|Birth Day:||August 17, 1786|
|Death Date:||Mar 6, 1836 (age 49)|
As per our current Database, Davy Crockett died on Mar 6, 1836 (age 49).
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He dropped out of school because of a bully, and ran away from home for fear of punishment from his father.
In 1802, David journeyed by foot back to his father's tavern in Tennessee. His father was in debt to Abraham Wilson for $36 (equivalent to $643 in 2019), so David was hired out to Wilson to pay off the debt. Later, he worked off a $40 debt to John Canady. Once the debts were paid, John Crockett told his son that he was free to leave. David returned to Canady's employment, where he stayed for four years.
Andrew Jackson was appointed major general of the Tennessee militia in 1802. The Fort Mims massacre occurred near Mobile, Mississippi Territory on August 30, 1813 and became a rallying cry for the Creek War. On September 20, Crockett left his family and enlisted as a scout for an initial term of 90 days with Francis Jones's Company of Mounted Rifleman, part of the Second Regiment of Volunteer Mounted Riflemen. They served under Colonel John Coffee in the war, marching south into present-day Alabama and taking an active part in the fighting. Crockett often hunted wild game for the soldiers, and felt better suited to that role than killing Creek warriors. He served until December 24, 1813.
Crockett fell in love with John Canady's niece Amy Summer, who was engaged to Canady's son Robert. While serving as part of the wedding party, Crockett met Margaret Elder. He persuaded her to marry him, and a marriage contract was drawn up on October 21, 1805. Margaret had also become engaged to another young man at the same time and married him instead.
He met Polly Finley and her mother Jean at a harvest festival. Although friendly towards him in the beginning, Jean Finley eventually felt Crockett was not the man for her daughter. Crockett declared his intentions to marry Polly, regardless of whether the ceremony was allowed to take place in her parents' home or had to be performed elsewhere. He arranged for a justice of the peace and took out a marriage license on August 12, 1806. On August 16, he rode to Polly's house with family and friends, determined to ride off with Polly to be married elsewhere. Polly's father pleaded with Crockett to have the wedding in the Finley home. Crockett agreed only after Jean apologized for her past treatment of him.
The newlyweds settled on land near Polly's parents, and their first child, John Wesley Crockett, who became a United States Congressman, was born July 10, 1807. Their second child, William Finley Crockett, was born November 25, 1808. In October 1811, the family relocated to Lincoln County. Their third child Margaret Finley (Polly) Crockett was born on November 25, 1812. The Crocketts then moved to Franklin County in 1813. He named the new home on Beans Creek "Kentuck". His wife died in March 1815, and Crockett asked his brother John and his sister-in-law to move in with him to help care for the children. That same year, he married the widow Elizabeth Patton, who had a daughter, Margaret Ann, and a son, George. David and Elizabeth's son, Robert Patton, was born September 16, 1816. Daughter Rebecca Elvira was born December 25, 1818. Daughter Matilda was born August 2, 1821.
The War of 1812 was being waged concurrently with the Creek War. After the Treaty of Fort Jackson in August 1814, Andrew Jackson, now with the U.S. Army, wanted the British forces ousted from Spanish Florida and asked for support from the Tennessee militia. Crockett re-enlisted as third sergeant for a six-month term with the Tennessee Mounted Gunmen under Captain John Cowan on September 28, 1814. Crockett's unit saw little of the main action because they were days behind the rest of the troops and were focused mostly on foraging for food. Crockett returned home in December. He was still on a military reserve status until March 1815, so he hired a young man to fulfill the remainder of his service.
In 1817, Crockett moved the family to new acreage in Lawrence County, where he first entered public office as a commissioner helping to configure the new county's boundaries. On November 25, the state legislature appointed him county justice of the peace. On March 27, 1818, he was elected lieutenant colonel of the Fifty-seventh Regiment of Tennessee Militia, defeating candidate Daniel Matthews for the position. By 1819, Crockett was operating multiple businesses in the area and felt his public responsibilities were beginning to consume so much of his time and energy that he had little left for either family or business. He resigned from the office of justice of the peace and from his position with the regiment.
In 1821, he resigned as commissioner and successfully ran for a seat in the Tennessee General Assembly, representing Lawrence and Hickman counties. It was this election where Crockett honed his anecdotal oratory skills. He was appointed to the Committee of Propositions and Grievances on September 17, 1821, and served through the first session that ended November 17, as well as the special session called by the governor in the summer of 1822, ending on August 24. He favored legislation to ease the tax burden on the poor. Crockett spent his entire legislative career fighting for the rights of impoverished settlers who he felt dangled on the precipice of losing title to their land due to the state's complicated system of grants. He supported 1821 gubernatorial candidate William Carroll, over Andrew Jackson's endorsed candidate Edward Ward.
Less than two weeks after Crockett's 1821 election to the General Assembly, a flood of the Tennessee River destroyed Crockett's businesses. In November, Elizabeth's father Robert Patton deeded 800 acres (320 ha) of his Carroll County property to Crockett. Crockett sold off most of the acreage to help settle his debts, and moved his family to the remaining acreage on the Obion River, which remained in Carroll County until 1825 when the boundaries were reconfigured and put it in Gibson County. In 1823, he ran against Andrew Jackson's nephew-in-law William Edward Butler and won a seat in the General Assembly representing the counties of Carroll, Humphreys, Perry, Henderson and Madison. He served in the first session, which ran from September through the end of November 1823, and in the second session that ran September through the end of November 1824, championing the rights of the impoverished farmers. During Andrew Jackson's election to the United States Senate in 1823, Crockett backed his opponent John Williams.
On October 25, 1824, Crockett notified his constituents of his intention to run in the 1825 election for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He lost that election to incumbent Adam Rankin Alexander. A chance meeting in 1826 gained him the encouragement of Memphis mayor Marcus Brutus Winchester to try again to win a seat in Congress. The Jackson Gazette published a letter from Crockett on September 15, 1826 announcing his intention of again challenging Rankin, and stating his opposition to the policies of President John Quincy Adams and Secretary of State Henry Clay and to Rankin's position on the cotton tariff. Militia veteran William Arnold also entered the race, and Crockett easily defeated both political opponents for the 1827–29 term. He arrived in Washington, D.C. and took up residence at Mrs. Ball's Boarding House, where a number of other legislators lived when Congress was in session. Jackson was elected as President in 1828. Crockett continued his legislative focus on settlers getting a fair deal for land titles, offering H.R. 27 amendment to a bill sponsored by James K. Polk.
Crockett was re-elected for the 1829–31 session, once again defeating Adam Rankin Alexander. He introduced H.R. 185 amendment to the land bill on January 29, 1830, but it was defeated on May 3. On February 25, 1830, he introduced a resolution to abolish the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York because he felt that it was public money going to benefit the sons of wealthy men. He spoke out against Congress giving $100,000 to the widow of Stephen Decatur, citing that Congress was not empowered to do that. He opposed Jackson's 1830 Indian Removal Act and was the only member of the Tennessee delegation to vote against it. Cherokee chief John Ross sent him a letter on January 13, 1831 expressing his thanks for Crockett's vote. His vote was not popular with his own district, and he was defeated in the 1831 election by William Fitzgerald.
Crockett ran against Fitzgerald again in the 1833 election and was returned to Congress, serving until 1835. On January 2, 1834, he introduced the land title resolution H.R. 126, but it never made it as far as being debated on the House floor. He was defeated for re-election in the August 1835 election by Adam Huntsman. During his last term in Congress, he collaborated with Kentucky Congressman Thomas Chilton to write his autobiography, which was published by E. L. Carey and A. Hart in 1834 as A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, Written by Himself, and he went east to promote the book. In 1836, newspapers published the now-famous quotation attributed to Crockett upon his return to his home state:
By December 1834, Crockett was writing to friends about moving to Texas if Jackson's chosen successor Martin Van Buren was elected President. The next year, he discussed with his friend Benjamin McCulloch raising a company of volunteers to take to Texas in the expectation that a revolution was imminent. His departure to Texas was delayed by a court appearance in the last week of October as co-executor of his deceased father-in-law's estate; he finally left his home near Rutherford in West Tennessee with three other men on November 1, 1835 to explore Texas. His youngest child Matilda later wrote that she distinctly remembered the last time that she saw her father:
Crockett traveled with 30 well-armed men to Jackson, Tennessee, where he gave a speech from the steps of the Madison County courthouse, and they arrived in Little Rock, Arkansas on November 12, 1835. The local newspapers reported that hundreds of people swarmed into town to get a look at Crockett, and a group of leading citizens put on a dinner in his honor that night at the Jeffries Hotel. Crockett spoke "mainly to the subject of Texan independence," as well as Washington politics.
There was a skirmish between Mexican and Texian troops that same night outside the Alamo. Historian Walter Lord speculates that the Texians were creating a diversion to allow their courier John Smith to evade Mexican pickets. However, Alamo survivor Susannah Dickinson said in 1876 that Travis sent out three men shortly after dark on March 3, probably a response to the arrival of Mexican reinforcements. The three men—including Crockett—were sent to find Fannin. Lindley states that Crockett and one of the other men found the force of Texians waiting along Cibolo Creek just before midnight; they had advanced to within 20 miles (32 km) of the Alamo. Just before daylight on March 4, part of the Texian force managed to break through the Mexican lines and enter the Alamo. A second group was driven across the prairie by Mexican cavalry.
Yet, in 1955, Jesús Sánchez Garza discovered the memoirs of José Enrique de la Peña, a Mexican officer present at the Battle of the Alamo, and self-published it as La Rebelión de Texas – Manuscrito Inédito de 1836 por un Ofical de Santa Anna. Texas A&M University Press published the English translation in 1975 With Santa Anna in Texas: A Personal Narrative of the Revolution. The English publication caused a scandal within the United States, as it asserted that Crockett did not die in battle. The translator of the English-publication, Carmen Perry, the former librarian of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, was harassed with anonymous letters and intimidating phone calls by Crockett-loyalists who considered the mere suggestion that Crockett had not died fighting blasphemous. Written testimony by more than a half dozen eyewitnesses confirm de la Peña's account.
Some have questioned the validity of the text. The author and retired firefighter, William Groneman III, posited that the journals were made up of several different types of paper from several different paper manufacturers, all cut down to fit. Long-time John Wayne enthusiast, Joseph Musso, also questioned the validity of de la Peña's diary, basing his suspicions on the timing of the diary's release, and the fact that historical interest in the topic rose around the same time as the Walt Disney mini-series Davy Crockett was released in 1955. Some questions were answered when:
Columbia Features syndicated a comic strip, Davy Crockett, Frontiersman, from June 20, 1955 until 1959. Stories were by France Herron and the artwork was ghosted in early 1956 by Jack Kirby.
In 1967 the U.S. Postal Service issued a 5-cent stamp commemorating Davy Crockett.
A 2009 episode of MythBusters tested whether Crockett could split a bullet in half on an axe in a tree 40 yards away. The myth was declared "Confirmed".
Currently, Davy Crockett is 235 years, 1 months and 5 days old. Davy Crockett will celebrate 236th birthday on a Wednesday 17th of August 2022.
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