David Crockett was born on August 17, 1786, in what is now Tennessee (then the state of Franklin), and was the fifth child of nine for parents John and Rebecca Crockett. David had an adventurous childhood, exploring the woods and learning how to survive on his own. He did not excel at school, dropping out at around thirteen or fourteen years old and running away so he would not be punished for his decision. He lived on his own for two years, surviving on his hunting skills and the land. When he returned, his family did not recognize him at first because he had grown so much. When they realized who he was, the Crockett family forgave their son and welcomed him home. David's father, John, sent his son to work off some of his debts. David did not learn to read until he was 18 years old.
At age 19, David proposed to Margaret Elder and was scheduled to marry her. She changed her mind at the last minute and married someone else. Despite his heartbreak, David married Mary "Polly" Finley less than a year later. They moved away to live in the mountains where they raised children together.
David Crockett joined the militia to fight against Native American tribes in the South. He became a lieutenant serving in the Thirty-second Militia of Franklin County. Crockett fought in the Creek War in Alabama, which began as a civil war among the tribe members, but the United States soon became involved. Crockett served as a hunter for his military unit, helping them survive in the harsh conditions. He eventually returned to his family in Tennessee, but Polly died in 1815 and David was remarried to Elizabeth Patton who was widowed, and expanded their family with more children.
After his military career, Crockett entered the political arena, initially as a justice of the peace, though that only lasted a short time. Next, Crockett became the town commissioner of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, until he resigned in 1821 to campaign for an elected position. He won the election to become a representative of Lawrence and Hickman Counties, and served two terms. He attempted to win a third election in 1825, but he lost. He then ran for U.S. Congress, defeating other military heroes to become a member of the House of Representatives in 1827, which he served for two nonconsecutive terms.
Crockett had initially been a supporter of President Andrew Jackson, but over time, Crockett opposed many of Jackson's policies, especially regarding land use. Crockett supported the rights of the people to buy property, and opposed Jackson's Indian Removal Act. Crockett sought a third term, but he lost the election to William Fitzgerald.
When Crockett lost his seat in the House of Representatives, he decided he was tired of politics and moved to Texas to fight in the revolution. In early 1836, he made his way to Texas and joined the troops defending the Alamo, quickly taking on a leadership role. The Mexican Army attacked the Alamo forces, eventually taking the stronghold in battle on March 6, 1836. That day, in circumstances that are not certain, Crockett died either in battle or executed shortly after being taken prisoner.
Last Updated on : 02/10/2012