Greetings Fellow Brothers and Sisters,
For those of you that know me, I am an avid outdoorsmen and enjoy being out in the field. So for this month’s iteration of Americanism. I would like to discuss an American folk hero Mr. David Crockett. Davy Crockett was an outdoorsmen, soldier and politician. Davy was a native Tennessean and grew up in East Tennessee. This is where he gained his reputation for hunting and storytelling.
Early life was hard for young Crockett, his father indentured him to Jacob Siler for some indebtedness that the family had amassed. He started out on a cattle drive that led him over 400 miles into Virginia. He was treated and paid well for his services but after several weeks he returned to Tennessee. He remained at home for almost a year and was enrolled in school, but after an altercation with another student he decided to play hooky. After his father tried to whip him he was on the road for several years, on cattle drives and apprenticing. In 1802 he returned, home to his father’s tavern and was indentured out again. Pretty tough life for a young lad even in those days.
Crockett was married for the first time in 1806, to Polly Finley and the newlyweds settled on her father’s land. Their first son John W. Crockett went on to become a US Congressman. Polly had three children before her death in 1816. Later that year he married Elizabeth Patton who was a widow with two children of her own. The two together had three more children, Robert, Rebecca and Matilda.
He first entered public office in 1817 as a Justice of the Peace. The following year he was elected as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Tennessee Militia. After two years in the militia and operating multiple businesses he resigned from the regiment and as the county Justice of the Peace. Mr. Crockett’s Tennessee legislative career was mainly fighting for the rights of impoverished settlers. He favored legislation to ease the tax burden on the poor. In Tennessee he was well known for championing the rights of poor farmers.
Crockett continued to challenge the rank and file with his opposition to the cotton tariff after he was elected to Congress in 1826. Later, introducing a bill to abolish the US Military Academy at West Point. He felt that the public money was only going to aid the sons of our nation’s wealthy. He also opposed then President Andrew Johnson’s Indian Removal Act. He was voted in and out of Congress multiple times of the next 8 years.
By 1934 Davy was writing to friends about moving to Texas if Martin Van Buren was elected President. The following year he raised a company of Volunteers to take to Texas due to a revolution being imminent. He was delayed in departing for Texas due to a legal matter with his father in laws estate.
Finally, he leaves his home Rutherford, TN with three other men to explore Texas. His youngest child Matilda later wrong that she distinctly remembered the last time that she saw her father. “He was dressed in his hunting suit, wearing a coonskin cap, and carried a fine rifle presented to him by his friends in Philadelphia. He seemed very confident the morning he went away that he would soon have us all to join him in Texas.”
Stay tuned next month for the remainder of the Tale.
PER, Americanism Chair
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