Morristown in Hamblen County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
John Crockett: Frontier Ranger
“My father’s name was John Crockett, and he was of Irish descent. I have learned that he was a soldier in the revolutionary war, and took part in that bloody struggle. He fought, according to my information, in the battle at Kings Mountain against the British and Tories, and in some other engagements.”
~ David Crockett From his Narrative, 1834
The story of John Crockett and his Scots-Irish family is not unlike other pioneers who took enormous risks to carve out an existence on the American frontier during the eighteenth century. Like many others, the Crocketts strived to live independent of indentured servitude or from the shackles of tyrannical laws and heavy taxation from countries like Great Britain. The price they paid for their freedom was exceptional. In 1777, during the third year of the Revolutionary War, David Crockett’s grandparents (David and Elizabeth) met head on with the disaster that enveloped so much of the Appalachian frontier.
“He [John Crockett] settled there under dangerous circumstances both to himself and his family, as the country was
~ David Crockett From his Narrative, 1834
With Fire & Sword: War Comes to the Wataugans
“If you do not desist your opposition to the British Arms, I shall march this army over the mountains, hang your leaders, and lay waste your country with fire and sword.”
~ British Major Patrick Ferguson Message to the Patriot Settlers
“When we encounter the enemy, don’t wait for a word of command. Let each of you be your own officer, and do the very best you can…If in the woods, shelter yourselves and give them Indian play; advance from tree to tree…and killing and disabling all you can…”
~ Colonel Isaac Shelby Tennessee Patriot Leader
By 1780, and nearly three years since the Crockett massacre at Rogersville, the War for Independence was not going well for the Americans. And now, because of a new British emphasis on the southern colonies for Tory support and supplies, the East Tennessee valleys were targets for the left wing
On October 7, 1780, these tenacious irregulars used Indiana guerrilla tactics and their longrifles to swarm around and up Kings Mountain, colliding with Ferguson’s Tories at the summit. It took a little more than an hour for this fearless band of homespun fighters to totally dominate the battlefield, killing and wounding large numbers of their enemy. Major Ferguson was shot out of his saddle as he made a last desperate attempt to break through the tightening circle of death. With that decisive victory, the American cause had found its turning point to win the balance of the war. Within months, the frontier would slowly begin to find a new sense of normalcy, and men like John Crockett would return to their valleys to resume their lives on the Appalachian frontier.
Mounted Rangers riding from Sycamore Shoals towards Kings Mountain
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial Era • Patriots & PatriotismSettlements & Settlers • War, US Revolutionary. A significant historical date for this entry is October 7, 1780.
Location. 36° 13.286′ N, 83° 16.057′ W. Marker is in Morristown, Tennessee, in Hamblen County. Marker is on Morningside Drive, on the right when traveling east. The marker is located at the Crockett Tavern Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2002 Morningside Drive, Morristown TN 37814, 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. Young David Crockett (here, next to this marker); David Crockett – A Tennessee Legacy (a few steps from this marker); Conestoga Wagon (a few steps from this marker); Crockett Tavern (within shouting distance of this marker); Erected in Memory of the 22 Hamblen County Boys Who Made the Supreme Sacrifice in the World War (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Hannah J. Price (approx. 1.2 miles away); Phillips House (approx. 1.3 miles away); Morristown College (approx. 1.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Morristown.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 2, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 28, 2020, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 366 times since then and 118 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 28, 2020, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.