Nathaniel Craig Dryden
Nathaniel Dryden was born in 1850 in Missouri to Judge John Debose Sharpe Dryden (1814-1886) and Sarah F. Barr (née)(1825-). His father was a Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court. Dryden grauated from Amherst college and practiced law from 1871. He was eloquent in the courtroom. He is reputed to be the first attorney to gain the conviction, and hanging, of a white man for killing a black.
His reputation for hard drinking and morphine addiction caused him to be known as "the wickedest man in Missouri." An unsolicted love note from an infatuated shopgirl forced Dryden to admit to a second secret marriage which came as a surprise to his four daughters and first wife.
Dryden died on August 26, 1896 after a drinking binge after Lee Shelton's first trial and before his second.
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