David Crockett (August 17, 1786 – March 6, 1836) was an American frontiersman, soldier, politician, and folk hero. He is more often called Davy Crockett. He also has the nickname “King of the Wild Frontier”. He represented the state of Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was part of the Texas Revolution. He died in the Battle of the Alamo.
Childhood and family[change | edit source]
Crockett was born in Tennessee. A of the cabin he was born in stands today in Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park in Tennessee. The Crockett family's name comes from the name Monsieur de la Croquetagne. Monsieur de la Croquetagne was a captain in the Royal Guard of French King Louis XIV. The family became Protestants and ran away from France in the 17th century. Crockett did not have an easy childhood. He traveled around a lot, and had a lot of adventures. He started hunting with his brothers before his ninth birthday. A little after he started going to school, he beat up a bully. He stopped going to school so that his teacher would not punish him. His teacher told his father that Crockett was not at school. He then ran away from home so that his father would not beat him. He started moving around Tennessee. This was all according to a book Davy Crockett wrote about himself.
He came back home when he was 15. His family welcomed him back. He married Mary (Polly) Finley a day before his twentieth birthday. They had three children. However, Polly died at a young age. He married another woman named Elizabeth Patton in 1815. They had three children together.
Political career[change | edit source]
Crockett served in the Tennessee Militia for a few years, then ran for Congress in 1824. He lost his election, but ran again in the next election. In 1826, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives. As a Congressman, he became angry about President Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act, which forced Native Americans to leave their land. He lost his re-election in 1830. However, he ran again in 1832 and won.
In 1834, he wrote a book about himself called A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett. Written by Himself. He lost his re-election to Congress that year.
Texas Revolution[change | edit source]
Around December 1834, Crockett told some of his friends that he might move to Texas if Martin Van Buren became the next president of the United States. The next year, he talked to his friend Benjamin McCulloch about going to Texas, which belonged to Mexico at that time, with some people to fight in a revolution against Mexico. Van Buren was elected president, so he left Tennessee on Nov. 1, 1835 with three other men to go to Texas, saying, "You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas".
He arrived in Nacogdoches, Texas, in early January 1836. On January 14, 1836, Crockett and 65 other men signed an oath before Judge John Forbes to the Provisional Government of Texas for six months that said "I have taken the oath of government and have enrolled my name as a volunteer and will set out for the Rio Grande in a few days with the volunteers from the United States." Each man was promised about 4,600 acres (19 km²) of land.
He showed up at the Battle of the Alamo on February 8. There were over 100 other men there. On February 23, a Mexican army, led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna, showed up, and the Mexican army surrounded the Alamo, ready to take it over. After the Mexican army had been there for eight days, 32 other men showed up to help Crockett and the other men defending the Alamo.
On March 6, after the Mexican army had been there for 12 days, the Mexican army attacked just before dawn while the defenders were sleeping. According to Susana Dickinson, before running to his post, Crockett stopped in the chapel to pray. When the Mexican soldiers made it over the walls of the Alamo, the defenders stayed behind the low wall in front of the church, using their rifles as clubs and using knives because they did not have time to reload their guns. After firing shots and charging with bayonets, Mexican soldiers pushed the few remaining defenders back toward the church. The Battle of the Alamo lasted almost 90 minutes. All of the men defending the Alamo died, including Davy Crockett. That evening, the Mexican army lit a fire and burned the bodies of the men who defended the Alamo to ashes.
Legacy[change | edit source]
Even while he was still alive, many books and plays were written about Crockett's life, some of which stretched the truth. Since his death, he has become a popular figure in American folklore. In the 1950s, there was a television show about him, which had a song called "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" which was very popular. Many children wore "coonskin" hats to look like him.
Footnotes[change | edit source]
- "Davy Crockett (American frontiersman and politician) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia". britannica.com. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/143670/Davy-Crockett. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- "TN State Parks: Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park". tennessee.gov. http://www.tennessee.gov/environment/parks/DavyCrockettSHP/. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- Jean-Baptiste Nadeau, Julie Barlow, The Story of French, p.106, ISBN 0-312-34183-0.
- Lofaro, Michael. "The Handbook of Texas Online". http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/CC/fcr24.html. Retrieved 2010-3-18.
- "Crockett News". http://www.discoveret.org/crockett/news.html. Retrieved 2010-3-18.
- Banks 76.
- Berry, Christina. "All Things Cherokee: Article - Andrew Jackson - The Worst President The Cherokee Ever Met". allthingscherokee.com. http://www.allthingscherokee.com/articles_culture_events_020201.html. Retrieved April 4, 2010.
- Hubbell, Jay B. The South in American Literature: 1607-1900. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1954: 664. ISBN 0-8223-0091-5
- Cobia, 21-22.
- "The Burgin-Crockett Connection". http://theburginfamily.org/crockett.html. Retrieved 2010-3-18.
- Edmondson (2000), p. 299.
- Todish et al. (1998), p. 40.
- "The Alamo.org". http://www.thealamo.org/history.html. Retrieved 2010-3-18.
- Edmondson (2000), p. 363.
- Edmondson (2000), p. 368.
- Petite (1998), p. 114.
- Kubiak, Leonard. "The Battle of the Alamo". http://www.forttumbleweed.net/alamo.html. Retrieved 2010-3-18.
- Petite (1998), p. 139.
- Clark, Josh. "HowStuffWorks: Why was Davy Crockett king of the wild frontier?". http://history.howstuffworks.com/american-history/davy-crockett-wild-frontier.htm. Retrieved 2010-4-09.
References[change | edit source]
- Banks, Herbert (1995). Daughters of Republic of Texas, Volume 1. Turner Publishing Company. ISBN 9781563112140.
- Cobia, Manley F., Jr. (2003). Journey into the Land of Trials: The Story of Davy Crockett’s Expedition to the Alamo.. Franklin, TN: Hillsboro Press. ISBN 978-1577362685.
- Edmondson, J.R. (2000). The Alamo Story-From History to Current Conflicts. Plano, TX: Republic of Texas Press. ISBN 978-1556226786.
- Hardin, Stephen L. (1994). Texian Iliad. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0292731028.
- Petite, Mary Deborah (1999). 1836 Facts about the Alamo and the Texas War for Independence. Mason City, IA: Savas Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1882810352.
- Stacy, Lee (2002). Mexico and the United States. Marshall Cavendish Corporation. ISBN 9780761474029.
- Todish, Timothy J.; Todish, Terry; Spring, Ted (1998). Alamo Sourcebook, 1836: A Comprehensive Guide to the Battle of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution. Austin, Texas: Eakin Press. ISBN 9780890157572.
Other websites[change | edit source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Davy Crockett|
- "The Official Davy Crockett Family Homepage". goahead.org. http://www.goahead.org/. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
- "An account of Col. Crockett's tour to the North and down East, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-four : his object being to examine the grand manufacturing establishments of the country : and also to find out the condition of its literature and morals, the extent of its commerce, and the practical operation of "The Experiment" : The Portal to Texas History". texashistory.unt.edu. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth14392/. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
- "First-Person Accounts". heartofsanantonio.com. http://heartofsanantonio.com/alamo/Esparza.html. Retrieved 4 April 2010.