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Museum Receives Rare Ashley-Crittenden Document

Historic Arkansas Museum - Saturday, May 30, 2015

Historic Arkansas Museum Commissioner Frances Ross accepted the donation of a rare document on September 26, 2012. The document dates to 1820 and is a partnership agreement between Chester Ashley and Robert Crittenden to establish a law practice that would eventually become the Rose Law Firm. The donors of the document are Rogers Cockrill, a direct descendent of Chester Ashley, and Herb Rule.

Historic Arkansas Museum received the gift of an 1820 agreement between Chester Ashley and Robert Crittenden to establish a law practice that would become the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock.

Chester Ashley [1791-1848] and Robert Crittenden[1797-1834], were co-founders of what would become the Rose law firm in Little Rock. The 1820 Ashley-Crittenden document is a rare and irreplaceable affirmation of our state’s early legal history.

Ashley, a prominent citizen in Territorial Arkansas, later became a U.S. Senator in 1844. Crittenden was appointed the Territory’s first secretary in March 1819 and served as acting governor until the arrival of James Miller in December of that year.

For more than 70 years the museum has collected a wide variety of documents and objects with which to chronicle and interpret Arkansas’s early history and culture. The Ashley-Crittenden partnership document will be the visual centerpiece of the museum’s growing collection of Chester Ashley family documents, furniture, silver and art.