Some call him a national hero. Others refer to him as the most iconic soldier and politician to have ever come out of the state of Tennessee. Either way, the historic impact of the late Davy ‘Davy’ Crockett is undeniable.
Born on the 17th of August, 1786 in Greene County which is located in the eastern part of Tennessee, Davy Crockett had a taste of poverty from a young age. His parents, John and Rebecca Crockett, had nine children with David being the fifth. The family ran into debt on numerous occasions.
Despite his humble beginnings, he would later grow to become the man who saved countless lives at the Alamo and helped Texas secure independence from the Mexicans.
We take a peek at 9 interesting facts about David Crockett that you may never have heard of. Let’s begin, shall we?
Davy Crockett Facts
1. In 1799, Davy ran away from home
Davy Crockett started school when he was 13 years old. In his autobiography, Davy narrated that he only spent four days in the school before he had a confrontation with a bully. Being a young boy with a strong will, he intercepted the lad after class and beat the hell out of him.
Afraid of receiving punishment for his actions, he stopped attending school, although his parents were unaware of this, an interesting fact about Davy Crockett. His father soon found out and tried to whip him. Unfortunately, Davy ran away from home, joining a group of cattle drivers on their journey outside of Tennessee. He traveled around Virginia, working as a farmhand and apprentice for two-and-a-half years before returning home to his family.
2. He was a skilled woodsman and hunter
During his teenage years, Davy trained himself on the ways of the frontier. He soon became a skilled hunter and woodsman. When John Crockett ran into one of his many debts, he had Davy work for the man he owed.
There, Davy would borrow a rifle and hone his shooting skills. This, coupled with his ability to trap wild animals effectively, made him an excellent hunter. He was mostly known as an expert bear hunter. His marksmanship would eventually prove vital to his role as a military man.
3. He lost three businesses in a flood
In Lawrence County and on the Shoal Creek banks, Davy Crockett created a powdermill, gristmill, and distillery. Unfortunately for him, these three establishments were lost in a flood that occurred in September 1821, a sad fact about Davy Crockett.
The popular belief is that the tragedy of this loss led him to move to West Tennessee. There, he began his congressional career. The site where these businesses used to stand is now called the David Crockett States Park. It is one of the most popular attractions in Lawrenceburg.
4. He was one of the soldiers that battled in the Creek war
In 1813, an Indian group called the Red Stick Creeks attacked and killed hundreds of Americans. In response, Major General Andrew Jackson ordered his soldiers to strike at the Creek village called Tallushatchee, killing 186 natives in the process.
Davy fought in this battle under the indirect command of Andrew Jackson, who would later become the president of the United States. Even though they had once been in the military together, Davy would eventually oppose most of Jackson’s policies.
5. He was the only Tennessee delegate to vote against the Indian Removal Act of 1830
After holding a variety of political positions, Davy had already established himself as a man who was against the unfair treatment of the less privileged, an important fact about Davy Crockett.He was elected into the Congress in 1826. In 1830, the then US president, Andrew Jackson signed an act that would allow him to force Native Americans out of their ancestral homelands in the eastern part of the US. They were to move to an allocated Indian territory west of the Mississippi River.
Despite Davy’s public opposition to this law and the protests by native tribes, the majority of the United States population was in support of it. Hence, all attempts to oppose the Act were in vain. The Natives were eventually removed from their homelands.
6. Davy Crockett almost died of malaria
After the death of his first wife, Polly Finley in 1815, Davy married Elizabeth Patton in the same year. Soon after this marriage, he went on an expedition with some neighbors in Alabama and along the way, he fell ill. The sickness happened to be malaria which caused his health to deteriorate rapidly. Believing him to be on the brink of death, his companions left him on the road. Fortunately, he did not die and went back to his family, which was a shock to everyone in the neighborhood.
7. He left Tennessee for Texas because of the deteriorating political system
After losing the election that would have allowed him to serve a 4th term in the US Congress, Davy decided to end his congressional career. A major reason for his loss stemmed from his opposition to President Andrew Jackson’s policies.
He soon lost faith in the political system and relocated to Texas in 1835. There, he joined the Texas Volunteers and was determined to fight for the freedom of the Alamo which was under the control of the Mexicans at the time.
8. There are two versions of reports on his death
While it is a proven fact that Davy Crockett was killed with other defenders of the Alamo in 1836, the specific circumstance surrounding his death is still a topic of debate. One version of the story claims his body was found among dead Mexican soldiers, suggesting he was killed in battle.
Another version claims he and a handful of survivors were captured and later executed by General Santa Ana, leader of the Mexican troops, an interesting fact about Davy Crockett.
9. Davy Crockett’s stories have been adapted into two major TV series
The historic tales of Davy were brought to mainstream television in form of the series titled Davy Crockett courtesy of Walt Disney. From 1954 to 1955, the show aired on Walt Disney’s Disneyland.
Another adaptation of the Crockett stories was created by Studios Animage, an animation studio based in France. The animated series was also titled Davy Crockett and ran in 1994.
That concludes our roundup of interesting facts about the legendary David Crockett. Perhaps, his most powerful saying was, “Always be sure you are right, then go ahead.” Being a prestigious member of the US House of Representatives and a Freemason, Davy did his best to live by this saying.
He may have died at a relatively young age of 49 on the 6th of March, 1836, but his deeds and ideologies live long after him – never to be forgotten.
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