Admitted to Arkansas bar, 1835. Prosecuting attorney Little Rock (Arkansas), also ex offico attorney general Arkansas, 1840-1842. Member United States House of Representatives from Arkansas, 30th-32d congresses, 1847-1853.
Member United States Senate from Arkansas, July 6, 1853-1861. Delegate to Provisional Government of Confederate States, 1862. Member Confederate Senate until end of Civil War.