Missouri Digital Heritage :: Collections :: Thomas Theodore Crittenden, 1881-1885

Missouri State Archives
Thomas Theodore Crittenden, 1881-1885

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Resignation Letter to Crittenden


Thomas Theodore Crittenden was born on January 1, 1832 in Shelbyville, Kentucky, to Henry and Anna Maria Crittenden. He attended school in Breckinridge County, Kentucky, and graduated in 1855 from Centre College in Danville. Crittenden studied law with his uncle John Jordan Crittenden and was admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1856. He married Caroline Wheeler Jackson on November 13, 1856. Shortly thereafter, the couple moved to Lexington, Lafayette County, Missouri, where Crittenden opened a law practice. Crittenden organized and served with the 7th Cavalry, Missouri State Militia during the Civil War. In 1864, Governor Willard Preble Hall appointed Crittenden attorney general after the death of Aikman Welch. He relocated his law practice to Warrensburg, Johnson County, at the end of his term, forming a partnership with U.S. Senator Francis M. Cockrell. In 1872, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the 7th Congressional District. John Finis Philips defeated Crittenden for reelection in 1874 but voters returned him to Congress in 1876. He successfully ran for governor as a Democrat in 1880 and was sworn in as Missouriís 24th governor on January 10, 1881. Governor Crittenden collected payment on loans the state had made to the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad. He also offered $5,000 each for the capture of Frank and Jesse James and $5,000 each for the capture, arrest, and conviction of the remainder of the James Brothers Gang. The governor paid out $20,000 in reward money provided by Missouri railroads but refused to divulge to whom. Governor Crittenden moved to Kansas City at the end of his term and opened a law office. He served as U. S. Consul General to Mexico from 1893 to 1897. Thomas Theodore Crittenden died on May 29, 1909 in Kansas City and is interred in Forest Hill Cemetery, Kansas City, Jackson County.

The Collection

The records (1881-1885) of Governor Thomas Theodore Crittenden (1832-1909) contain correspondence pertaining to appointments, certification of vacancies, recommendations, petitions, and resignations.

Rights and Reproductions

Copyright is in the public domain. Preferred citation: [Item description], [date]; Thomas Theodore Crittenden, 1881-1885; Office of Governor, Record Group 3.24; Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City.

How to Use This Collection:

The official title lists dates of service from inauguration to end of term. Records (1881-1885) refer to the date range of materials included within the collection. All references to places are within the state of Missouri unless indicated, and county is specified when known. The spelling of proper names varies greatly. When correct spelling could not be determined the original spelling was retained. Officeholders are Missouri officials unless noted (U. S. Senator, U. S. Secretary of State). State Representatives are referred to as Representative. U. S. Representatives are noted with the title Congressman. Scanned images shown are the best available.

Related Sources:

The collection finding aid provides a detailed list of additional Crittenden materials at the following institutions: Dickinson State University, Dickinson, North Dakota; Filson Historical Society, Louisville, Kentucky; Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge; Kansas City Public Library; Missouri History Museum, St. Louis; Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, New York; Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois; Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia; University of Kentucky, Lexington; and the University of Missouri, Columbia.

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