Born near Nashville, North Carolina in 1809, Arrington attended a local academy in Hilliardston and then Louisburg College. Although he studied law, he was also a significant landowner and planter.
In 1840, Arrington was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House; he served for two terms, in the 27th and 28th Congresses. (March 4, 1841 – March 3, 1845) He sought re-election in 1844, but was defeated and failed to gain a third term.
Arrington was a supporter of the Confederacy during the Civil War—he was a member of North Carolina's secession convention in 1861 and was a member of the First Confederate Congress, although he was defeated for re-election in 1863.
After the Civil War, Arrington was a delegate to the Union National Convention at Philadelphia in 1866, the chairman of the court of common pleas and quarter sessions for Nash County in 1866 and 1867 and a county commissioner in 1868. After departing politics, he engaged in the management of his estate and died on his plantation in 1872, where he is buried in a family graveyard.
de:Archibald Hunter Arrington