I am a baby boomer. Being from L.A. I received a mega-dose of all things Disney including the TV series “Davy Crockett King of the Wild Frontier.” I even had a Davy Crockett headboard for my bed as a kid! While mesmerizing to my ignorant and unsophisticated eyes, Disney’s biopic is only a slightly accurate portrayal of David Stern Crockett’s life (August 17, 1786 to March 6, 1836).
I suspect few are aware that David Crockett was a three-term member of Congress. While serving in congress he proved to be a champion of both the native Americans and the poor people living on the frontier. This did not endear him to then-President Andrew Jackson. David Crocket did not wear a coon skin cap nor was he born on a mountain top. David was actually born in a small one-room log cabin on the Nolichucky River near Limestone Tennessee (I’ve been there). His early life was one of extreme hardship and at one point he was sold (actually indentured) by his father to a neighbor to serve as a laborer in the fields.
Although he eventually achieved fame and status equivalent to today’s Dwayne “Rock,” Johnson, financial success always eluded him. When he lost re-election in 1835, he is supposed to have said something to the effect of “you may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas. And so, he did. David Crocket lost his life on March 6, 1836, during the defense of the Alamo. Tradition says he died swinging his rifle. But there is some new evidence that he and a few other defenders were seized at the end of the battle. And despite pleas for mercy from Mexican officers, who recognized former congressman Crockett, General Santa Ana ordered their immediate execution. Thus David Crockett, “The Lion of the West,” and about 250 Texians others met their fate. Remember their sacrifice and “Remember the Alamo.”