The “Autobiography of Governor T.T. Crittenden (1832-1909) leaves little to imagination about the governor’s personal involvement and interest in what was to be done about outlaws Frank & Jesse James — and his satisfaction of the outlaws’ demise. When nominated for governor, Crittenden express three well-defined purposes for him seeking the office:

    1. the building up and sustaining the financial health of the state; and
    2. to have a broader and more far-reaching system of education for children; and
    3. a solemn determination to overthrow and destroy the outlawry in the state whose head and front was the James Gang, who had invested the western part of the state… giving the state the disgraceful cognomen of “The Robber State!” (p. 60)

Governor Thomas T. Crittenden of Missouri offered a reward for the James brothers and accepted the surrender of Frank James. He also testified during the 1883 trial held at Gallatin, MO.

“With pride I look at the Missouri  at the close of my administration, in comparison to that of its commencement with all its disturbances and lawlessness. There was not a horse nor an ace of land in the western part of the state whose value was not increased at least 33% by the destruction of that band… If asked, as I often have been, which one was the greatest benefit to Missouri as a state and to a people as a class, I should unhesitatingly say breaking up the James Gang of outlaws. ” (p. 61)

It should also be noted that Crittenden later teamed up with Gallatin attorney Henry Clay McDougal to open a law practice in Kansas City, located at 7th and Delaware Streets.