David Crockett is a genuine American hero. As a frontiersman, politician, and warrior, he won acclaim and a permanent place in the lore that forms the history of America. He may be best known as a martyr at the Alamo in Texas’ battle for independence.
David’s early life was filled with hardship. As the fifth of six sons among John and Rebecca Crockett’s nine children, David watched his father struggle with debt throughout his life. The family moved often, but they never strayed far from east Tennessee. After many failed attempts at business, David’s father finally established a successful tavern where the Museum now stands.
One of David’s duties at the tavern was to hunt game for the supper table, which helped hone his skill with a rifle. Another chore was taking care of the livestock of the cattle drovers and sheep herders who were staying at the tavern.
As a young man, David was sometimes hired out to drive cattle, as well as, do other work to help pay off his family’s debt. At 15, after leaving home for three years, he returned home to a joyful reunion with his family. When he was 17, he received his only six months of education while working part-time in the area.
After two lost loves, David finally found Polly Finley, whom he courted and married. The marriage bond for their union is located in the archives of the Jefferson County Courthouse in Dandridge, TN. The marriage bond for David’s engagement to Maragaret Elder is also in the archives of the Jefferson County Courthouse in Dandridge.A longrifle used by Crockett during this time is now housed in the East Tennessee Historical Museum in Knoxville, TN. They rented a farm and lived in Jefferson County, TN, until, at age 25, David headed west with his young wife and sons John Wesley and William.