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Sequoyah Research Center

Crittenden, Robert

Robert Crittenden portrait.jpgRobert Crittenden was born in Kentucky, on January 1, 1797. Crittenden spent a year in the army and was discharged a first lieutenant. He spent time as a captain during the Seminole War and studied law thereafter in Russellville. Albert Pike characterized Crittenden as “a thoroughly well-bred Kentucky gentleman.” Crittenden was the first acting governor of the Arkansas Territory and championed the creation of the capitol in Little Rock.

Source: Alonzo D. Camp, “Ferries Over the Arkansas,” Pulaski County Historical Review, 29 (Fall 1981), 52-60


Robert Crittenden had operated a ferry at Little Rock for some time before 1832, where the old Military Road came in from Memphis.

Source: Arkansas Gazette, May 21; 28, 1967.



A Letter to his brother, John Jordan Crittenden, on May 4, 1834.

“I had been imprudent enough some seven years ago to become security for about four thousand dollars, every cent of which I have been compelled to pay - I had sold my ferry and other property to enable me to build my house. When the house was half finished, a court of chancery set aside erroneously the contract and compelled me to refund and take back the departed property. At that time there was no appeal - and thus I was left with all my debts upon me and the expensive building, with all my resources dried up. -My embarrassments were seized upon as a certain means of ascertaining my ruin, and no labour was spared in collecting my debts and pressing me for the money.”

Source: Arkansas Gazette, May 28, 1967.

Photo Source:
William F. Pope, Early Days in Arkansas, (Little Rock: Frederick W. Allsopp, 1895) p.

Updated 3.10.2010