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People List




1786 - 1836

Davy Crockett became one of America's first heroes of the wild west, frontiersman.

After the American colonies had won their independence from Britain in 1782, they were then free to move west, taking over new lands in North America.

The first American colonies had originally only settled along the east coast, this forcing the native Indians from these regions 'Delaware' 'Shanne' and 'Mavgo' to move west of the Appalachia mountain range and settle in the regions of Ohio and Kentucky.

The first colonial Americans to move west, traveled across the Appalachia mountains via the Limestone Road, or the more dangerous Wilderness Road, moving into Ohio and the Blue Grass region of Kentucky.

That became a dangerous time for these settlers, as the native Indians were reluctant to relocate for a second time. Also, at that time, the Spanish, in control of the region of Central America as far north as Texas, were also against the colonies moving west.

A new type of American hero emerged during those times, that traded with the Indians, and led the would be settlers across the mountains into the rich lands of middle America.

David Crockett was born the fifth of nine children of John Crockett and Rebecca Hawkins-Crockett, August 17th 1786, near Big Lime River in Greene County/ Tennessee.

His parents were from North Carolina, of Scotch-Irish descent. His fathers family had been attacked by Indians in North Carolina with his parents killed, one of his brothers wounded in the arm, and another brother, James, who was deaf, carried off and adopted by the Indians, James was rescued 18 years later.

As a youngster, Crockett lived and worked at a tavern opened by his father for settlers and wagon trains. He went on to make a living, and name for himself, as a frontiersman and hunter. Crockett was 18 before he learned how to read and write. Two years later, he married Mary Finley, of Irish decent, in 1806.

After the Creek Indians attacked Fort Mimms, August 30th 1812, Crockett joined the Militia where he served with General Andrew Jackson in the war against the Creek Indians.

In 1815, his wife fell ill and died leaving him with their three children, Polly, John and Wesley.

By 1815, Crockett had married Elizabeth Patton, a widow with two sons, David and James. They had three children, Robert P. born in Franklin County in 1816, and Rebecca Elvira and Matilda born in Lawrence County in 1818 and 1821.

After leaving the malitia, Crockett ran a water-powered grist mill, powder mill and distillery in the area of the county that is now the David Crockett State Park.

He entered politics at that time, serving as a member of the Tennessee state legislature from 1821 to 1825. He was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1827, served a term, was defeated in 1831, reelected in 1833, then defeated again in 1831.

After the later defeat, Crockett told the citizens of Jackson and Tennessee, you can go to hell, but I am going to Texas.

Davy Crockett image

Davy Crockett

Texas had been under Spanish/Mexican rule for centuries. After Mexico gained independence from Spain 16th September 1810, they began luring settlers to the region with offers of large land grants.

In the 1820s, Moses Austin from Missouri, gained permission to establish the first anglo colony in Texas. His son, Stephen F. Austin, led 300 families on a successful mission to settle in the new land. By 1825, another 900 American families had arrived, and by 1831, 800 Mexican and European families had followed.

Crockett moved to Texas at a time when colonists were seeking independence from Mexico. He had seen the chance to further his reputation in war, and become a top politician in the new Republic.

The Texas Revolution began with a single cannon blast in the town of Gonzales, October 2nd 1835.

March 2nd 1836,the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed by members of the Convention of 1836. An interim government was formed for the newly created Republic of Texas.

With the Mexican's still hoping to hold on to Texas, Mexico's dictator, General Antonio Lopez Santa Anna, led troops into San Antonio in February 1836.

Some 145 Texans in that area, including Crockett, took refuge in the fortified grounds of an old mission known as the Alamo, under the joint command of William B. Travis, for the regular army, and Jim Bowie, for the volunteers.

Over the following two weeks, the Mexican forces continually strengthened to over 2000 troops. During the same period, a few American's managed to penetrate enemy lines to enter the Alamo grounds, bringing the total strength of the defenders to about 189 men.

After periodic bombardment, the siege ended on the morning of March 6th 1836, when the Mexican's stormed the Alamo fortress. During the battle, all of the Texan defenders were killed. Losses in the battle were thought to be 189 Texans and about 1600 Mexicans. The remains of the defenders were thought to have been piled on two piers and burned at the scene.

March 10th 1836, Sam Houston abandoned Gonzales in a general retreat eastward to avoid the invading Mexican army.

March 27th 1836, James Fannin, and nearly 400 Texans, were executed by the Mexicans at the Goliad Massacre, under order of Santa Anna.

April 21st 1836, Texans under Sam Houston routed the Mexican forces of Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto. Thus, independence was won in one of the most decisive battles in history.

November 1839, The Texas Congress first met in Austin, the frontier site selected for the capital of the Republic.

All who had fought for independence were granted 640 acres by the new government. In 1853, Elizabeth Patton Crockett, arrived in Texas to claim her grant accompanied by her children.

After the cost of the survey, the land grant had shrunk to 320 acres. Their grant was located about four miles north of a trading post, now called Acton in Hood County.

Elizabeth Crockett was sixty five years old by then. After dying at the age of seventy two, her remains were buried in Acton Cemetery.

The town of Acton, and cemetery, are now part of the Acton State Park, the smallest state park in Texas.

There is a monument in the park showing Elizabeth Patton Crockett looking to the west, eyes shaded.

Elizabeth Patton Crockett image

December 29th 1845, U. S. President James Polk, signed legislation making Texas the 28th state of the United States.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davy_Crockett People List