Perhaps no other figure in American history has been more portrayed in myth and legend then Davy Crockett.
He was among the most famous of the colorful characters of the American West. Generations of children grew up on his stories. He had a larger-than life image, with his coonskin cap and the rifle he called “Old Betsy. ” He took many different roles during his life and was described as legendary reality he was a hero because he was a good leader and a story teller, he was a smart man, he volunteered to help the Texans at the Alamo and became subject to many legends.
A coward is someone who shows dishonorable fear or lacks courage to meet danger. (Merriam-Webster’s dictionary pg16) Over the years the death of Davy Crockett has stirred up much controversy. The question of whether he died a coward has caused much debate. Those that have seized upon the stories of Crockett’s surrender as proof that an American hero was actually a coward appear unaware of the laws of war in the 19th century, which prescribed acceptance of surrender. Lind’s, pg1-8) All that is certain is that Davy Crockett did in fact die at the Alamo on March 6, 1836.
How someone died doesn’t make them a coward. How they lived is what’s important. Davy Crockett didn’t lack coward or show fear. Crockett went to Texas for a new start and to help Texans win their independence from Mexico. Texas was not a state when Davy moved there in 1835.
Spain claimed Texas for three centuries starting in the early1500’s (Fradin,pg7) This situation caused tension between the U.S settlers and the Mexico government. (Freeney,pg17) Crockett was from Tennessee and he had no obligation to Texas but he still volunteered to help them. He arrived at the Alamo, which was a church settlement or mission built by the Spaniards to teach the Indians about Christianity years before. His presence at the Alamo boosted the defenders morale. His status as a national celebrity and his good human made him a leader at the Alamo. The younger men felt more confident with Crockett there.
Groneman pg 150) His adventures, his fiddle and his charming personalities was a comfort to everyone there. Crockett told them, “I have come to aid you that I can in your noble cause, I shall identify myself with your interests, and all the honor of defending as a high private, in common with my fellow citizens, the liberties of our common country. ” (Frontier Hero Davy Crockett-historynet. com page 1-3) Crockett brought with him to Texas the Tennessee Mounted Volunteers. Crockett told Travis, that he was here and he should assign him a post and he and his boys would defend it. (Frontier Hero Davy Crockett-historynet. com 1-3) Crockett gave up his life in Tennessee to help Texas win independence.
Crockett was a good leader and famous story teller known throughout the Country. Crockett was a husband and father. He had three children with his first wife Polly. When his wife died, he mourned her for a short while and then married a young widow and added her two children to his brood. Sorrels, pg46) He began his military career when he enlisted in the militia as a scout.He fought in the Creek Indian War. He was a tireless worker of great strength, a woodsmen, hunter; Crockett was courageous soldier and a man who wanted to improve the lot of his people. (Groneman, pg 137) In 1813, Davy joined the Tennessee militia to fight with General Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812.
( ) Crockett was a story teller. People liked to listen to Davy’s tall tales. He told these stories. Feeney pg 13) It was said that Crockett rode alligators for exercise and once made a bear retreat by grinning at it. Because of all these legends about Crockett people sometimes forget that he was a real man, who served in the House of Representatives before he went to Texas.
(Fradin pg 25) His leadership skills and his ability to tell great stories made the man he was. Crockett may not had much formal education but his political career proved he was a smart man-With little- as he would have called it- book learning, he was very well educated man in the ways of the woods. Sorrels, pg 45) Crockett entered politics in 1821. He didn’t know much about politices.
But people liked his funny exciting speeches. He won the election. He was reelected to the legislature in 1823. (Feeney pg15) He was known for getting votes by giving out liquor and tobacco.
He even ran for U. S. Congress and served here from 1827 to 1831. He served another term form 1833 to 1835. Crockett proved that being smart doesn’t always have to do with formal education.