Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Davy Crockett - A Scot You Should Know

Like, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett (1786-1836) typifies the resourceful freedom-loving frontiersman.  His legendary figure has grown with the years to the folk hero class.  Davy Crockett was born in a log cabin in eastern Tennessee on August 17, 1786.  His Scottish-born father was a Revolutionary War veteran who had moved to the Tennessee frontier.

His formal education amounted to about 100 days of private tutoring.  He fought in the Creek Indian Wars (1813-1815).  After serving two terms in the state legislature, he ran for the U.S. Congress where he served three terms.  During his first two years in Washington, he incurred the enmity of President Andrew Jackson and the new Democratic party.  It was Jackson's opposition that ended Crockett's career in Congress during the election of 1835.

Stories in the popular press of the day pictured Davy Crockett as a shrewd, yarn-spinning eccentric and rough Indian-fighting frontiersman.  Actually, he engaged in several successful business ventures, and he delivered his speeches in Congress in the fairly conventional English of the times.

He wrote an autobiography in 1834 which added to the Crockett legend.  His book played up his frontier life and minimized his political career.  His writing was full of the realism of pioneer times.  It was a style probably never seen before, and it was well received by the reading public of that time.

But the most dramatic event of his life came after his biography was written.  Following his defeat in Congress, he headed west to join the American forces in Texas.  In the gallant defense of the Alamo, Crockett died March 6, 1836, when the defenders were killed to the last man by a Mexican army under General Santa Anna.

Davy Crockett is a member of the Scottish-American Hall of Fame.  The above information was written by James C. Thomson and is the inscription on his plaque in the Hall of Fame.

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