Congressman David Crockett

I don’t know who your hero was growing up, but mine was Davy Crockett, the favorite son of my native Tennessee. There is no telling how many times I pretended to be the King of the Wild Frontier in the fields and woods near where I grew up. I had a coonskin cap. I made a corncob pipe. My brother and I watched Fess Parker as Davy killing bears and fighting it out at the Alamo like it was 1954.

A few weeks ago, I found a used copy A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett by Himself, written during his days as a Tennessee congressman, and finished it yesterday. It’s a brief, easy read, written in the homespun style of Huckleberry Finn. My favorite part was reading about life in untamed Tennessee, when there were apparently enough bears roaming around the western part of the state for Davy to bag 105 in a single year.

Another interesting angle was the political environment in which it was written – Crockett had recently broken from President Andrew Jackson (a slightly less lovable Tennesseean) over the infamous Indian Bill. Davy gets in several jibes at his former commander throughout the narrative, and even seems to entertain hopes of taking his seat as president one day. Perhaps a little far fetched for the bear-hunter from Rutherford, but listen to the closing lines of the book – maybe a lot of political bluster, but it probably would have won my vote back in 1834:

“After all this, the reader will perceive that I am now here in Congress, this 28th day of January, the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-four; and that, what is more agreeable to my feelings as a freeman, I am at liberty to vote as my conscience and judgment dictates to be right, without yoke of any party on me, or the driver at my heels, with his whip in hand, commanding me to ge-wo-haw, just at his pleasure. Look at my arms, you will find no party hand-cuff on them! Look on my neck, you will not find there any collar, with the engraving “My Dog. – Andrew Jackson.” But you will find me standing up to my rack, as the people’s faithful representative, and the public’s most obedient, very humble, servant,

David Crockett.”

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About Eric Smith

Sinner saved by the grace of Jesus, husband of Candace, father of Coleman and Crockett, West Tennessean, pastor of Sharon Baptist Church, student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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5 Responses to Congressman David Crockett

  1. Dennis Kowalski says:

    Davy would have made a better president than Jackson. Davy would have followed the Constitution, not circumvent it at every opportunity like Jackson did, and our last three presidents have done.

  2. Jeff Geist says:

    I currently am reading the Life of Davy Crockett, written by himself. It’s hard to put down, and provides a fascinating glimpse into 19th century America. That being said, we shouldn’t neglect to give Andrew Jackson credit for his great victory against the British at the battle of New Orleans.

  3. Eric Smith says:

    Hey Dennis,
    If this quote from Davy is actually representative of his position, then I couldn’t agree more!

  4. Eric Smith says:

    Hey Jeff,
    Glad you enjoyed the book, too. I remember my 4th grade class acting out the Johnny Horton song, “Battle of New Orleans” in our annual Tennessee program – – loved it when Jackson used the alligator as a cannon 🙂

  5. mark skiles says:

    We all must be kids of the 50’s,as far back as I can remember Davey has always been my biggest hero.Have read everything I could about him and his life,all of my life.Best quote was when he stood up in congress and said “you’all can go to hell I am going to Texas”After 30 years in coal fields of Appalachia,did a stretch in dc,felt just like my hero,went back to the mts with my people.No one can change Washington it can only change you,Davy found it out and I did too.A great American hero,so sorry todays youth don’t seem to know him like I have.

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