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 John Jordan Crittenden, Jr

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John Jordan Crittenden, Jr

  • Birth 10 Sep 1787 Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky, USA
  • Death 26 Jul 1863 Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky, USA
  • Burial Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky, USA
  • Plot Section N, Lot 198
  • Memorial ID 23284

US Senator, Kentucky Governor, Presidential Cabinet Secretary. The most famous member of the Crittenden political dynasty, he was born near Versailles, Kentucky. He began his legal education as an apprentice to George M. Bibb, then went to Virginia for a degree in Law from William and Mary College. Admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1807, he began his political career when he accepted the position of Attorney General for the Illinois Territory. During the War of 1812, he worked as an aide to the Governor, then returned to Kentucky following the war. His congressional service began in the Kentucky House in 1811 where would serve again at later points in his career, during one term accepting the position of Speaker of the House. His United States Senate career began in 1817, and he would serve on and off for the next 44 years. Crittenden was also at one point a United States District Attorney (until he publicly disagreed with some of President Andrew Jackson's policies), and John Quincy Adams tried to have him appointed by a justice in the United States Supreme Court. In 1841, he was appointed to the Cabinet of William Henry Harrison as Attorney General of the United States. He was given that position again in 1850 by Millard Fillmore. In 1848, he was sworn in as Governor of Kentucky. Despite being pro-slavery, Crittenden remained loyal to the Union. In 1860, Crittenden was back in the Senate and was at the forefront of trying to affect a reconciliation between North and South. His first plan "The Crittenden Compromise" heavily supported slave states and was rejected by Lincoln and Senate Republicans. His next compromise, "The Crittenden-Johnson Resolution" was passed in 1861. It stated that the war was being fought to preserve the Union not to subjugate the South. During his life, Crittenden moved from one public position to another without much of a break in between a couple of those times being appointed to replace others. He died in Frankfort while campaigning yet again for re-election. He maintained his allegiance to the Union during the Civil War, and two of his sons elected to fight on opposing sides, with elder son George Bibb Crittenden serving as a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army, and younger son Thomas Leonidas Crittenden a Major General in the Union Army.

Bio by: Catharine



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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 23 Jul 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 23284
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Jordan Crittenden, Jr (10 Sep 1787–26 Jul 1863), Find A Grave Memorial no. 23284, citing Frankfort Cemetery, Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .