David Crockett was born on 17th August 1786 the fifth child of John and Rebecca Hawkins Crockett. When David was eight years old the family moved to a log-cabin tavern on the Knoxville-Abingdon Road. David was sent to the local school but after attending school for four days he got into a fight and rather than face his father’s anger he ran away from home.
The young David found work driving cattle and working on farms. He taught himself to shoot, became an expert shot and made a name for himself winning a number of shooting competitions.
In 1806 he married Mary Polly Finley and the couple had two sons and a daughter. When Mary died in 1815 David married Elizabeth Patton Crockett who bore him two daughters and a son.
In 1813 Crockett served in the Second Regiment of Tennessee Volunteer Mounted Riflemen and took part in the Creek War fighting against the Creek Indians. After serving in the army he became involved in local politics and in 1821 became a member of the Tennessee legislature.
In 1827 he was elected to congress and lost the subsequent election due to his opposition to the Indian Removal Act of 1831. In 1833 he was re-elected to Congress and in the same year he published his autobiography. However, publication of the book had a negative effect on his political career and after failing to be re-elected to congress in 1835 he left Tennessee and moved to Texas intending to spend time exploring the land.
Once in Texas he signed up to serve the Provisional Government of Texas for a period of six months agreeing to fight for the freedom of Texas from Mexican rule. He was one of a number of soldiers who took refuge in the fort at Alamo when they were out-numbered by Mexicans. The fort was surrounded and placed under siege. On 6th March 1836 all those inside the Alamo were massacred.
In the 1950’s a number of films including a Disney mini series made Crockett a legend. A frontiersman, statesman, pioneer, sporting a racoon-tailed hat.