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Charles Dunn (December 28, 1799 – April 7, 1872) was a United States jurist and politician.

Charles Dunn
Member of the
Wisconsin State Senate
In office
Personal details
BornDecember 28, 1799
DiedApril 7, 1872
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/serviceIllinois Militia
Battles/warsBlack Hawk War

Born in Bullitt's Lick, Bullitt County, Kentucky, Dunn was educated in Kentucky and Illinois. Dunn read law under Nathaniel Pope in Illinois and was admitted to the Illinois bar. During the Black Hawk War of 1832, Dunn served in the Illinois Militia. Dunn served as the clerk of the Illinois House of Representatives and was elected to serve in the Illinois House. In 1836, President Andrew Jackson appointed Dunn to the Wisconsin Territorial Supreme Court and he served as chief justice of the court until Wisconsin was admitted to the union on May 29, 1848. Among other cases, Dunn presided at Mineral Point in the murder trial of William Caffey in 1842. Caffey was defended by Moses R. Strong, and despite a colorable self-defence plea, Caffey was convicted and hanged near the spot where the RR station later would stand. It is said to be the last hanging in Wisconsin, and Caffey's ghost is said to frequent the nearby Walker House hotel. Dunn served in the Wisconsin Constitutional Convention of 1847–1848 and helped draft the judiciary article in the Wisconsin Constitution of 1848. Dunn served in the Wisconsin State Senate from 1853 to 1856. In 1858, Dunn ran for the United States House of Representatives and lost. Dunn then resumed his law practice, settling and living in Belmont, Wisconsin for the rest of his life.[1][2] The first Governor of Wisconsin, Nelson Dewey, married Dunn's daughter Catherine.[3][4] Dunn County, Wisconsin was named in honor of Charles Dunn.[5]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-11. Retrieved 2009-11-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Death of Judge Dunn". The Inter Ocean. April 13, 1872. p. 3. Retrieved September 2, 2017 – via  
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-06-16. Retrieved 2009-11-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Dunn

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