Monday, March 24, 2014

Frontier Superhero

 Davy Crockett 

Davy Crockett was more than just a frontiersman in a coonskin cap. He was a hunter,  a congressman, a defender of the Alamo, and a good family man. While many know him as a larger-than-life folk hero, the real life story of Davy Crockett is just as legendary as the fiction.

Born on August 17, 1786 in Tennessee, he was the fifth of nine children. At just 8-years-old he learned to shoot his first rifle. Unfortunately when it came to attending school,  Crockett was not at the top of his class.  According to, after only four days of attendance, he beat up the class bully. Afraid to face either punishment or revenge, he ran away from home and spent the next three years wandering and honing his skills as a woodsman. Thus, the king of the wild frontier was born.

After the War of 1812 broke out, Crockett signed up to be a scout in the militia and served until 1815. Born a natural leader, Crockett went on to become a three-time congressman. However, his political career ended in 1835 when he failed to get re-elected. Disillusioned with politics, he joined the fight in the Texas War of Independence, where he ultimately was killed at the Battle of the Alamo.

Davy Crockett was clearly an outstanding frontiersman, and a successful politician, but these attributes alone would not have earned him lasting fame. During his political campaigns, Crockett packaged himself as a larger-than-life frontiersman, using frontier lingo and tall stories to win votes.

Thus becoming the epitome of the rough, unwashed, dangerous West of Jacksonian America. Rediscovered by Hollywood in the 1940s and 1950s, motion pictures and TV have immortalized him as a frontier superhero for the twentieth-century.

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