David (Davy) Crockett
August 17, 1786 to March 6, 1836
Two quotes define the man:
"First make sure you're right, then go ahead."
The first led to the second. A genuine frontiersman and Indian fighter who had no formal schooling, he served in the Tennessee legislature and killed 105 bears between the 1822 and 1823 legislative sessions. He then represented Tennessee in the U.S. Congress (1827-31 and 1833-35.) As a colorful figure who reeled off home-spun adages such as the one above, the Whigs latched onto him as a genuine man of the people. Seeking to counter-act the man-of-the-people image projected by Andrew Jackson, they appeared to be grooming Crockett for the White House. He wrote a true-adventure autobiography in 1834: "A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, of the State of Tennessee." But pro-Jackson forces cost him his re-election bid in 1835, and he lit out for Texas with a group of fellow adventurers after making the comment quoted.
Some say he pressed on to the Alamo after finding Sam Houston -- a Jackson protege -- in control of things in Anglo Texas. However, Houston had not been made commander-in-chief at the time Crockett arrived. More likely Crockett just pushed on to where the action was.
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