NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — David ‘Davy’ Crockett was not only a real-life folk hero but also a model for the all-American frontiersmen, and one of the most famous Tennesseans.
The “King of the Wild Frontier” was born on August 17, 1786. In honor of his birthday and legacy, we’ve put together a list of interesting things to know about the legend from Tennessee.
Crockett was born in what is now Greene County, TN—it was known as the state of Franklin at the time.
While known as “Davy”, Crockett wasn’t a fan of the nickname, preferring to be called David.
The frontiersman found success as a professional hunter, specifically bear hunting. In his 1834 autobiography, A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, he claimed to have even killed 105 bears in the span of less than one year.
Crockett was also known for his humor and his public speaking skills.
He also served in the War of 1812 and the Creek War in 1815.
Crockett served on the Tennessee General Assembly and U.S. House of Representatives. During his time, he changed political parties, from a Jacksonian to an Anti-Jacksonian.
He opposed President Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act, calling it a “wicked, unjust measure” in his autobiography. Crockett would end up being the only member of the Tennessee delegation to vote against it.
While Crockett and Jackson had their differences, Crockett would end up helping to stop an assassination attempt on the president’s life in January 1835.
Many believe Crockett died defending the Alamo in Texas on March 6, 1836. But, a more recent account shows he was taken prisoner and then executed, which has put his death at the center of historical debate.
His reputation grew after a satirical play of his life debuted in 1831 called, The Lion of the West.
Crockett Almanac was a tall-tale publication based on Crockett’s adventures first published in Nashville in 1835.
Walt Disney produced a popular TV series Davy Crockett in 1954 based on his life. A 1960s film, The Alamo, was also based in Crockett’s likeness.
Crockett also inspired the song, “The Ballad of Davy Crockett.”
David Crockett State Park was established in Lawrence County, Tennessee where he lived for a time.
In Texas, the frontiersman is also the namesake for the Davy Crockett National Forest.