What can we learn from the life of the “King of the Wild Frontier?”

He was from Tennessee, not Texas. His formal education lasted only four days. He helped foil the assassination of President Andrew Jackson. And many believe he was one of the last men standing at the Battle of the Alamo.

Born in 1786 near Limestone, Tennessee, David (only known by the name Davy in myth and legend) Crockett is both a national folk hero and lauded American frontiersman, a veteran of both the Creek War and the War of 1812 who often made his living as a bear hunter. While he did indeed wear the signature coonskin cap, Crockett lived a tough but honorable life, running away from home at the age of 13. He joined the Tennessee state militia in 1813 and spent most of the war as a scout and wild game hunter.

In 1826, Crockett was elected to the first of three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, and was the only Tennessee legislator to oppose the Indian Removal Act, calling it a “wicked, unjust measure.” His reputation preceded him in an 1831 play “The Lion of the West,” where a coonskin cap-wearing folk hero named Nimrod Wildfire represented him, propelling Crocket to celebrity.

After losing his final bid for Congress in 1835, Crockett headed for Texas, and shortly after took up post at the Alamo. Santa Anna and his Mexican forces laid siege to the Alamo, and Crockett was killed on March 6, 1836.

So what can we learn from David Crockett? Among other things, we learn the importance of honor, service, resilience and pride. His advice to us? “Be sure you’re always right—then go ahead.” That, and make sure you have a really good long rifle and coonskin cap.

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John B. White Jr.

Post by Managing Partner John B. White Jr. Click here to read more about John.

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