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Robert Crittenden (January 1, 1797 – December 18, 1834) was an attorney and politician. In his capacity as territorial secretary, he served as acting Governor of Arkansas Territory. He was a co-founder of the Rose Law Firm.

Robert Crittenden
AR Crittenden Robert.jpg
Personal details
Born(1797-01-01)January 1, 1797
near Versailles, Kentucky
DiedDecember 18, 1834(1834-12-18) (aged 37)
Vicksburg, Mississippi

Early life and educationEdit

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.

Political careerEdit

Crittenden was appointed as Secretary of Arkansas Territory from 1819 to 1829. He served as acting 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 honorsEdit

Crittenden County, Arkansas is named for him.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 96.
Political offices
Preceded by
George Izard
Territorial Governor of Arkansas
Succeeded by
John Pope