“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lawrenceburg in Lawrence County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

A Summary of the Life of Davy Crockett:

A Summary of the Life of Davy Crockett: Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Sandra Hughes, August 22, 2017
1. A Summary of the Life of Davy Crockett: Marker
Inscription.  “Be always sure you are right, then go ahead!”

• Raised in frontier poverty without any education until he is a teenager, David is often hired out to others for additional income while still a child; once held against his will until he escapes under the cover of a winter storm.

• To avoid punishment from his father for being absent from school David runs away for almost three years (going as far as Baltimore) before her returns home 1802.

• Following unsuccessful courtships, David finally meets and marries Mary “Polly” Finley in 1806; two sons, John Wesley and William, soon follow.

• The Crockett family moves to middle Tennessee in 1811, finally settling on Bean Creek. In 1812, a daughter is born (Mary). In 1813, David enters the Creek War and serves in two enlistments in General Andrew Jackson’s army. His wife Polly dies in early 1815 and by summer of 1816, David courts and marries a local widow, Elizabeth Patton, who has two children from her previous marriage. They have three children between 1816 and 1822. Looking for a new home, Crockett explores N. Alabama and contracts

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Malaria and almost dies.

• David, Elizabeth and six children move to Lawrence County in 1817. Crockett begins his political career as a Justice of the Peace, Colonel and commandant of the 57th Tennessee Militia, and a representative to the State legislature. He and his wife (with her money) build and run an industrial complex - distillery, gunpowder factory, and grist mill — until a flood destroys it in 1821. By 1822, the family migrates to Gibson County in Northwest Tennessee.

• Crockett excels at bear hunting and continues his rise in state politics. In 1825, he fails in his first attempt to win a seat in Congress. In early 1826, he is almost killed when his flatboat crashes into an island on the Mississippi River. His rescuers bring him into Memphis where he wins the admiration of Mayor Marcus Winchester - who now supports him for his next bid for Congress. In 1827, Crockett wins the election and serves a total of three terms in Washington City (1827-29, 19829-31, 1833-35). He becomes a national celebrity because of his unique backwoods oratory and expression.

• During the height of his Congressional service, Crockett severs his ties with President Jackson and most of the Tennessee delegation over the issue of squatters rights and Jackson’s desire to remove Indians off their ancestral lands. He loses the 1831 election but his national
A Summary of the Life of Davy Crockett: Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, February 17, 2018
2. A Summary of the Life of Davy Crockett: Marker
The marker is the first marker from the right in this view of the David Crockett State Park Museum and the replica mill water wheel.
reputation helps him regain his Congressional seat in 1833 (despite his opponents’ gerrymandering of his district). The Lion of the West, a theatrical play inspired by Crockett’s fame, tours the country.

• By 1834, Crockett has become fully aligned with the opposing Whig Party and publishes his own life story A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett of the State of Tennessee. By 1835, however, Crockett has become ineffective and barely loses his re-election bid to a pro-Jackson candidate. He tells his constituents “You may all go to Hell, and I will go to Texas!”

• Seeking a financial and political rebound in Texas, Crockett plans to explore North Texas along the Red River before he returns home. During the trip there, he is swept up by the recent tide for revolutionary change against Mexico and eventually joins the army as a volunteer. By February 1836, he arrives in San Antonio and joins up with a small Texan garrison. After a thirteen-day siege, the Mexicans storm the Alamo on March 6 and every defender, including Crockett, is killed.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Government & PoliticsWar, Texas IndependenceWars, US Indian. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #07 Andrew Jackson series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1802.
Davy Crockett image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, February 16, 2015
3. Davy Crockett
This 1834 portrait of Davy Crockett (1786-1836) by Chester Harding hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.

“Davy Crockett, the famous frontiersman from Tennessee, was serving in the United States House of Representatives in 1834 when he went on a speaking tour of eastern cities that was designed to promote the interests of the anti-Jacksonian Whig Party. During his stay in Boston, he sat for his portrait to Chester Harding, then the city's most popular portrait painter. The image agrees with a contemporary description: ‘Colonel Crockett is an uncommonly fine looking man. His face has an exceedingly amiable expression and his features are prominent and striking. He wears his hair which is black, (with a light shade of brown) parted down the centre of his forehead, combed back from his temples, and ending in a slight curl at the neck not unlike the simple manner of many of the clergy.’ Less than two years later, in 1836, Crockett met his untimely death during the war for Texas's independence from Mexico, at the Battle of the Alamo.” — National Portrait Gallery
35° 16.048′ N, 87° 21.72′ W. Marker is in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, in Lawrence County. Marker is on David Crockett State Park Road. Marker is located on the outside wall of the Crockett Museum at the mill. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lawrenceburg TN 38464, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Welcome to David Crockett State Park (here, next to this marker); 1786-1836 David Crockett (here, next to this marker); Red-Tailed Hawk (here, next to this marker); David Crockett (here, next to this marker); Shoal Creek Mill Stone (approx. 0.3 miles away); Retracing the Trail of Tears (approx. 1.4 miles away); They Passed This Way (approx. 1.4 miles away); Pioneers in Textiles (approx. 1.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lawrenceburg.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 10, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 25, 2017, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 536 times since then and 157 times this year. Last updated on September 11, 2017, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia. Photos:   1. submitted on August 25, 2017, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA.   2. submitted on February 23, 2018, by J. Makali Bruton of Accra, Ghana.   3. submitted on August 26, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Oct. 3, 2023