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Davy Crockett was a frontiersman, legendary folk hero and three-time Congressman. He fought in the War of 1812 and died at the Alamo in the Texas Revolution.
Davy Crockett - Full Episode (42:28)
Davy Crockett biography on his exploration and interest of discovering Texas into his death at the Battle of the Alamo in 1835.
The full biography of American Frontiersman Davy Crockett.
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Davy Crockett was born on August 17, 1786 in Greene County, Tennessee. In 1813, he participated in a massacre against the Cree at Tallussahatchee. In 1826, he earned a seat in the 21st U.S. Congress. He was re-elected to Congress twice before leaving politics to fight in Texas Revolution. On March 6, 1836, Crockett was killed at the Battle of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.
"I'm that same David Crockett, fresh from the backwoods, half-horse, half-alligator, a little touched with the snapping turtle; can wade the Mississippi, leap the Ohio, ride upon a streak of lightning, and slip without a scratch down a honey locust [tree]."
Davy Crockett was born as David Crockett on August 17, 1786 in Greene County, Tennessee. He was the fifth of nine children born to parents John and Rebecca (Hawkins) Crockett.
Crockett's father taught him to shoot a rifle when he was just 8 years old. As a youngster, he eagerly accompanied his older brothers on hunting trips. But, when he turned 13, his father insisted that he enroll in school. After only four days of attendance, Crockett "whupped the tar" out of the class bully and was afraid to go back lest he face punishment or revenge. Instead, he ran away from home and spent the next three years wandering, while honing his skills as a woodsman.
Just before he turned 16, Crockett went home and helped work off his father's debt to a man named John Kennedy. After the debt was paid, he continued working for Kennedy. At just a day shy of 20, Crockett married Mary Finley. The couple would bear two sons and a daughter before Mary died and Crockett remarried to Elizabeth Patton, who gave him another two children.
In 1813, after the War of 1812 broke out, Crockett signed up to be a scout in the militia under Major Gibson. Stationed in Winchester, Tennessee, Crockett joined a mission to seek revenge for the Cree Indians' earlier attack on Fort Mims, Alabama. In November of that year, the militia massacred the Indians' town of Tallussahatchee, Alabama.
When his enlistment period for the Cree Indian War was up, he re-enlisted, this time as a third sergeant under captain John Cowan. Crockett was discharged as a fourth sergeant in 1815, and went home to his family in Tennessee.
Back at home, Crockett became a member of the Tennessee State House of Representatives from 1821 to 1823. In 1825, he ran for the 19th Tennessee House, but lost.
Running as a Jacksonian candidate in 1826, Crockett earned a seat in the 21st U.S. Congress. In March of 1829, he changed his political stance to anti-Jacksonian and was re-elected to the 21st Congress. In the next election, he failed to garner to vote for a seat in the 22nd Congress. He was, however, elected to the 23rd Congress in 1833. Crockett's stint in Congress concluded in 1835, when his run for re-election to the 24th Congress ended in defeat.
During his political career, Crockett developed a reputation as a frontiersman that, while at times exaggerated, elevated him to folk legend status. While Crockett was indeed a skilled woodsman, his notability as a Herculean, and as a rebellious, sharpshooting, tale-spinning and larger-than-life frontiersman was at least partially a product of his efforts to package himself and win votes during his political campaigns.
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