Thomas Theodore Crittenden (1832 - 1909)

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Birthplace: Shelbyville, Kentucky
Death: Died in Kansas City, Missouri
Managed by: Doug Robinson
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About Thomas Theodore Crittenden

Thomas Theodore Crittenden (January 1, 1832 – May 29, 1909) was a United States colonel during the American Civil War, and the 24th Governor of Missouri from 1881 to 1885.

Early life and education

Crittenden was born in 1832 in Shelbyville, Kentucky. He was born into a political family and was the nephew of Kentucky Governor John J. Crittenden,

Marriage and family

Crittenden married and had several children. His son Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr. was later a mayor of Kansas City.


During the American Civil War Crittenden was appointed a Colonel in the 7th Missouri State Militia Cavalry, fighting on the Union side.

As governor, Crittenden wanted to suppress the robberies and violence committed by the James Gang. He authorized a reward of $5,000 (which was paid for by railroad corporations) for the capture of Jesse James and also for his brother Frank, dead or alive, which resulted in Robert Ford killing Jesse in 1882.

Crittenden died in 1909 in Kansas City, Missouri. He was buried there at the Forest Hill Cemetery.


Crittenden achieved some notoriety for offering a reward on a private citizen, with implications that he ordered his death.

Popular media

In the 2007 movie The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Crittenden is portrayed by James Carville.

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Thomas T. Crittenden, 24th Gov. of Missouri's Timeline

Shelbyville, Kentucky
Age 31
Age 77
Kansas City, Missouri
Forest Hill Cemetery Kansas City Jackson County Missouri