David Crockett (August 17, 1786 – March 6, 1836) was a celebrated 19th-century American folk hero, frontiersman, soldier and politician. He is referred to in popular culture as Davy Crockett and after the 1950s by the epithet “King of the Wild Frontier.” He represented Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives, served in the Texas Revolution, and died at the Battle of the Alamo.
Crockett grew up in East Tennessee, where he gained a reputation for hunting and storytelling. After being elected to the rank of colonel in the militia of Lawrence County, Tennessee, he was elected to the Tennessee state legislature in 1821. In 1826, Crockett was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman Crockett vehemently opposed many of the policies of President Andrew Jackson, most notably the Indian Removal Act. Crockett’s opposition to Jackson’s policies led to his defeat in the 1834 elections, prompting his angry departure to Texas shortly thereafter. In early 1836, Crockett took part in the Texas Revolution and was killed at the Battle of the Alamo in March.
Crockett became famous in his own lifetime for larger-than-life exploits popularized by stage plays and almanacs. After his death, he continued to be credited with brazen acts of mythical proportion. These led in the 20th century to television and movie portrayals, and he became one of the best-known American folk heroes
Crockett arrived at the Alamo on February 8. To the surprise of the men garrisoned in the Alamo, on February 23, a Mexican army, led by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, arrived. The Mexican soldiers immediately initiated a siege. As the siege progressed, Alamo commander William Barret Travis sent many messages asking for reinforcements.
The siege ended on March 6, when the Mexican army attacked just before dawn while the defenders were sleeping. The daily bombardment by artillery had been suspended, perhaps a ploy to encourage the natural human reaction to a cessation of constant strain. But the garrison awakened and the final fight began. Most of the noncombatants gathered in the church sacristy for safety. According to Dickinson, before running to his post, Crockett paused briefly in the chapel to say a prayer.
All that is certain about the fate of David Crockett is that he died at the Alamo on March 6. According to many accounts of the battle, between five and seven Texians surrendered during the battle, possibly to General Castrillon.