Crockett, Davy (David) (1786-1836), a United States frontiersman, politician, and folk hero. His exploits as a hunter and soldier and his colorful personality, homespun humor, and storytelling abilities made him a popular celebrity during his lifetime; his death as one of the defenders of the Alamo during the struggle for Texas independence gave him legendary fame.
Crockett was born near Big Limestone River in what is now Greene County, Tennessee, into a poor frontier family. He worked as a child and received virtually no formal education. He first made a name for himself as a scout under General Andrew Jackson during the war against the Creek Indians, 1813-14. He became a local hero in the Tennessee backwoods and was elected to the state legislature in 1821 and 1823. In 1827 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, as a Democrat.
The "coonskin Congressman," as he was known, worked for free land for frontier settlers and for debtor relief. He was reelected in 1829 but was defeated in 1831, mainly because of his opposition to certain policies of President Jackson. Crockett was reelected in 1833 as a member of the opposition Whig party. After losing the election in 1835, he left Tennessee for Texas.
Much of the mythlike quality that has come to surround Crockett's life rests on autobiographical works of doubtful authenticity, including A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, of the State of Tennessee (1834), and Davy Crockett's Almanack, published irregularly from 1835 to 1856.