Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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NEWTON, Robert Crittenden, lawyer, born in Little Rock, Arkansas, 2 June, 1840; died there, 2 June, 1887. He was a descendant of Jared Newton, an Englishman, who emigrated to Westmoreland county, Virginia, in the 17th century. He was educated partly at the Western military institute, Tennessee, afterward studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1860, and began to practise in his native city. Enlisting in the Confederate army as a private, he was successively commissioned lieutenant and assistant adjutant-general on the staff of General Thomas C. Hindman. Subsequently he was made major in the adjutant-general's department, and colonel of the 5th regiment of Arkansas cavalry. After the war he took an active part in the work of reconstruction. In 1866 he served as one of the commissioners that were sent by the Arkansas legislature to Washington, D. C., to ascertain from the Federal authorities on what terms congressmen from that state would be admitted to seats. In 1868 he canvassed the state against the constitution of that year, and in 1874 he was state treasurer pro tempore from 23 May till 1'2 November. In May, 1873, when Governor Elisha Baxter decided to reorganize the militia of the state, he appointed General Newton one of two major-generals to carry out the work ; but, on the advice of President Grant, he determined to disband all the military forces of the state. The following year, on the outbreak of the "Brooks-Baxter war" (see BAXTER, ELISHA), Newton was reappointed major-general in command of the state troops. On 19 May, 1874, the Brooks forces having evacuated the capitol under the proclamation of President Grant, General Newton occupied the yard and grounds, and the next day reinstated Governor Baxter in possession of the public buildings, property, and archives.
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