Richard Phillip Crump, businessman, sheriff, and officer in the service of both the Republic of Texas and the Confederacy, was born in New Kent, Powhatan County, Virginia, in January 1824. He was the son of Richard Goodrich Crump and Martha Manning (Bradley) Crump. His father was a successful farmer in New Kent, Virginia, and owned thirty-five slaves in 1850. Richard P. Crump attended West Point in 1845 and came to reside in Grayson County, Texas, in the 1850s. Crump was married twice: first to Martha A. Hughes; second to Cynthia Caroline Hughes.
In 1843 Crump was commissioned as a captain in the Army of the Republic of Texas and became involved in the Snively expedition. Launched on April 18, 1843, this venture, consisting of about 200 Texans, set out from Clarksville along the Red River and sought to intercept and capture a Mexican supply train, under the command of a Colonel Armijo, moving through Texas from Santa Fe. Though not officially sanctioned by the Texas government, it is probable that the existence of this mission was common knowledge. The expedition searched for Armijo's train for three weeks, and, not having encountered it, about seventy of the Texans elected to return home. Shortly thereafter, a foraging party of those who remained encountered several companies of U.S. cavalry near the Arkansas River under the command of Capt. Phillip Cooke. Cooke demanded the surrender of the Texans and subsequently placed Snively under arrest. Cooke later released Snively and his men with a small supply of muskets and allowed them to return home. Crump and the other members of the expedition fought off several attacks by Comanche Indians in the two weeks it took them to return to their starting point.
By 1860 Crump lived in Jefferson, Texas, where he worked as a grocer. He was married to Cynthia Caroline and had two children. On November 4, 1861, he enlisted as a private in Company K of the Thirty-second Texas Cavalry, also known as the First Texas Partisan Rangers. He served as lieutenant colonel at the battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, on December 7, 1862. His regiment then spent the winter of 1861–62 at Fort Smith, Arkansas. The Thirty-second Texas Cavalry was involved in the battle of Chustenallah in the Indian Territory. They also protected wagon trains and served as the rear guard at the battle of Elkhorn's Tavern. The unit served in the western theater at the battles of Richmond and Covington, Kentucky, and Murfreesboro, Tennessee. His unit was also involved in the battles of Dripping Springs and Van Buren in Arkansas in December 1862. The regiment participated in numerous battles in the Western theater including Shelbyville, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and Jackson. The unit was last stationed near Lauderdale, Mississippi, in April 1864 and traveled nearly 800 miles during the war.
After the war, Crump returned to Jefferson in Marion County, where he was a sheriff, businessman, and staunch opponent of Reconstruction. In 1868 he was involved in the Stockade Case. In this incident, Crump led a group of citizens who fired upon George W. Smith and four black men on October 3, 1868, following a meeting of Marion County Republican activists. After Smith returned fire, he was taken into custody by local authorities. The next night, a group of hooded men led by Crump overpowered the guards at the jail and shot Smith and two of the black men, Lewis Grant and Richard Stewart. On December 5, Reconstruction military authorities began making arrests in the case. Crump was one of those arrested and incarcerated at the military stockade in Jefferson to await trial. During this time his health deteriorated, and he was released from the stockade shortly after the trial ended with his acquittal on August 23, 1869. Crump passed away on October 14, 1869. By common consent, the businesses of Marion County closed on October 15 in order that the citizenry could attend Colonel Crump's funeral. He was buried at the Oakwood Cemetery in Jefferson, Marion County, Texas.