1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Crockett, David
CROCKETT, DAVID (1786-1836), American frontiersman, was born in Greene county, Tennessee, on the 17th of August 1786. His education was obtained chiefly in the rough school of experience in the Tennessee backwoods, where he acquired a wide reputation as a hunter, trapper and marksman. In 1813-1814 he served in the Creek War under Andrew Jackson, and subsequently became a colonel in the Tennessee militia. In 1821-1824 he was a member of the state legislature, having won his election not by political speeches but by telling stories. In 1827 he was elected to the national House of Representatives as a Jackson Democrat, and was re-elected in 1829. At Washington his shrewdness, eccentric manners and peculiar wit made him a conspicuous figure, but he was too independent to be a supporter of all Jackson's measures, and his opposition to the president's Indian policy led to administration influences being turned against him with the result that he was defeated for re-election in 1831. He was again elected in 1833, but in 1835 lost his seat a second time, being then a vigorous opponent of many distinctively Jacksonian measures. Discouraged and disgusted, he left his native state, and emigrated to Texas, then engaged in its struggle for independence. There he lost his life as one of the defenders of the Alamo at San Antonio on the 6th of March 1836.
A so-called “autobiography,” which he very probably dictated or at least authorized, was published in Philadelphia in 1834; a work purporting to be a continuation of this autobiography and entitled Colonel Crockett's Exploits and Adventures in Texas (Philadelphia, 1836) is undoubtedly spurious. These two works were subsequently combined in a single volume, of which there have been several editions. Numerous popular biographies have been written, the best by E. S. Ellis (Philadelphia, 1884).