Museum Audience Goes On Wild Ride With Col. Crump

From Staff Reports

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Local historian John Nance begins his presentation on Colonel Richard Phillip Crump.

John Nance told the audience at the Jefferson Historical Society and Museum lecture series event last week Phil Crump looked like a man who would cut your throat. Richard Phillip Crump, a future Marion County Sheriff and colonel in the Confederate army, was born in January of 1824.

During his 45-year life, Crump tried his hand at just about everything. He was a gambler, saloon operator, grocer, sawmill owner and steamboat captain in Cass and Marion counties during the period before the Civil War.

“The whole thing about Crump was the list of things he did,” Nance said. “That Crump was involved in so many things is what made him important.” Nance told the gathering how in November of 1861, Crump resigned as a Jefferson alderman to raise the 1st Texas Cavalry Battalion. When his unit was merged with another regiment and sent East as dismounted infantry, Crump resigned and returned to Jefferson. He then became a lieutenant colonel in the 1st Texas Partisan Rangers which operated in Texas and Louisiana.

“He liked the glory of it,” Nance observed. After the war, Crump became Marion County sheriff and a foe of Reconstruction. He was eventually arrested by Union troops and held in the Jefferson stockade where his health declined. After a jury acquitted him of a murder charge, Crump was released from the stockade less than 60 days before his death on Oct. 14, 1869. “After the war everybody had to make changes and he (Crump) could not make the changes,” Nance concluded. Nance described the turnout for his lecture as “wonderful.”

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