October 29, 1827
The most famous and perhaps the most tragic duel in Arkansas took place between Robert Crittenden, territorial secretary and acting governor, and Henry Conway, who was running for reelection to Congress against Robert Oden. Tempers flared early in the election. Letters published in the Arkansas Gazette fanned the flames, and the feud continued even after Conway’s victory. When Conway called Crittenden a liar, Crittenden sent Conway a challenge. The two met for the duel just across the Mississippi River from Montgomery’s Point at the confluence of the White and Mississippi rivers. Conway fired first but only grazed Crittenden’s coat. Crittenden’s first shot struck Conway, and he died eleven days later. Many duels and fights centered on the Conway-Oden election and its aftermath.