“King of the Wilderness”
A legend in his own time, by 1836 Davy Crockett shared billing with Jim Bowie as one of the two most famous men west of the Appalachians. Born on August 17, 1786, in northeastern Tennessee, he ran away from home at age twelve because of his dislike of school. He returned home three years later and paid for his own education.
Crockett was the archetype of the American frontiersman, and was famous for his ability to shoot the flame off a candle at 100 yards. He once killed 105 bears in a single season, some with a knife.
After serving two terms in the state Legislature, Crockett was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1827, 1829, and 1833. Popular for his honesty and home-spun forthrightness, he loudly opposed President Jackson’s mistreatment of the Indians. Following his defeat in the election of 1835, an angry Crockett told his Tennessee constituents, “You all can go to hell – I’m goin’ to Texas!”
On February 8, 1836, Davy and his twelve “Tennessee Boys” rode into the Alamo. His tall tales and quick wit held the morale of the men high during the worst days of the siege. On the morning of March 6, as the Mexicans finally overwhelmed the Alamo garrison, Davy Crockett was among the last to die.
Proof that Crockett was a Mason is based mainly on the survival of his Masonic Apron, made for him by Mrs. A.C. Massie of Washington, D.C., during his tenure in Congress. Before leaving for Texas, he entrusted the apron to the sheriff of Weakley County, Tennessee, and it was inherited and preserved by the sheriff’s nephew, E.M. Taylor of Paducah, Kentucky. The lodge at Weakley County, near the Crockett home, burned during the Civil War destroying all the lodge records.
* From The Texas Mason By Pete Normand, PM Texas Lodge of Research
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* The Texas Masons The Fraternity of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons in the History of Texas by Pete Normand, © 1986 Book may be ordered from Brazos Valley Masonic Library and Museum Assn. P.O. Box 1300 College Station, TX 77841 Price: $10.00 Postpaid