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Complete Text of what Frank Dalton said in "The Crittenden Memoirs"
Posted by: Philip K. Kromer (ID *****2798) Date: November 01, 2003 at 17:52:43
  of 46482

Dear Readers:

"The Crittenden Memoirs" ( New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1936 - Fully Illustrated, xvi + 17-542 pages ) - compiled by H. H. Crittenden.


vii - Preface
ix - Foreword
xiii - Illustrations
17 - Thomas T. Crittenden
87 - John B. Henderson
88 - William Logan Crittenden
99 - Henry Clay
102 - John J. Crittenden
110 - Civil War in Missouri
119 - Thomas T. Crittenden
129 - Outlawry in Missouri
375 - Memoirs of H. H. Crittenden - Friends and Acquaintances
513 - Addenda - Crittendens and Murrays
531 - Index

( from "Preface," page vii ):

"The writer's purpose in compiling this publication is to preserve for History's sake certain events that have transpired during Governor Thomas T. Crittenden's lifetime and his administration as Governor of Missouri, as recorded in his AUTOBIOGRAPHY; his course in RIDDING THE STATE OF THE 'JAMES GANG.' Also the personal Memoirs of H. H. Crittenden, including a chapter on SOCIAL WASHINGTON. . ."

( from "Foreword," page ix ):

"The 'Crittenden Memoirs' here edited by Mr. H. H. Crittenden [Henry Huston Crittenden - born on Nov. 28, 1859, and now deceased - a son of Governor Thomas Theodore Crittenden and Caroline ("Carrie") Wheeler Jackson (Aug. 1, 1839-Jan. 27, 1917)] and submitted to the public presents the reminiscences of an eminent Missourian, Thomas Theodore Crittenden [(Jan. 1, 1832-May 29, 1909) - Born on a farm near Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky. His father was Henry C. Crittenden (May 24, 1792-Dec. 31, 1834), and his mother was Anna Maria Allen (Aug. 5, 1802-April 25, 1877)], the outstanding Missouri member of a family long distinguished in the history of Kentucky and Missouri, grandson of John Crittenden [died on March 30, 1806], a major in the Revolutionary War, nephew of John J. Crittenden [John Jordan Crittenden (Sept. 10, 1786-July 26, 1863)], United States senator and governor of Kentucky, and brother of William L. Crittenden [William Logan Crittenden (May 31, 1823-Aug. 16, 1851)] who lost his life in the Lopez Expedition of 1851.
. . . A prominent central Missouri lawyer, lieutenant colonel of a Missouri regiment of cavalry in the service of the Union during the Civil War, attorney general of Missouri, congressman, governor of the state, and United States consul general to Mexico in Cleveland's administration, Thomas T. Crittenden's active public life covered more than half a century.
He came to Missouri in 1857, first locating at Lexington in Lafayette county on the western border of the State. At the close of the Civil War he moved to Warrensburg, where he formed a law partnership with Francis Marion Cockrell, later United States Senator from Missouri. He served two terms in Congress and in 1880 was elected governor of Missouri. . ."

Below is the complete text of writings of Frank Dalton which H. H. Crittenden included in "The Crittenden Memoirs." These writings appear on pages 355-374, at the very end of the sub-section titled "Ridding Missouri of the 'James Gang' - Death of Jesse James - Outlawry in Missouri" ( pages 129-374 ):

( page 355 ):


FRANK DALTON, now living in Texas, who rode with Quantrill and the "James Boys" in the 70s as one of the band, gives pen pictures of the Missouri Outlaws. He visited old haunts in his native State, Missouri, in February, 1935, and appeared quite active in spite of his 87 years.
Though previously unknown to the writer, he called at the office to see my brother, Thomas T. Crittenden Jr. [Dec. 23, 1863-July 31, 1938], entirely unaware a history of the activities of the "James Gang" and other outlaws was being compiled by the writer.
The following letters written by Frank Dalton for a Texas publication will no doubt prove interesting to the general public which is at all familiar with the terror created by the Missouri Outlaws.

H. H. C. [Henry Houston Crittenden]



Did you ever attend a slave sale? No, I don't suppose you ever did, for there are but few people now living who are old enough to remember that far back. I attended two, one in 1858 in Atlanta, Ga., and one in 1860 in Natchez, Miss., where over two thousand negroes were sold. This sale lasted ten days and there were planters there to either buy or sell slaves from nearly every State in the South. The sale in Natchez was an annual event and during it the town entertained lavishly, with dancing and other forms of amusement, parties and plays for the guests, with the theatre putting on the best plays and talent they could procure. Florence Nightingale, the Booths, Lily Langtry, Adeline Patti ( the elder ) and hosts of other leading actors and actresses now long since forgotten, were on hand to entertain the Elite of Dixieland during the sale. During this time hotels and taverns were filled to capacity, and the homes of the aristocracy were often crowded with out of town friends and notables. The raised platform on which the sale is to be held is located on the court house square and surrounded

( page 356 ):

with plank seats that are higher in the back than in front, like the seats at a race track or ball park, and with awnings to protect the guests from sun or rain. There is a row of booths with curtains and upholstered seats directly in front of the sale platform for the notables who are to be present. The seats are all free, of course, but for the use of men who are there either to buy or sell slaves. Very few women are present, as a sale is no place for the women or children. I was there and in one of the booths with papa, who was a State senator of our home State at that time. He had also been an officer in the Mexican War. I was 12 years old, but although 75 years have passed since then I remember every detail that came under my observation. The sale opened with a parade of the 2,000 slaves that were to be sold at 10 o'clock, May 1st, 1860. The parade lasted nearly an hour, after which the auctioneer, a venerable grey-haired man who looked more like a preacher than an auctioneer of slaves, gave a talk about the slaves that were to be sold. By this time it was nearing noon so a recess was taken till one o'clock, when the selling began. The first to be sold was a block of 50 plantation negroes, all males and ranging from 20 to 30 years old. They were of medium size, mostly 5 feet 6 or 8 inches in height, and weighing around 150 or 160 pounds. They were clothed only in a breech cloth and were made to jump and bend to show that they were sound, after which their eyes and teeth were examined and they were looked over for blemishes, much as you would look over a bunch of horses or mules you were intending to buy. Bidding was rather brisk on this bunch and they were sold to a planter from Virginia for $800 apiece, or $40,000 for the lot of fifty.
The next to be offered was a bunch of 25 female cotton negroes. Bidding was not quite so brisk on these and the same planter who had bought the males was the highest bidder and got them for $500 apiece, or $12,500 for the lot, which was considered very low, as they were all young and husky. The next was a lot of 30 "trundle bed trash," males and females from 5 to 12 years old. They were bid on and sold to the same planter who had bought the other two lots. The sale price of these was $100 apiece, which was a fair price - $3,000 for the lot. By this time it was getting late, nearly 6 o'clock, so the sale was closed for the day, to be opened at 9 o'clock the next day.
After supper the people, especially the younger ones, came out in great numbers and by dark the streets were crowded with people who were out for a good time, while the older ones proceeded to one of the numerous theatres or sought other places of indoor amusement. My father and I went to a dance that was given in honor of the Governor of Mississippi.

( page 357 ):

The next morning at 9 o'clock the sale opened again with a block of 25 "timber," or saw mill negroes. A husky lot, these, with not a one under six feet and most of them taller even than that, and weighing from 185 to 235 pounds. Zulus and Matabeles, these, with three Kaffirs to top the bunch, than which there is no more perfect specimens of physical manhood anywhere on earth. These negroes sold for $1,500 each to a saw mill man from Georgia. And so the sale went on from day to day, with blocks from 10 to 100 slaves being sold till the bulk of the two thousand were disposed of. The "house" negroes, or servants are always held till the last and so it was in this case. On the last two days of the sale cooks, laundresses, waiters, maids and personal servants were offered for sale. These were all trained to whatever they were to do, and in most cases brought a far better price than the common field negro, or laborer. The servants and house slaves are usually picked from the hottentot and bushman tribes, as they are more docile and easier managed than the bigger and fiercer tribes, such as the Kaffir or Matabele.
Well, I have taken you to a slave sale and shown how it was worked. As I said in the commencement of this little story, I have seen two sales, and I vividly remember both of them. They were much the same, excepting that there were more slaves sold at the one I saw in Natchez. The harrowing heart-breaking incidents depicted by most writers on this subject were entirely absent at both places. In fact, the negroes seemed to enjoy themselves all through the sale, and except while on the platform were singing and having the time of their lives. No, the negro thrives on excitement.

Yours truly,



The Younger family consisted of Colonel Henry Younger who was assassinated near the beginning of the Civil War; a mother, and several daughters, one of whom married Louis Dalton and became the mother of the Dalton Boys who were killed or captured in a bank holdup in Coffeyville, Kansas, on the 5th day of October, 1892. There were 15 of the Dalton children, only four of them ever went wrong, the rest being respected and honest citizens. But this is a Younger story, so let's get along. There were five boys, Thomas Coleman, or "Cole" as he was more commonly called; John, who was reported killed not long after the close of the war; James, who accidentally shot and killed himself after being paroled from

( page 358 ):

prison; Robert Emmet who died in prison, and Richard Ewing, who died near the commencement of the war.
Of these, two were with Quantrell the last two years or so of the war. These two were Cole and John. Cole joined Quantrell in '62. John joined in March '63, when he was 15 years old. They both stayed with Quantrell till the war was over and Quantrall's men disbanded, which they did in Louisiana in October 1865. Jim and Bob were with Quantrell off and on, but not steady. Jim was a scout in General Price's army most of the time during the last two years of the war. After the war ( October '65 ) Gen. Joe Shelby of Missouri came through Quantrell's camp in Louisiana with a bunch of men on their way to Mexico to fight with Maximilian who wanted to be emperor down there. Cole and John, as well as a few others of Quantrell's men joined him and went along. Things were not satisfactory, however, so after a few battles and skirmishes the most of Shelby's men came back, Cole and John among them. The Youngers split away from the rest of the men after crossing the Rio Grande and made the trip across Texas alone. They were stopping one night at a ferryman's house on the Sabine river when about 8 o'clock in the evening, a girl about seventeen years old, rode up and said that her brother's plantation house, about six miles down the river, was surrounded by a band of 60 or 70 negroes, led by a couple of white men. They had already set fire to the barns and cotton gin before she had sneaked through them and gotten away. Her brother and his wife and three small children were barricaded in the house and were managing to hold them off, but he could not do so for long as he had but little ammunition. There were eight men stopping there at the ferry that night, all of them ex-Confederate soldiers, and all, of course, well armed, as people had to be to live in that part of the country at that time. We left the girl in charge of the ferryman's wife, and, guided by the ferryman who knew the country, we set out. The moon came up just before we started and by the time we got there, was giving plenty of light to see to shoot by. The Ku Klux Klan was organized shortly after that and Cole and John Younger stayed in it till the spring of '67, when Bob and Jim joined them. It was getting along late in the spring and John decided, as he had not been home since the close of the war, to risk a trip home to see how the folks were getting along. He knew that the house was being closely watched for either he or his brothers, but decided to risk a short visit any way. When he got home and found his mother sick and no one on the place but the girls, and they busy in the house with their sick mother, of course he had to stay and look after things. Cole got to worrying about letting the boy go home alone, and he and Bob started back to help him out if he

( page 359 ):

should get into trouble, as the country back in Missouri was swarming with detectives and other reward hunters. It's a good thing they came back too, for they arrived just in the nick of time, as told in another part of the story. Jim Younger stayed on till Texas was allowed to elect their own officers again, when, the need of the KKK being over, they disbanded. After the reported death of John Younger, Cole and Bob came back to Texas. They made several trips over the trail with cattle, and on one occasion, they bought a herd of 2,500 and drove it up themselves. The James boys were said to have been with them on that trip which was not so. Frank James was running a store in Louisiana at that time, and Jesse had a string of race horses. It was while in Abilene, Kansas, after one of these trail trips that they met Charley Pitts. Pitts had been with Quantrell during the war and this was their first meeting since. After talking about old times for a while, Pitts told them he had drifted north after the war to get away from reward hunters, and among other places he had visited was a small town in Minnesota by the name of Northfield where Butler had a private bank. Ben F. Butler had been a general in the Northern army during the war and had made himself obnoxious to the South by his tendency to "confiscate" everything in sight. He was reputed to be immensely wealthy at the close of the war, and Pitts said that there was anywhere from three to four hundred thousand dollars always on hand in the Northfield bank.
"I already have two men to go, Bill Chadwell and Clell Miller, you boys know them both, they were with Quantrell when we were, and with you three ( Jim was along with Cole and Bob on this trip ) it will be easy." "But how about finding our way back from up there if anything happens to you? There are none of us who have ever been much farther north than St. Jo, and only that far a few times during the war." Cole was a little dubious, although he had no scruples about stealing from Butler, for as he looked at it, it would be taking what he had stolen from the South during the war.
At last, Bob, the last to be convinced, gave in and they started.
On arriving at Northfield they found a fair going on and the town full of people, and decided to wait till the fair was over. So they proceeded to have a good time, which meant in their case to get good and gloriously drunk, with the inevitable result. "Come on, what's the use of waiting?" "We're here to rob old 'Spoons' Butler's bank and let's get into action!" This from Bill Chadwell, who was part Indian. Clell Miller, Cole and Jim Younger went in the bank and Bob, Pitts and Chadwell stayed out to keep a look-out and watch the horses. All might have went well but for the cashier, Haywood. When told to put up his hands, instead of complying, he got scared and tried to hide under a table. Miller, thinking

( page 360 ):

the fellow had gotten under there to pull a gun, stooped down and shot him, killing him instantly. This shot immediately attracted attention, for unlike most of our Texas towns of that time, a gun shot in town was of rare occurrence. The boys made it to their horses and managed to mount, but the fight was on. Two of them, Charlie Pitts and Clell Miller were killed almost at once. Bill Chadwell's horse was shot from under him and he rolled under a house where he stayed till night, when he made his way back to Texas. As he was not known personally up there in that country, that was easy. It was made easier still, for a strange man was found near the fallen horse and as he had been shot to death it has always been believed that he was Chadwell. Even the Youngers thought so. Not so strange after all, for during a fair a town is always full of strangers. Just someone who had been hit by a stray bullet. Chadwell died in 1911 on the Mississippi river below Vicksburg in a shanty boat. He had become a fisherman. Bob Younger was shot through the lung and through the jaw. He died in prison. After getting out of the town of Northfield, the boys were bewildered. Pitts, their guide, was killed and they didn't know where or which direction to go. Besides, the whole country was aroused and up in arms looking for them. They were finally surrounded in the swamps near Mankato, by literally thousands of angry people. With no chance to break through and escape, and Bob at the point of death from his wounds, Cole at last decided to surrender. Tying his shirt which had once been white, to a stick, he waved it in token of surrender when a sheriff and about fifty of the braver of the men came in to get them. Up to this time their identity was not known by anyone in that part of the country, but it was supposed that they were just amateurs. Well, the play all the way through, from the start to the finish bore out that impression. When the people found out that they had captured three of the noted Younger Brothers they were treated with marked respect, for even the people up north felt in sympathy with them and hated the way they had been so cruelly wronged, both during and after the war. Bob's wounds were given careful attention by a doctor who was with the posse, and he was put in a hack with plenty of blankets and with Cole and Jim on either side of his bed the start was made to Mankato and two long years behind prison bars. I will say here that neither Cole nor Jim were handcuffed, nor ironed in any way, but on their promise not to attempt to escape were allowed to be free so they could attend to their brother Bob. They were finally tried and given a life term in the Stillwater penitentiary.
The rest is history and too familiar, and too recent occurrences for me to repeat here. Bob died in prison. Cole and Jim were paroled and stayed for a while in Minnesota where Jim accidentally

( page 361 ):

shot and killed himself while loading a pistol. Cole was finally given a full pardon and came back to Missouri to make his home. He died in Lee's Summit, Missouri, on the 21st day of March, 1917, just before the United States went into the World War. Had he lived he intended to raise a regiment and go over. The things I tell about in this story are facts. It is of no difference how I know. That I do know is sufficient.

Yours truly,


When the Civil war was over,
And the South had laid down their arms
And came back to wives and sweethearts,
To their villages and farms.

Quantrell's men were classed as criminals,
We had not been mustered in
To the regular Southern armies,
We were a band of outlawed men.

Hunted down and shot like wild things,
Like a coyote, wolf or bear;
Chased from one state to another,
Hunted, hounded everywhere.

Not a crime so dark or fiendish,
Nor an act so mean or low,
But 'twas charged to the men of Quantrell,
"Yes, it must be them, you know."

And when the war was over
And we'd scattered o'er the land,
Here and there arose a rumor,
"Yes, he's one of Quantrell's band."

Some were chased and killed or captured,
Others ran or hid away,
But it's time the Truth was spoken,
We are feeble, old and gray.

Let us tell our simple story,
How we fought to shield our homes
From the thugs and border ruffians,
Tho we had to fight alone.

Some made good while others didn't,
Some gained wealth and honor too,
Others took the "Owl Hoot" trail,
That there was nothing else to do.

But no matter what their station,
Or how well be became known,
The cloud of "65" was present
And our names were not our own.

But our secret well was guarded
By the men who knew us well,
"Quantrell's oath" took care of that,
"What you know don't ever tell."

Dear Readers: Please stay tuned, the Frank Dalton material from pages 362-374 will be posted in a few days. Thanks for being patient.

Sincerely, Philip K. Kromer

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