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A replica of John Crockett's family cabin where David "Davy" Crockett was born, (now the Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park

John Crockett (circa 1753[1] – after 1802) was an American frontiersman and soldier, and the father of David "Davy" Crockett.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Crockett was born about 1753 in either Maryland or Frederick County, Virginia.[1] "Davy" Crockett said in his autobiography that John Crockett was born either in Ireland or during the journey from Ireland to America;[2] but later scholars disagreed, saying this had been John's father, also named David.[1][3] His ancestors were of Scotch-Irish, and possible Huguenot, backgrounds. Some[Who?] disagree with the Huguenot portion and "Davy" Crockett does not mention it in his autobiography.[1][4]

In 1775 or 1780, Crockett married Rebecca Hawkins, from Maryland.[1]

Father and family heads west[edit | edit source]

In 1776, David Crockett and the growing family moved to the Washington District in what is now the northeastern tip of Tennessee, near Rogersville, Tennessee.[1][5][6]

Father's demise[edit | edit source]

In 1777, David Crockett and part of the family were killed in a Chickamauga Cherokee raid, led by Dragging Canoe, at the onset of the Chickamauga Wars.[6] After the attack, the remaining Crocketts sold the property to a new settler in the area, a French Huguenot man, Colonel Thomas Amis.[5]

Military career[edit | edit source]

Gathering of Overmountain Men at Sycamore Shoals, a black and white reproduction of Lloyd Branson's 1915 depiction of the Patriot militias joining up

During the American War for Independence, Crockett fought along with the Overmountain Men from west of the Appalachians. The Overmountain Men often crossed the mountains to face the British in the war's southern campaign. Crockett fought at the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780, a major victory for the colonists.[1][3]

Later life and work[edit | edit source]

The Crockett Tavern Museum building is a reproduction of John Crockett's tavern

A respected man in the area, Crockett later became a magistrate, a farmer, and an unsuccessful land speculator.[1][7] The family lived in what is now Greene County, Tennessee, close to the Nolichucky River and near the community of Limestone. It was here, at a location now commemorated as Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park, that David "Davy" Crockett was born in 1786. He was the fifth of the nine Crockett children, and was named for his grandfather. At the time of his birth, the area was part of the autonomous State of Franklin. In 1788, Crockett was justice of the court when a young Andrew Jackson received his law license according to some genealogies.[8]

After a flood destroyed their house, the Crocketts moved to the Morristown, Tennessee area (1792) and built a tavern on a newly-constructed stage road between Abingdon, Virginia and Knoxville, Tennessee.[1] The Crockett Tavern Museum now stands on the site, housed in a reconstruction of the tavern.[9]

Young "Davy" helps out[edit | edit source]

In 1798, when David was 12, Crockett hired him out to Jacob Siler to drive cattle.[3] After young David fulfilled his original obligation to Siler, he returned to his father's home. The family sent Davy to a school that had been established nearby, but he did not like school and quit attending after a few days. The elder Crockett was drunk when he learned his son was avoiding school and he punished Davy severely, leading him to flee and stay away for years.[7] David Crockett returned in 1802 and helped pay off his father's debts.[7]

Death[edit | edit source]

It's not clear when Crockett died, though some genealogies have his year of death as 1834.[citation needed]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Wallis, Michael (2011), David Crockett: The Lion of the West. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-08144-2.
  2. Crockett, David (1834). "A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett". E. L. Carey and A. Hart. http://books.google.com/?id=vl2-pBghhEEC&printsec. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Abbott, John Stevens Cabot (1874), "David Crockett: his life and adventures", Dodd & Mead.
  4. Jean-Baptiste Nadeau, Julie Barlow, The Story of French, p.106, ISBN 0-312-34183-0.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Price, Henry, Old Rogersville: An Illustrated History of Rogersville, Tennessee. Vol. I. (Rogersville: 2001) chs. 1-2. Price claims he may have been one of the founders of Rogersville.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Pat Alderman, The Overmountain Men, 1970:38.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Michael A. Lofaro, David "Davy" Crockett, Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture
  8. David Crockett - Biography; compiled by Nichol, Margaret Nolen; at The History Professor Website.
  9. Crockett Tavern Museum

External links[edit | edit source]

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