January 1, 1797|
near Versailles, Kentucky
|Died||December 18, 1834
Early life and education
Robert Crittenden was born near Versailles, Kentucky, in the Bluegrass Region, into a political family. He was the son of John Crittenden, a planter who was a Major in the Continental Army and a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. His brother John Jordan Crittenden later served as United States Senator. His great-nephew Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr. became Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri.
Robert was educated privately and read the law as a legal apprentice to prepare for passing the bar.
Crittenden was appointed as Secretary of Arkansas Territory from 1819 to 1829. He served as Governor of Arkansas while James Miller was delayed for an extended period en route to Arkansas.
Although never officially appointed as governor, Crittenden called the first territorial legislature into session and took responsibility for organizing the new territory. He amassed considerable political power. Crittenden was a primary leader in preparing the territory for statehood.
He was appointed as United States Commissioner for negotiating the 1824 Treaty with the Quapaw Indians.
By 1827 Crittenden and his former friend, Henry Wharton Conway, a Territorial Representative, had come into conflict on political issues and finally had a duel. He mortally wounded Conway near Napoleon, Arkansas on October 29, 1827, who died several days later.
Crittenden lived at the end of his life in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Legacy and honors
- Crittenden County, Arkansas is named for him.
|Territorial Governor of Arkansas