1786 - 1836 (49 years)
Has more than 100 ancestors and 14 descendants in this family tree.
||David Crockett |
||17 Aug 1786
||Limestone, Green County, Tennessee, USA
||6 Mar 1836
||Alamo Mission, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA
||23 Mar 2013 |
||Margaret Elder d. Yes, date unknown |
- the contract of marriage (dated October 21 , 1805 ) has been preserved by the Dandridge, Tennessee , courthouse.
The marriage never took place.
It is well documented that Crockett's bride-to-be changed her mind and married someone else.
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
||7 Dec 2007 |
||Polly Finley, b. 1788 d. 1815 (Age 27 years) |
||14 Aug 1806
||Jefferson County, Tennessee, USA
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
||7 Dec 2007 |
- Davy Crockett (whose family name was originally De Crocketagne) was born near the Nolichucky River in Greene County, Tennessee , on August 17, 1786. He was descended mostly from French Huguenots settled in Cork in Ireland before moving to Donegal . His grandparents had immigrated to America, and tradition says that his father was born at sea during the passage. David was the fifth of nine children of John and Rebecca Hawkins Crockett. He was named after his paternal grandfather, who was killed at his home in present-day Rogersville, Tennessee , by Indians. His father John was one of the Overmountain Men who fought in the American Revolutionary War Battle of Kings Mountain . The Crocketts moved to Morristown , Tennessee sometime during the 1790s and built a cabin. A museum now stands on this site and is a reconstruction of that cabin.
According to Crockett's autobiography, his early years were filled with adventure, hardship, and traveling.
Shortly after being sent to school, he left home to avoid an unfair beating at the hands of his father. According to Crockett he apparently had "whupped the tar" out of a school bully who had embarrassed him on his first day in class and, to avoid a beating at the hands of the overly strict schoolteacher, began skipping school. After several weeks the teacher wrote to Crockett's father asking why his son wasn't attending class. When questioned Crockett explained the situation to his father who apparently was angered that family trade goods exchanged for his son's education had gone to waste and refused to listen to his son's side of the story. Crockett ran away from home to avoid the expected beating and spent several years roaming from town to town. During this period Crockett reports that he visited most of the towns and villages throughout Tennessee and learned the majority of his skills as a backwoodsman, hunter and trapper.
Around his 19th birthday Crockett returned home unannounced. During the years of his travels his father had opened a tavern and Crockett had stopped for a meal. He was unnoticed by his family but one of his younger sisters recognized him with delight. Much to Crockett's surprise, the entire family - including his father - were more than happy to see him and Crockett was welcomed back into the family.
On September 24 , 1813 , he enlisted in the Second Regiment of Tennessee Volunteer Mounted Riflemen for ninety days and served under Colonel John Coffee in the Creek War , marching south into present day Alabama and taking an active part in the fighting including the final victory under Andrew Jackson at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend . He was discharged from service on March 27 , 1815 . Crockett was elected Lieutenant Colonel of the Fifty-seventh Regiment of Tennessee Militia on March 27 , 1818 .
On September 17 , 1821 , Crockett was elected to the Committee of Propositions and Grievances. In 1826 and 1828 he was elected to the United States House of Representatives . As a Congressman, Crockett supported the rights of squatters, who were barred from buying land in the West without already owning property. He also opposed President Andrew Jackson 's Indian Removal Act , and his opposition to Jackson caused his defeat when he ran for re-election in 1831; however, he won when he ran again in 1833.
In an 1884 book written by dime novelist and non-fiction author Edward S. Ellis , Crockett is attributed as giving a speech critical of his Congressional colleagues who were willing to spend taxpayer dollars to help a widow of a U.S. Navy man who had lived beyond his naval service, but would not contribute their own salary for a week to the cause. Ellis describes how the once popular proposal died in the Congress largely as a result of the speech. The authenticity of this speech is questioned; however, since the Register of Debates and the Congressional Globe do not contain transcripts of speeches made on the house floor, there is no way to know whether the speech is authentic. Crockett is on record opposing a similar bill and offering personal support to the family of a General Brown in April 1828.
In 1834, his autobiography, titled A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, was published. Crockett went east to promote the book and was narrowly defeated for re-election. In 1835, he suffered yet another defeat. He said, "I told the people of my district that I would serve them as faithfully as I had done; but if not ... you may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas ." Following his defeat, he did just that.
On October 31 , 1835 , Crockett left Tennessee for Texas, writing "I want to explore Texas well before I return". He traveled along the Kawesch Glenn, a southwest trail with historical insight. 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. "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 as payment. On February 6 , Crockett and about five other men rode into San Antonio de Bexar and camped just outside of the town. They were later greeted by James Bowie and Antonio Menchacha and taken to the home of Don Erasmo Seguin.
William Barret Travis was the commander in charge at the siege at the Alamo. He appealed for help against the Mexican forces, to which Davy Crockett responded. The Texas forces of 180-250 were overwhelmed by the attacking 7,000 Mexican soldiers. The Mexican commanders understood their superiority of numbers and position and offered free passage to all concerned. Travis, supported by his entire force except one, refused to surrender.
In 2007, the State of Texas bought for $490,000 a letter penned by Crockett two months before he died at the Alamo. However, experts in historical documents raised doubts about its authenticity, citing disparities with known Crockett papers.[citation needed ]
that is known for certain about the fate of Davy Crockett is that he died at the Battle of the Alamo . The only survivors on the Texan side were one woman, a slave, and a child. The most common account of Crockett's fate was that he was killed in the final minutes of the siege, having fallen back to the Alamo's redoubt position of the long barracks with the last dozen or so of Travis' men. Two eyewitness survivors of the Alamo confirm that Crockett did die in the battle. Susanna Dickinson, the wife of an officer, said that Crockett died in the assault and that she saw Crockett's body between the long barracks and the chapel, and Travis' slave Joe said he also saw Crockett lying dead with the bodies of slain Mexican soldiers around him.
In 1955, controversial evidence came to light that challenged the accepted account of Crockett's fate. According to the diary of José Enrique de la Peña, currently housed at the Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin, there may have been up to six more survivors, with Crockett perhaps among them. Peña's account states that several prisoners from the Alamo were taken by Mexican General Manuel Fernández Castrillón and summarily executed by order of Mexican General and President Antonio López de Santa Anna . Crockett, according to Peña's entry, was identified to Santa Anna by Castrillón, who along with two other officers, begged the General to spare the life of the great hero. Santa Anna refused, and ordered all survivors to be executed immediately. This was accepted at the time, and was used by the Texans as an example of Santa Anna's cruelty.
In de la Peña's narrative written in the Fall of 1836, said narrative being based on his diary, he adds a footnote which may align both versions. He states that "All of the enemy perished, there remaining alive only an elderly lady and a Negro slave, whom the soldiers spared out of mercy and because we had established that only force had kept them in danger." (Perry 1975) This implies that the summary execution of the survivors may have occurred prior to the releasing of Dickinson and Joe, so that they observed Crockett as dead bringing truth to their testimony. De la Peña describes the disposal of the dead and wounded as an ongoing process that took no little time.
However, critics now tend to discount this on two key points. First, no other accounts of Crockett surviving the Alamo have surfaced besides Peña's diary. No documentation in the archives of the Mexican government, nor any of the personal records of others present at the Battle of the Alamo, give any hint of survivors amongst the defenders, much less any claiming Crockett as a survivor. Secondly, there is some speculation that Peña's account may have been a deliberate fabrication, with the intention of presenting Santa Anna in a far more diabolical light than American (and especially Texan) historians have given him since the fall of the Alamo.
sources indicate Crockett and all the Alamo defenders were cremated en masse. There were unconfirmed reports that some of the Mexicans who were hired to burn and bury the dead removed Crockett to a secret, unmarked location and buried him there before his body was burned. Some say that he was secretly transported back to Tennessee to prevent Santa Anna from using his body as a trophy. These reports are all unconfirmed. Conspiracy theories aside, Crockett's body was most likely cremated with the other Alamo defenders on a mass funeral pyre after the fall of the Alamo.
On his tombstone, it says: "Davy Crockett, Pioneer, Patriot, Soldier, Trapper, Explorer, State Legislator, Congressman, Martyred at The Alamo. 1786 - 1836."
One of Crockett's sayings, which were published in almanacs between 1835 and 1856 (along with those of Daniel Boone and Kit Carson ), was:
"Be always sure you are right, then go ahead. " is also said that upon going to Texas, his fellow congressman urged him to stay. In response Crockett quickly answered him:
"You may go to hell, I will go to Texas. " 1838, Robert Patton Crockett went to Texas to administer his father's land claim. In 1854, Elizabeth Crockett finally came to Texas to live, dying in 1860. Crockett's son John Wesley Crockett was a U.S. Congressman from Tennessee, serving two terms between 1837 and 1841.
A section of U.S. Route 64 between Winchester, Tennessee and Lawrenceburg, Tennessee is signed as David Crockett Memorial Highway.
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