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Happy 229th Birthday, Colonel Crockett!

August 17, 2015

One of the Alamo’s most famous heroes would be 229 years old today. Colonel David Crockett was born on August 17, 1786. You can read his autobiography for free as an ebook on Google Books to find out about his early years in the back woods of Tennessee. Here at the Alamo Research Center, we like to talk about how much he loved Texas!

Masthead of the Essex Register (Salem, MA), Sept 10, 1835. This edition contains a portion of the letter that David Crockett wrote to the National Intelligencer.

Masthead of the Essex Register (Salem, MA), Sept 10, 1835. This edition contains a portion of the letter that David Crockett wrote to the National Intelligencer. DRT 12 Newspaper Collection, DRT Library Collection.

Crockett was beginning to wear out his welcome during the elections of 1835. He was an excellent political stumper as well as one of the early master political propagandists. He cultivated the image of himself as a backwoods buckskin-clad Indian fighter and “Everyman.” However, his lack of results during his first three terms as well as his vehement opposition to Andrew Jackson cost him the 1835 Congressional election. In response, Crockett declared that he would be headed for Texas to participate in the rebellion there and take advantage of the possibilities afforded by the amount of land on offer. He became the best known person to join the Texas cause.

In a portion of his letter printed on the 10th of September, 1385, in the Essex Register (Salem, MA), Crockett declares “I do believe Santa Anna’s Kingdom will be a paradise, compared with this in a few years. The People are nearly ready to take the yoke of bondage…” The full letter appears in a different newspaper, the National Intelligencer. Crockett was so famous, though, that other newspapers through the United States picked up his letter and printed it. He and his unit of Tennessee Volunteers traveled to Texas over the fall and winter of 1835. They ended up at the Alamo in San Antonio and died with the rest of the defenders on the morning of March 6, 1836.

Portion of a letter written by David Crockett to the National Intelligencer, appearing in the Essex Register, Sept. 10, 1835. DRT 12 Newspaper Collection, DRT Library Collection

Portion of a letter written by David Crockett to the National Intelligencer, appearing in the Essex Register, Sept. 10, 1835. DRT 12 Newspaper Collection, DRT Library Collection

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