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Davy Crockett

From Academic Kids

Alternate meaning: Davy Crockett (nuclear device)
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Davy Crockett

David Crockett (David de Crocketagne August 17, 1786March 6, 1836) was an American folk-hero usually referred to as Davy Crockett. He represented Tennessee in the U.S. Congress, went to Texas, and died at the Alamo. Crockett was born in Greene County, Tennessee, descendant from French Huguenots, the fifth of nine children, and was not well-educated. He stood about 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) and weighed approximately 190 lb (86 kg). On 24 September 1813 he enlisted in the Second Regiment of Tennesse Volunteer Mounted Riflemen for ninety days and served under General (later, President) Andrew Jackson (1767-1845)in the campaign against the Creek Indians. In 1815 his wife Polly (1788-1815) died. She was 27 years old and the mother of three children. David remarried in 1815 to Elizabeth Patton and had four children with her.

In 1826 and 1828 he was elected to Congress. As a Congressman, Crockett supported the rights of squatters, who were barred from buying land in the West without already owning property. He also opposed President Jackson's Indian Removal Act, and his opposition to Jackson caused his defeat when he ran for re-election in 1830 but won when he ran again in 1832.

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Crockett's last home in Rutherford, Tennessee, Gibson County.

In 1834, his book titled: A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, was published. Crockett went to the East to promote the book, and was narrowly defeated for re-election. In 1835 he was again defeated for re-election: Saying, "You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas," he did just that, joining the Texas Revolution. In November of 1835, he left Tennessee for Texas. On 14 January 1836 Crockett and 65 other men signed an oath to the Provisional Government of Texas. Each man was promised about 4,605 acres (19 km²) of land as payment. On 6 February 1836 Crockett and about a dozen remaining men rode into San Antonio de Bexar.

He took part in the Battle of the Alamo (February 23 - March 6, 1836) and was assigned to defend the south palisade in front of the chapel. The Texas forces of 180-250 were overwhelmed by the 1,300-1,600 Mexican soldiers. Legend has it that Crockett was believed to have gone down fighting inside the Alamo. Controversial evidence has come to light since 1955 (Jose Enrique De la Pena diary) that stated Crockett was one of the half dozen or so men taken prisoner by Mexian General Manuel Fernandez Castrillon after that battle and summarily executed on orders by General and President of Mexico Antonio López de Santa Anna.

In 1838 Robert P. Crockett went to Texas to administer his father's land claim. In 1854 Elizabeth Crockett finally came to Texas where she died in 1860.

One of his sayings, which were published in almanacs between 1835 and 1856 (along with those of Daniel Boone and Kit Carson) was, "Be always sure you are right, then go ahead." In 1954 his legend was again popularized by Walt Disney, who produced a five episode television series about him (starring Fess Parker); the Ballad of Davy Crockett and coonskin caps like the one he wore in those films were all the rage for young boys for a time. After that fad had waned, John Wayne starred as Crockett in the 1960 feature film The Alamo (the first film he also directed).

In the movies Crockett has also been played by Charles K. French (1909), Dustin Farnum (1916), Cullen Landis (1926), Jack Perrin (1937), Lane Chandler (1937), Robert Barrat (1939), George Montgomery (1950), Trevor Bardette (1953), Arthur Hunnicutt (1955), James Griffith (1956), Brian Keith (1987), Johnny Cash (1988), Tim Dunigan (1988 & 1989), David Zucker (1991), John Schneider (1995), Scott Wickware (2000), Justin Howard (2002) and Billy Bob Thornton (2003).

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