Davy Crockett

Davy Crockett, “King of the Wild Frontier,” in Four Different Contemporary Newspapers


Davy Crockett, “King of the Wild Frontier,” in Four Different Contemporary Newspapers

 

“I love my country; I have fought for her liberties, and will do it again.”

 

“In his loss, Freedom has been deprived of one of her bravest sons....”

 

This rare set of contemporary newspapers details the last years of Davy Crocket, frontiersman, American folk hero, and soldier. Fascinating reading.

 

[DAVY CROCKETT]. Set of four contemporary newspapers, 1834-1836.

·         Manufacturers and Farmers Journal, and Providence and Pawtucket Advertiser, July 28, 1834. Newspaper. Providence, RI: ? ?  4 pp., 15.5" x 21.25" Expected browning, but otherwise very good.

·         The New-Yorker, April 18, 1835. New York: H. Greeley & Co. 4 pp., 17.75" x 23.75"  Some foxing and water-staining and tear on center fold, but otherwise very good.

·         The New-Yorker, August 29, 1835. New York: H. Greeley & Co. 4 pp., 17.75" x 23.75"  Some foxing and water-staining and tear on center fold, but otherwise very good.

·         Manufacturers and Farmers Journal, and Providence and Pawtucket Advertiser, August 29, 1836. Newspaper. Providence, RI: George W. Jackson.  4 pp., 16.75" x 23"  Expected folds, very good.

 

Davy Crockett (1786-1836) was born in an area of North Carolina that is now part of East Tennessee. He grew up there and developed a reputation for hunting and storytelling. Elected to the Tennessee legislature in 1821, he represented Tennessee in Congress from 1827 to 1831 and 1833 to 1835. Initially elected as a Jacksonian, Crockett came to oppose the policies of fellow Tennessean President Andrew Jackson, especially Native American removal. During his last term in Congress, Crockett collaborated with Kentucky Congressman Thomas Chilton to write his autobiography, published in 1834 as A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, Written by Himself. That year, he traveled from Washington to Boston and offered his observations in An Account of Col. Crockett’s Tour to the North and Down East with “His Object Being to Examine the Grand Manufacturing Establishments of the Country; and Also to Find Out the Condition of Its Literature and Morals, the Extent of Its Commerce, and the Practical Operation of ‘The Experiment,’” published in 1835. After the failure of his reelection bid in 1835, Crockett left his home in Tennessee in November, bound for Texas. He arrived there in January 1836, and took part in the Texas Revolution, during which he was killed at the Battle of the Alamo in March.

 

Excerpts

Manufacturers and Farmers Journal, July 28, 1834:

“Davy Crockett.—This honest, straight forward, plain, sensible man, has been talking to the citizens of Cincinnati and telling them truths that they will appreciate. The following are extracts from his remarks:” (p2/c2)

 

“I saw your famous representative, or misrepresentative (cheering) whichever you choose to call him, rise in the House and show some instructions which you had sent him. He declared ‘these are not my constituents—they did not vote for me.’... Yes, fellow citizens, he disclaims his constituents, who could not make up their minds to vote for him. Now, gentlemen, for my part, I consider myself the people’s servant. If a man votes against me he has right to do it. Are we only to represent those who vote for us when every man has a right to vote as he pleases. A man, my friends who can thus throw away his constituents, is no patriot. I maintain, a man does not forfeit his right to be represented, because he did not vote for his representative. Let a man vote against me, and I am as much his representative as if he had voted for me—this is my doctrine; and no man has a right to get up in the House and throw contempt upon any part of his constituents.” (p2/c2)

 

“Now gentlemen, I don’t want to meddle in any man’s district, I am talking to my country. I am speaking to the world. I feel an interest in all my countrymen. I love my country; I have fought for her liberties, and will do it again. I consider this country more in danger of a civil war than it was 12 months before the revolution. We have fought and bled, and our fathers died, to save it from the dominion of a King. Fellow-citizens, when one man assumes all the responsibility have we not a Kingly government?... What do you think of the ‘Old Roman,’ the ‘old Tennessee farmer’? What has he done. Mr. Adams spent from 10 to 13 millions. But Captain Jackson spent from 18 to 22 millions per annum!...  But the people are ignorant; they will still ‘hurrah for Jackson.’ They have been used to it so long. If you go into the country, and tell the people of these things, abuses, extravagances, usurpations and all, and prove every word you say, ‘Oh,’ say they, ‘Jackson has been in office a long time, he must be doing what’s right!’” (p2/c2)

 

The New-Yorker, April 18, 1835:

“Who shall say that American literature is not proudly in the advance of the mighty cavalcade borne onward by the resistless impulse of the far-famed march of mind?... [Crockett’s] ‘Eastern Tour,’ as is pretty generally known, was undertaken and concluded last summer, and the result of his observations, taking into account his Congressional avocations, have been given to the reading public with commendable promptitude. We extract a few passages:” (p3/c3)

 

“Our passage down the Chesapeake bay was very pleasant; and in a very short run we came to the place where we were to get on board the railroad cars. This was a clean new sight to me; about a dozen big stages hung on to one machine, and to start up hill. After a good deal of fuss we all got seated, and moved slowly off; the engine wheezing as if she had the tizzick [consumption or tuberculosis]. By-and-by she began to take short breaths, and away we went with a blue streak after us.” (p3/c3)

 

“arrival at philadelphia....The captain and myself were standing on the bow deck; he pointed his finger at me, and the people slung their hats and huzzaed for Col. Crockett. It struck me with astonishment to hear a strange people huzzaing for me, and made me feel sort of queer. It took me so uncommon unexpected, as I had no idea of attracting attention.... The streets were crowded to a great distance, and the windows full of people, looking out, I supposed, to see the wild man. I thought I had rather be in the wilderness with my gun and dogs, than to be attracting all that fuss.” (p3/c3)

 

“trip to new york. After some time we got upon a rail-road, where they say we run twenty-five miles to the hour. I can only judge of the speed by putting my head out to spit, which I did, and overtook it so quick, that it hit me smack in the face.” (p3/c3)

 

“the colonel in boston.... When I returned, there were some gentlemen that invited me to go to Cambridge, where the big college or university is; where they keep ready-made titles or nicknames to give people. I would not go, for I did not know but they might stick an LL D. on me before they let me go; and I had no idea of changing ‘Member of the House of Representatives of the United States,’ for what stands for ‘lazy lounging dunce,’ which I am sure my constituents would have translated my new title to be, knowing I had never taken any degree, and did not own to any, except a small degree of good sense not to pass for what I was not—I would not go it.” (p3/c3)

 

“This was my last night in Boston; and I am sure, if I never see the place again, I never can forget the kind and friendly manner in which I was treated by them.... from the time I entered New England, I was treated with the greatest friendship; and I hope, never shall forget it; and I wish all who will read this book, and who never were there, would take a trip among them.” (p3/c3-4)

 

The New-Yorker, August 29, 1835:

“Col. Crockett is said to be defeated by Mr. Huntsman by a close vote. The returns before us give Huntsman 3,595, Crockett 3,567.” (p2/c2)

The final official vote was 4,652 for Huntsman, 4,400 for Crockett.

 

“Texas.—The schooner Columbus, from Aranzas, brings intelligence that two hundred Mexican troops had been landed at that place on the 12th ult. destined for Texas; and that many other detachments having a similar destination were marching through the interior to different places of rendezvous.” (p2/c6)

 

Manufacturers and Farmers Journal, August 29, 1836:

Letter from Isaac N. Jones, Lost Prairie, Arkansas, to Mrs. David Crockett:

“Dear Madam, Permit me to introduce myself to you as one of the acquaintances of your much respected husband, Colonel Crockett.... In his loss, Freedom has been deprived of one of her bravest sons, in whose bosom universal philanthropy glowed with as genial warmth as ever animated the heart of an American citizen. When he fell, a soldier died.” (p1/c6)

 

“The object of this letter, is to beg that you will accept the watch which accompanies it. You will doubtless know it when you see it. And as it has his name engraved on the surface, it will no doubt be the more acceptable to you.” (p1/c6)

 

“He observed, whilst here, that his funds were getting short, and as a means of recruiting them, he must sell something. He proposed to me to exchange watches—he priced his at 30 dollars more than mine, which sum I paid him, and we accordingly exchanged.” (p1/c6)

 

“His military career was short. But though I deeply lament his death, I cannot restrain my American smile at the recollection of the fact that he died as a United States soldier should die, covered with his slain enemy, and even in death presenting to them in his clenched hands, the weapons of their destruction. We hope the day is not far distant, when his adopted country will be freed from a savage enemy, and afford to yourself and children, a home, rendered in every way comfortable, by the liberal donations of her government.” (p1/c6)

In 1837, the Republic of Texas issued a warrant for 1,280 acres in north Texas to Crockett’s heirs. His widow, Elizabeth Patton Crockett (1788-1860), left Tennessee in 1853 with her two grown children to claim the land. They stayed in Waxahachie until a surveyor determined the boundaries of her land in exchange for half the property. The Crockett’s settled on 640 acres near present Granbury, Texas, 35 miles southwest of Fort Worth. In 1854, she also received a check for $24 from the State of Texas for her husband’s services.

 

 



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