|Intro||First Secretary of Arkansas Territory|
|Was||Lawyer Military officer Politician|
|From||United States of America|
|Type||Law Military Politics|
|Birth||1 January 1797, Woodford County, USA|
|Death||18 December 1834, Vicksburg, USA (aged 37 years)|
|Residence||Arkansas Post, USA; Little Rock, USA|
Robert Crittenden (January 1, 1797 – December 18, 1834) was an American lawyer who served as the first secretary of the Arkansas Territory from July 4, 1819, to April 8, 1829. He also served as acting governor of Arkansas Territory from July to December 1819. Crittenden co-founded the Rose Law Firm.
Early life and education
Robert Crittenden was born in Woodford County, Kentucky, the son of John (1756–1806) and Judith (née Harris) Crittenden (1760–1800). His father was a Kentucky pioneer from Virginia, who had been a major in the Continental Army. Crittenden has a brother, John, who later served as a U.S. senator. His great-nephew was politician Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr. Robert Crittenden was educated privately and read the law as a legal apprentice to prepare for passing the bar.
President James Monroe appointed Crittenden secretary of the Arkansas Territory in 1819. Crittenden served in this role through 1829. From July to December 1819, he served as acting governor while James Miller was delayed for an extended period en route to Arkansas Territory. 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, he and his former friend, Henry 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.
Crittenden County, Arkansas, and the Robert Crittenden Chapter (established January 15, 1951) of the DAR in West Memphis, Arkansas, is named after him.