Dallas, Texas, was named for George Mifflin Dallas, the son of Alexander J. Dallas, who was born in Kingston Jamaica, in 1759. George Mifflin Dallas (1792-1864), the city’s namesake, also served as the 11th Vice President of the United States under President James K. Polk.
George Mifflin Dallas was the second of six children born to Alexander James Dallas and Arabella Maria Smith Dallas in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His mother was born in Devon, England, and his father was born in Kingston, Jamaica. His middle name was given in recognition of his father’s friend, politician Thomas Mifflin. He was the Mayor of Philadelphia from 1828 to 1829.
His father Alexander J. Dallas (1759-1817) served as US Secretary of the Treasury under President James Madison. He was the son of Dr. Robert Charles Dallas and Sarah Elizabeth Cormack Hewitt in Jamaica. At age five, the family moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, and then on to London. He married Arabella Barlow in Philadelphia. She was the daughter of the Reverend William Barlow and Arabella Trevanion, the daughter of Sir Nicholas Trevanion in 1780.
Alexander and his wife moved to Jamaica in 1781 where he was admitted to the bar via his father’s connections. As Maria’s health suffered in Jamaica, they moved to Philadelphia in 1783. He was admitted to the bar in that city in 1785. In addition to his law practice, he edited the Philadelphia Herald and the Columbian Magazine.
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