Joseph Poindexter
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: 1869
Date of Death: 1951
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Occupation: Lawyer, Judge, Politician
Spouse: Margaret Conger
Children: Two
Political Party: Democratic Party
Political Office(s): Governor of Hawaii Territory
Fictional Appearances:
Days of Infamy
POD: March, 1941;
Relevant POD: December 7, 1941
Appearance(s): Days of Infamy
Type of Appearance: Direct

Joseph Boyd Poindexter (April 14, 1869 – December 3, 1951) was the eighth U.S. Territorial Governor of Hawaii, serving from 1934 to 1942. In the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Poindexter placed Hawaii under martial law, and allowed a military government to take over.

Before serving as territorial governor, Poindexter had practiced law and served as a district court judge. He returned to private practice in 1943.

Joseph Poindexter in Days of Infamy[]

In the immediate aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and the landing of Japanese troops on Oahu the following day, Joseph Poindexter placed the territory under martial law and allowed the U.S. military to form a government.[1] This was short-lived, as the American forces, surprised and overwhelmed, formally surrendered in February 1942.

Poindexter was present at the ceremonial surrender, held at Iolani Palace, where he, General Walter Short, and Admiral Husband Kimmel handed control to the Japanese government.[2] He spoke up for the civilian population of the islands, naively reminding General Tomoyuki Yamashita of the need for food and the hope that the Empire of Japan would help.[3]


  1. Days of Infamy, pg. 77.
  2. Ibid., pg. 180-182.
  3. Ibid., pg. 182.
Political offices
Preceded by
Lawrence M. Judd
Territorial Governor of Hawaii
1934 - 1942
Succeeded by
Ingram M. Stainback
Political offices
(Fictional Work)
Preceded by
Lawrence M. Judd
U.S. Territorial Governor of Hawaii
(Days of Infamy)

1934 - 1942
Succeeded by
Office abolished;
Tomoyuki Yamashita as Japanese Military Governor;
Stanley Owana Laanui as King