Davy Crockett, nicknamed "King of the Wild Frontier" even in his own lifetime, has become a symbol of westward expansion in the 19th century United States. This engraving, depicting Crockett in his signature buckskin, was made three years after his death, in 1839.

Engraving by C. Stuart from the original portrait by J.G. Chapman, courtesy Library of Congress

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    On August 17, 1786, David Crockett was born near what is now Limestone, Tennessee. Davy (he preferred David) Crockett became emblematic of the early 19th-century Old West, nicknamed “King of the Wild Frontier.”
    Crockett initially found success in the military, opposing Native Americans in the Creek War in Alabama and Tennessee, and the British in Florida during the War of 1812. In the military, Crockett used his legendary hunting and tracking skills to support fellow soldiers.
    Crockett became an enormously popular figure, and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He opposed the Indian Removal Act, the forced relocation of thousands of Native Americans from throughout the Southeast to what is now Oklahoma. His support for his onetime enemies cost Crockett his political career. After losing his seat in Congress, he allegedly told his constituents “You can all go to hell, and I’m going to Texas.”
    He did go to Texas, which was then the Mexican state of Tejas. Crockett supported the Texas Revolution, in which Texans fought for independence from Mexico. Crockett was killed at the Battle of the Alamo.
    Davy Crockett’s popularity soared again in the 1950s, when the “Davy Crockett” television miniseries was a hit for the Walt Disney Company, thanks in no small part to the catchy theme song. 
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    alleged Adjective

    supposed or presumed.

    Congress Noun

    legislative branch of the government, responsible for making laws. The U.S. Congress has two bodies, the House of Representatives and the Senate.

    constituent Noun

    resident or voter in a representative's district.

    coonskin cap Noun

    brimless hat made of raccoon fur, with a tail hanging down the back.

    emblematic Adjective

    symbolic or representative.

    enormous Adjective

    very large.

    forced relocation Noun

    migration of people from one place to another, as ordered by the government or international authority.

    frontier Noun

    largely unpopulated area that is slowly being opened up for settlement.

    House of Representatives Noun

    federal branch of Congress in the United States, with state representatives elected every two years.

    hunt Verb

    to pursue and kill an animal, usually for food.

    independence Noun

    state or situation of being free.

    initially Adverb

    at first.

    legendary Adjective

    famous, heroic, or celebrated.

    military Noun

    armed forces.

    mountain Noun

    landmass that forms as tectonic plates interact with each other.

    Native American Noun

    person whose ancestors were native inhabitants of North or South America. Native American usually does not include Eskimo or Hawaiian people.

    Old West Noun

    time period that refers to the western part of North America in the 19th century.

    oppose Verb

    to be or act against something.

    political Adjective

    having to do with public policy, government, administration, or elected office.

    river valley Noun

    depression in the earth caused by a river eroding the surrounding soil.

    soldier Noun

    person who serves in a military.

    toddler Noun

    young child, usually between the ages of one and three, learning to walk.

    track Verb

    to follow the traces (tracks) of another person or animal.