Davy Crockett Lesson for Kids: Biography & Facts

Instructor: Philip McMurry

Philip has taught college history, English, and political science, and he has a doctorate in American history.

This lesson provides a biography of the life and experiences of Davy Crockett from his time as a young boy living on the Tennessee frontier to his fate as one of the defenders of the Alamo.

Always on the Move

Can you imagine moving to a new home every year or two? People who lived on the frontier in the early 1800s were constantly on the move, looking for better opportunities. Davy Crockett's adventures were very much like this. He was constantly on the move.

On the Frontier

Davy Crockett was born in Eastern Tennessee on August 17, 1786. His family struggled financially for much of his childhood and eventually his father was forced to declare bankruptcy. To pay off his debts, Davy's father would lend him out to work for neighbors. This was the beginning of his travels as Davy often drove cattle or wagons to Virginia for his employers. Once his father's debts were paid off, he was free to go his own way.

The Tennessee Militia

In the early 1800s, there was a great deal of tension between the settlers in Tennessee and the Creek Indians who lived mostly in what is today Alabama. Davy joined a Tennessee militia brigade that was going to fight the Creek Indians, although he himself had a great deal of respect for Native Americans. While a part of the Tennessee militia, he served mostly as a scout and as a hunter to provide the other men with food. He continued to serve in the militia during the War of 1812 with Great Britain.

Davy Crockett

Early Political Career

After resigning from the militia, Davy spent some time as a justice of the peace and as surveyor commissioner. At the same time, he also operated several successful businesses. The people of Lawrence County, Tennessee, appreciated his leadership and encouraged him to run for the state legislature. He won a seat in the Tennessee General Assembly in 1821 where he developed a reputation for his excellent speaking skills and his desire to help the poor. He was elected to a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1826.

The Honorable Representative

As a member of the House, Davy often found himself at odds with President Andrew Jackson, who was elected president in 1828. For example, when President Jackson proposed the Indian Removal Act of 1830 - a law that sought to forcibly move the Cherokee Indians to new lands west of the Mississippi River - Davy Crockett was one of the few people to vote against it. His vote caused him to lose his re-election campaign, although he would later return for one more term in the House of Representatives in 1834.

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