Davy Crockett

1786 - 1836

Davy Crockett, Southern frontier hero, pioneer, and politician. He was born David Crockett in Greene County, Tennessee. He spent much of his youth as an unlettered frontiersman and backwoods hunter. He served with General Andrew Jackson, later 7th president of the United States, in the campaign against Native Americans of the Creek tribe in 1813. This experience broadened his ambition, and from 1821 to 1825 he was a member of the Tennessee state legislature. In 1827 he became a member of the U.S. Congress. He was defeated for reelection in 1831 but was victorious in 1833. His efforts to pass a bill granting land to squatters in Tennessee involved him in political conflict with such powerful leaders as Jackson and James Polk, later 11th president of the United States. In 1835, after again being defeated for Congress, he went to Texas, where he joined the struggle against Mexican rule. He was killed while helping to defend the Alamo at San Antonio.

During his political career members of the Whig Party, making skillful use of his renowned backwoods humor and eccentricities, brought out a number of books attributed to him. These included A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, of the State of Tennessee (1834) and Sketches & Eccentricities of Colonel David Crockett of West Tennessee (1833). It is improbable that Crockett was the sole author, but it seems likely that he aided in their writing. Popular pamphlets, known as Crockett Almanacs, were issued by several publishers in various cities between 1835 and 1856. In addition to the usual contents of such publications, the almanacs contained tall tales based on oral legends about Crockett and other frontier heroes, including Daniel Boone and Kit Carson. These almanacs did much to establish Crockett as a figure in American legend and folklore