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The Story of Davy Crockett and His Heroic Death

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Davy Crockett is worldwide known as one of the best hunters, marksmen, and Indian fighters that ever lived. Throughout Davys life, he was a very famous celebrity in the United States. Even after he died, every one was talking about Davy Crockett and his heroic exploits, whether they be about his Indian fighting, his bear hunting, his marksmanship, his place in Congress, his backwoods humor, his story telling, or of his heroic deeds in the Alamo, people just couldnt get enough of him. Every one knew about him and his deeds, and still today we hear of him. There are many books written about his life; biographies, his own autobiography, other factual books, picture books for children, and story books. Books arent the only way we hear of Davy though, there are many movies about him and there was even a television show made about his adventures many years ago. Davy Crockett is one of Americas most beloved frontiersmen ever, but not everyone knows his whole story.

Davy Crockett was born on August seventeenth, 1786 in a cabin in Greene County, the backwoods of Tennessee. He was the fifth out of nine children born to Rebecca and John Crockett. Rebeccas maiden name was Hawkins, and her and her family moved to the United States from Ireland many years before she met John Crockett. John Crockett had fought in the Revolutionary War. When Davy was a baby, John was just a poor farmer, and Rebecca worked around the house and sewed cloths and such things. Right after Davy was born the family moved to the Nolachucky River Valley. When growing up, the Crocketts never stayed in one place for a long period of time. It seemed that the family couldnt prosper well in the same place for to long. Before long, the family moved to Greenville, Tennessee, about ten miles away from the Nolachucky River Valley in 1790. Without staying there for to long, they all moved to the mouth of Cove Creek when Davy was seven years old. John Crockett and a partner b!

uilt a mill there, however it got washed away during a flood. Finally the Crocketts headed to Jefferson County where John opened a tavern on the road from Abingdon to Knoxville in 1795. The tavern was mostly for wagoners who stopped to spend the night on their journey through Jefferson County. At the tavern Davy did various jobs to help his father.

One night in 1798, when Davy was twelve, a Dutchman named Jacob Silers came to spend a few nights at the tavern. John Crockett was pressed for money, so he decided to hire out Davy to Silers. Davy was to help Silers drive a heard of cattle to Rockbridge County, Virginia. Davy had never been away from home before in his life, so he left with a heavy heart. Jacob Silers was good to Davy, though he was a man of few words. Silers carried his gun with him at all times. Silers taught Davy how to hunt, shoot, and care for a rifle. Davy was taught by a good teacher, and for the rest of his life those skills would come in handy. After Davy and Jacob were to get to their destination, Silers was to give Davy Five dollars, and Davy was to head home. After they did reach the destination, Silers asked Davy if he would like to stay with him a while longer, and Davy agreed to. Davy grew to love the old man and continued to stay with, and help out Jacob Silers. Davy was beginning to become sev!

erely homesick, but didnt want to let Silers down by telling him he had to go. One day when Davy was bringing back the animals he shot, he ran into a wagoner. The wagoner recognized him from one of his stays at the Crockets tavern. Davy and the wagoner got to talking, and the wagoner offered to bring Davy back to John Crockets tavern on his way past there. Davy agreed to meet the wagoner seven miles down the road the following night. So the next night near two in the morning Davy quietly got out of bed and packed his belongings. Davy walked seven miles in knee deep snow, in the dark to meet up with the wagoner. Davy rode in the wagon for a few days, but he felt the wagon was going much to slow and began to grow impatient. Davy decided he could get there faster by going by foot, so he thanked the wagoner, and started home on foot. He walked for many miles and days, and he grew hungry and weak. Lucky for Davy, he met up with a man on a horse. The horse rider saw Davys unfortu!

nate condition, and told Davy he could ride along a ways on his extra horse. Davy gratefully excepted his offer, and he rode on the horse for many miles, but then it was time for the man to take a different route. By then Davy was rested up, so he continued on his way. He walked only fifteen more miles and he was finally home by the year 1799.

A short time after Davy returned home, he was to go to school. At school there was a bully named Angus McGruffy. He was two years older than Davy. Everyday Angus picked on the kids and stole their lunches. One day Angus told Davy that it was his turn to get a whopping from him, as he did to all new kids to the school house to make sure they knew who was boss. Angus told Davy to meet him on the top of a wooded hill the next day so they could fight where the school house teacher, Mr. (Ben) Kitchen wouldnt see them. So the next day Davy met the bully at the spot. The other school children gathered around to watch them fight. They all were sure that Angus would win, for no one had ever won against Angus before. Davy and Angus started to fight and it was a very close fight all the way until the end where Davy was on top of the badly beaten up Angus threatening to bash in his skull with a rock, so angus cried uncle and Davy had one the fight. When Davy was walking home from the sch!

ool house after the fight with his older siblings, he made them promise not to tell their father about what happened, and they agreed. That night Davy thought about what had happened, and came to the conclusion that if he went back to school the next day, Mr. Kitchen would whip Davy even worse than he had beaten Angus up. So he decided not to go to school the next day. So the next day he started out for the school house along with his brothers and sisters, but halfway there, he ran into the woods to spend the day. There in the woods he thought about the incident some more, and he decided to skip the next few days until Angus and Mr. Kitchen forgot about it. When it was time for the school children to come home, he would join his siblings for the walk home, so his parents wouldnt suspect anything. But after about a week had gone by, Mr. Kitchen got in touch with Davys father to ask why Davy hadnt been in school for so long. Together the teacher and Davys father gathered Davy had been skipping school. The next day John Crockett asked Davy why he hadnt been going to school. Davy tried to explain that if he went back, the teacher would beat him, but John Crockett had no sympathy and told Davy that if he didnt go to school, he would beat Davy twice as hard as the teacher would have. But Davy still refused to go to school, so John Crockett chased him to school with a stick, but Davy ran into the woods before he got to the schoolhouse and hid in a tree.

Now, Davy couldnt go back home, for fear of getting a beating. So he started out just wandering, not knowing to where to go. One day he met a cattle driver named Jeff Cheek. Davy asked him if he could help him, Jeff said he already had enough help, but Davy persuaded Jeff to hire him. After Davy worked for Jeff awhile, Jeff paid Davy. Davy was going to go home, but changed his mind, however, Davy ran out of money. Davy kept on working. He worked for wagoners and farmers. The next spring he worked as a ploughboy. There he got twenty-five cents a day. After that job, he met up with a wagoner and went to Baltimore with him. Davy gave the wagoner all his money, seven dollars, to hold on to for him for a while, to be returned. There in Baltimore, for the first time in his life, Davy saw ocean going ships. Davy was awed by them and boarded one. On it he met the captain, and signed up for a voyage to London and back. They were to cast that very night. Davy went back to the wagoner a!

nd asked for his seven dollars back, and to get his belongings. The wagoner refused to give him both his money and is possessions. He said that whoever Davys parents were wouldnt be happy with him for letting their son go to sea without their consent, so the wagoner wouldnt let Davy have his things, or go to sea. Davy ran away from the wagoner. He managed to get his belongings, but he left penniless. Soon down the road he came across another wagoner. His name was Henry Meyers. Davy told the wagoner his story. Henry said that hed go to the previous wagoner and get Davys money back from him, if he had to, by force. Meyers and Davy found the other wagoner. Meyers threatened to harm the other wagoner if he didnt return Davys money to him. The wagoner claimed not to have Davys money, or any money of his own. The man seemed so pitiful to Meyers and Davy that they let him be. Meyers and Davy traveled together for several days. Along their stops at taverns, Davy told more wa!

goners about how he lost all his money to the bad wagoner. The wagoners felt very sorry for Davy, and gave him their spare change. He collected three dollars from them in all. Davy split up with Meyers at the Montgomery Courthouse in Virginia. There he worked a month as a farmer and ended up with five dollars. Then he worked for a hatter, and did other various jobs to make money. Finally he decided to go home. So he took a canoe and canoed until he got home a few weeks later. After two and a half years of wondering, Davy returned home in 1802. He went to his familys tavern and had dinner there. No one recognized him, for he had changed drastically and he was a new man. But finally when the meal was almost over, his sister recognized him. He and his family talked, and all was forgiven. John Crockett made good use of his sons return. Davy was hired out to Abraham Wilson, and then to John Kennedy, whom his father owed money to. Davy didnt like working for Wilson, but he did like working for Kennedy. Davys work paid off his fathers debts to these men. After Davy was completed working, and after all the debts were paid, he decided to go back to John Kennedy and work for him. Davy earned money from

Kennedy, and with that money, he bought cloths, a horse, and a rifle. Kennedys son had a small school. There Davy learned to read and write a little and to do simple arithmetic.

Soon after that, in 1804 Davy courted a maiden named Maggie Elder. Maggie and Davy were to be married, but before that happened, she jilted him, but he recovered quickly and after he thought about it, he decided he didnt like Maggie that much anyways. Davy often entered shooting matches, and always won. After the matches, the was always a party. At one of the parties, an old Irish came up to him, and told him she had a sweetheart for him. She introduced Davy to her daughter, Polly. Pollys real name was Marry Finely, but she was called Polly for short. She was sixteen years old, and Davy was eighteen when they met. She lived about fifteen miles away from Davy. Davy and Polly fell in love, and they got married on August 16, 1806, a day before Davys twentieth birthday. The new couple rented a small farm with a cabin. Davy farmed there, and Polly did the housework. Together Davy and Polly had three children together, John Wesley in 1807, William in 1809, and then Margaret later on. Davy and the family lived in mountains in east Tennessee for many years. Then the family moved to Lincoln County near the Alabama boarder. In 1810 Davy and his new family moved to the head of Mulberry Fork of the Elk River, Lincoln County, Tennessee. In 1813 they moved again to the Rattlesnake Spring branch of Beans Creek, Tennessee. They got a homestead there, and Davy named it Kentuck.

In September 1813, Davy Began his military career. He enlisted in the militia as a scout under Major Gibson in Winchester, Tennessee, to avenge an Indian attack on Fort Mims, Alabama. The Creeks were upset about loosing their land to the white settlers. On November third, under the command of General Andrew Jackson, he participated in the retributive massacre of the Indian town of Tallussahatchee. Hundreds of Creek Indians and settlers were brutally killed, and the Creek Indian war is more often referred to as the Big Bloody. General Andrew Jackson made Davy chief scout. Davy provided most of the meat for the soldiers, and entertained them with stories at night. In 1814 the war ended. During the course of the war, Davy developed a strong dislike for Andrew Jackson, and a great respect for the Indians. Davy returned home right after the war. When Davy first got home, Polly was well for a while, but later on she grew sick and died in spring of 1815, shortly after Margaret was born.

After Polly died, Davy was having a hard time caring for his three children, for he had no experience caring for kids. Some of the neighboring women helped out Davy once in a while. Then Davy met a widow whos husband died in the Creek War. Her name was Elizabeth Patton. She was a large woman who was intelligent and practical. She had a son and a daughter of her own. Davy needed someone to care for his children, so he and Elizabeth were married. A few months after Davy and Elizabeth were married, they headed west. They were accompanied by three of his neighbors. One night they all camped near the Old Black Warrior Town near where Davy fought in the Big Bloody. During the night the horses broke loose and wandered off. In the morning Davy went to track them by foot. It turned into evening, and he hadnt yet found them, and he was beginning to get very sick, so he spent the night at one of the areas settlers house. In the morning he felt no better, but he started out to go back to meet his companions. Before he reached them, he became to weak to go on. Two friendly Indians found him laying on the side of the trail, and they helped him to the nearest home, which was the house of Jesse Jones, one of the earliest settlers in the west. Davy stayed with Jesse for a weeks. After he was well, he went back to his home in Tennessee. A year later Davy went to explore new land. He traveled eighty miles, then got sick with malaria. He decided he might as well settle there at Shoal Creek. Shoal Creek was where Davy first started his career in politics. In Shoal Creek there was no law. Davy lived there for two years with no laws, before him and his neighbors decided there should be some laws made. A meeting was held, where Davy was elected magistrate. A man called Captain Matthews asked Davy to run for the position as first major. Davy was reluctant to do so, but then decided to run for the position of colonel instead. He won the election against Matthews. For a long while, Davys word was law. Soon Shoal Creek became officially a part of Lawrence County. Every state was expected to keep a militia. In April 1818, Davy was elected colonel of the Fifty-seventh Militia. In 1821 Davy signed as commissioner to run for a seat in the Tennessee legislator as the representative of Lawrence and Hickman counties. He won the August election, and from the beginning he took an active interest in public land policy regarding the west. After the session ended he moved his family to what is now Gibson County in west Tennessee. He was reelected in 1823, and served until 1825. Davy was brought to Memphis, and was encouraged to run for a seat in Congress. He did run, and won the election in 1827. He ran again for a second term, and won in 1829. He quarreled harshly with President Andrew Jackson and the Tennessee delegation on several issues. Jackson was pushing to get a bill passed that took away land from the Indians that was earlier promised to them in a peace treaty. Davy strongly disagreed with this bill and voted against it. Davy wanted a land bill passed that allowed the sale of land in the west for a cheap price, but Jackson opposed the bill. In Davys 1831 campaign for a third term, during a speech, he openly and vehemently attacked Jacksons policies, resulting in him losing the election. But that didnt discourage Davy. He ran again in 1833 and won. On April 25, 1834, Davy embarked on an enthusiastic road trip to tour of the eastern states, that of which the Whig Party sponsored. Davy went toured Boston and stayed in the finest hotels, and got the best meals and service. Davy was gone for three weeks when the whole while he should have been in Washington D.C. When Davy returned to the capital, everyone was upset with him for disappearing, and he was voted out of Congress in 1835.

Davy had enough of Politics, and decided to go explore Texas, which was not a part of the United States. It was owned by Mexico. Halleys Comet was visible in the nights sky in November 1835. Davy and his three neighbors, William Patton, Abner Burgin, and Lindsey K. Tinkle, followed the comet westward. By early January, the four had reached San Antonio, Texas. Tinkle and Burgin went back to Tennessee then. There in San Antonio, Davy and John Patton signed the oath of allegiance to Texas. The signed oath would allow them to vote and run for political office in Texas. There in Texas, Davy heard the residence talk of revolution. At San Antonio de Bexar, Jim Bowie led an attack that drove a strong force of Mexican soldiers out of Texas and back to Mexico. Davy knew he should help fight. Fifteen other men, whom were mostly from Tennessee, joined Davy. They called themselves the Tennessee Mounted Volunteers, and Davy was the commander of them. They went to the Alamo, which was a fortress commanded by Colonel William Travis. It was defended by some 150 men, all fighting for Texass independence from Mexico. On day over 5,000 Mexican soldiers attacked the Alamo. When the battle ended, six men, including Davy Crockett were left standing. Davy and the other men, including Jim Bowie, were taken prisoner. There they were all attacked by twelve enemy soldiers. Davy was stabbed to his death in 1836.

Davys story didnt end there at his heroic death at the Alamo. For many years after he died, popular pamphlets known as Davy Crockett Almanacs were issued throughout the states. They held facts about him, and tall tales that had developed about him. Legends were told about Davy while he was alive, but after he died, they only grew greater. Today we still here talk about the famous hunter and politician who wore a coonskin cap and whose wisdom and wit compares to that of Benjamin Franklin. His heroic deeds and his legends will always live on and be told for generations to come.

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