Rendezvous at the Alamo: Highlights in the Lives of Bowie, Crockett, and Travis

By Virgil E. Baugh | Go to book overview
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Crockett's Youth and Marriage

D AVY CROCKETT was born on August 17, 1786, in a wilderness cabin on the Nolachucky River, East Tennessee, in what is now Washington County. His father, John Crockett, emigrated from Ireland and, on his arrival in America, took up farming in Pennsylvania. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, lived a short time in Lincoln County, North Carolina, and then moved to eastern Tennessee, at that time a part of Virginia. Davy's mother was Rebecca Hawkins, born and reared in Maryland.

Young Davy grew to manhood in the heart of the Creek country. His grandfather and grandmother were both murdered by Indians. Indians also wounded an uncle, Joseph Crockett, took his brother James prisoner, and later captured still another uncle who, being deaf and dumb, was "less able to make his escape." This uncle remained with them seventeen years and nine months. Davy's father and a William Crockett eventually found out that he was being held prisoner by an Indian trader, from whom they purchased his freedom.

There were nine children in the Crockett family, three daughters and six sons, of whom Davy was the fifth. Life on the Nolachucky was hard. John Crockett sought to improve on a really miserable existence by moving to Cove Creek, where, in partnership with a man named Galbreath, he erected a water mill. A freshet came and swept away mill and investment and nearly drowned his family, so the unfortunate father again moved, to what is now Jefferson County, Tennessee. There he opened a tavern on the road from Abbingdon to Knoxville.

Davy stayed here until he was twelve, when he decided to start

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