Davy Crockett

Crockett, Davy (David Crockett)krŏkˈĭt, 1786–1836, American frontiersman, b. Limestone, near Greeneville, Tenn. After serving (1813–14) under Andrew Jackson against the Creek in the War of 1812, he settled in Giles co., Tenn., and in 1821 was elected to the state legislature. In 1823, Crockett, having moved to the extreme western part of the state, was reelected from his new constituency. When it was jokingly suggested that he should run for Congress, he took the proposal seriously and served three terms in the House (1827–31, 1833–35).

Though he was unable to win passage of a single bill, his dress, language, racy backwoods humor, and naive yet shrewd comments on city life and national affairs made him a popular figure in Washington. Crockett became a political opponent of Jackson, and the Whigs took him up so assiduously that he became the showpiece of conservatism. Resenting his defeat for reelection in 1835 and having failed in business, farming, and family life, Crockett left Tennessee for Texas, where he lost his life in the defense of the Alamo. A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett (1834), An Account of Col. Crockett's Tour to the North and Down East (1834), and Col. Crockett's Exploits and Adventures in Texas (posthumous, 1836), supposedly written by Crockett himself in his own idiom, do not match, either in content or style, those letters definitely known to be his.

See his Narrative, facsimile edition edited by J. A. Shackford and S. J. Folmsbee (1973); biography by M. Wallis (2011); study by J. A. Shackford (1956); W. C. Davis, Three Roads to the Alamo (1998).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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