Sedalia, and is assistant pay master of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad), Bessie (wife of John J. Cockrell, a son of Senator Cockrell, of Missouri, and living in New Mexico), George E. (holding a responsible position in the establishment of Thomas W. Baird, of Little Rock, Ark.), Nettie (wife of J. E. Clark, of Warrensburg) and Charles F. (at home). Mr. Cunningham was in the first immigration to California, across the plains, in 1849, and, after his arrival, engaged in freighting with Mexican pack trains, and mining. He returned in 1853, having been quite successful. In 1854 he moved to Johnson County, Mo., but, his eyesight failing to some extent, in 1862 he went to St. Louis, and placed himself under the care of Dr. Pope, a celebrated occulist, deriving great benefit from the treatment received. He resided there until 1865, when he moved to Little Rock, and engaged in the lumber traffic, owning and operating a saw-mill, planing-mill, etc. In this departure he was also fortunate, and has since retired from business. The school board of Little Rock found in him an efficient and influential member, and one whose opinion was never far from right. His first vote for president was cast for Henry Clay, but after coming to Arkansas he was a Democrat, through the reconstructive days, then going over to Peter Cooper, in 1876. Since that time he has been a third party man, and, though stanch to his party principles, he takes no special interest in local politics. In 1882 Mr. Cunningham was nominated by the Greenback party, to make the race for congressman at large against Breckenridge, and in 1886 the Wheelers nominated him to make the race for Governor against Hughes and Judge Gregg. At the Cincinnati convention, held in May, 1888, he was nominated on the Union Labor ticket for vice-president. It is quite unnecessary to add that Mr. Cunningham is a popular gentleman, for his career through life, as a public and private citizen, has been an enviable one, and his record such as any might be proud to possess.

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This family biography is one of 156 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Pulaski County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Pulaski County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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