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Davy Crockett

1786 ~ Born in Greene County, Tennessee, on August 17

1798 ~ Contracted by his father (at age 12) to help herd cattle Rockbridge County, Virginia, almost 300 miles. When he is forcibly detained, he walks seven miles in a night during a snowstorm until he comes upon travellers from Tennessee, some of whom help him get started home. He arrives by spring, 1799.
1799 ~ Contracts himself to drive cattle to Front Royal, Virginia, in order to escape punishment for skipping school. Works at various jobs in Virginia for over two years.

1802 ~ Reunited with his family in Tennessee at age 16.

1803 ~ Works two days a week in return for 4 days of school; his life's education amounts to 100 days of study.

1806 ~ Marries Mary 'Polly' Finley after being spurned by another months before.

1813 ~ Fights in the Tennessee Volunteer Militia in the Creek War throughout the South. He participates in the Battle of Tallussahatchee on November 3, 1814. He is later part of an attemped 'walkout' of volunteers enlistment time had expired, which is halted by direct intervention of General Andrew Jackson.

1815 ~ Polly Crockett dies after the birth of their second child; Davy marries Elizabeth Patton, a widow with 3 children of her own.

1816 ~ Almost dies of malaria.

1818 ~ Becomes a 'court referee' in Lawrence County, Tennessee. When a Captain Matthews encourages Davy to run as a candidate for the militia (as a 'weak' opponent for the man's son), Davy discovers the ruse and defeats Matthews himself for the rank of Colonel.

1821 ~ Elected to the State Legislature at age 35; the campaign is highlighted by his labelling of the opponent as an aristrocrat and by Davy memorizing and delivering the man's regular campaign speech word-for-word; his business is destroyed in a powder explosion, returning him to the poverty that was to accompany him his entire life. In the legislature, he gains respect when he mocks an eastern legislator who had dubbed him the 'gentleman from the cane" (canebrakes or thick underbrush of the backwoods).

1822 ~ Moves family further west; at great risk, he crosses a raging, flooded river in the winter to get powder for hunting.

1825 ~ Defeated in his first bid for Congress due to good economic conditions; he is more successful at hunting as he kills 105 bears in six months.

1826 ~Narrowly escapes death while trapped below deck in a boat on the Mississippi River near Memphis (he was pulled through a small hole just as the boat went under), and looses all of the barrel staves he was marketing.

1827 ~ Successfully runs from U.S. Congress; campaign is highlighted by an incident where guinea hens interrupt his opponent, and Davy claims they are calling 'Crockett! Crockett! Crockett!'

1828 ~ Champions the Land Bill in a form which would allow those who homesteaded the land to buy it at very low cost, rather than being sold for a profit to raise money for State Education. This will be the issue which dominates his entire Congressional career, just as it had impacted his state legislative agenda.

1829 ~ Intensifies the political break with fellow Tennesseean President Andrew Jackson because of the latter's position on the Land Bill; Davy stands alone in the Tennessee delegation.

1830 ~ Defeated for Congress in a close election by forces loyal to President Jackson who descended on the district claiming Crockett was afraid to respond to their charges; in one incident, Crockett's opponent starts to repeat the 'lying' charges, and as Davy steps forward to carry out his threat to "thrash" the man, a pistol airmed deliberately at Davy by his opponent sends him quietly back to his seat.

1832 ~ Re-elected to Congress; allies with the Whigs in opposition to Jackson ,and adopts their supportive position on the controversial United States Bank.

1834 ~ Whig sponsored 'anti-Jackson' speaking tour of the Eastern States, which many view this as opportunistic (though willing) manipulation of Davy. He begins to contemplate running for the Presidency, but is defeated for Congress by a Jackson supporter.

1835 ~ Sets out for Texas with 'that same veritable coon-skin cap and hunting shirt, bearing upon his shoulder his ever faithful rifle,' as well as aspirations to political leadership in the soon-to-be independent region.

1836 ~ Dies on March 6 at the Alamo with other defenders who had sided with the 'anti-Jackson' faction in the divided Texas government, who disobeyed the orders of Sam Houston to destroy the mission/fort and retreat a month earlier.


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