David Crockett: His Life and Adventures

Jun 17, 2012 by

DAVID CROCKETT: HIS LIFE AND ADVENTURES¬† by John Abbott was originally published in 1874. It offers a unique window into the life of Davie Crockett who some call him an American Hero….while others call him a murderer.¬† Here’s a brief bit of text to give you a feel of the book:

“Crockett was brave, but not reckless. He plunged into the forest, with vigilant gaze piercing the solitary space in all directions. He was alone, on horseback. He had not gone far when he found a deer just killed by a noiseless arrow. The animal was but partially skinned, and still warm and smoking. The deer had certainly been killed by an Indian ; and it was equally certain that the savage, seeing his approach, had fled. The first thought of Crockett was one of alarm. The Indian might be hidden behind some one of the gigantic trees, and the next moment a bullet, from the Indian’s rifle, might pierce his heart. But a second thought reassured him. The deer had been killed by an arrow. Had the Indian been armed with a rifle, nothing would have been easier, as he saw the approach of Crockett in the distance, than for him to have concealed himself, and then to have taken such deliberate aim at his victim as to be sure of his death. Mounting the horse which Crockett rode, the savage might have disappeared in the wilderness beyond all possibility of pursuit. But this adventure taught Crockett that he might not enjoy such good luck the next time. Another Indian might be armed with a rifle, and Crockett, self confident as he was, could not pretend to be wiser in woodcraft than were the savages. Crockett dismounted, took up the body of the deer, laid it upon the mane of his horse, in front of the saddle, and remounting, with increasing vigilance made his way, as rapidly as he could, to the trail along which the army was advancing. He confesses to some qualms of conscience as to the right of one hunter thus to steal away the game killed by another. It was late in the afternoon when he reached the rear. He pressed along to overtake his own company. The soldiers looked wistfully at the venison. They offered him almost any price for it. Crockett was by nature a generous man. There was not a mean hair in his head. This generosity was one of the virtues which gave him so many friends. Rather boastfully, and yet it must be admitted truthfully, he writes, in reference to this adventure : ‘I could have sold it for almost any price I would have asked. But this wasn’t my rule, neither in peace nor war. Whenever I had anything and saw a fellow being suffering, I was more anxious to relieve him than to benefit myself. And this is one of the true secrets of my being a poor man to the present day. But it is my way. And while it has often left me with an empty purse, yet it has never left my heart empty of consolations which money couldn’t buy ; the consolation of having sometimes fed the hungry and covered the naked. I gave all my deer away except a small part, which I kept for myself, and just sufficient to make a good supper for my mess.’ The next day, in their march, they came upon a drove of swine, which belonged to a Cherokee farmer. The whites were as little disposed as were the Indians, in this war, to pay any respect to private property. Hundreds of rifles were aimed at the poor pigs, and their squealing indicated that they had a very hard time of it. The army, in its encampment that night, feasted very joyously upon fresh pork. This thrifty Cherokee was also the possessor of a milch cow. The animal was speedily slaughtered and devoured. They soon came upon another detachment of the army, and uniting, marched to Ten Islands, on the Coosa River, where they established a fort, which they called Fort Strother, as a depot for provisions and ammunition. They were here not far from the centre of the country inhabited by the hostile Indians. This fort stood on the left bank of the river, in what is now St. Clair County, Alabama. It was a region but little explored, and the whites had but little acquaintance with the nature of the country around them, or with the places occupied by the Indians. Some scouts, from the friendly Creeks, brought the intelligence that, at the distance of about eight miles from the fort, there was an Indian town, where a large party of warriors was assembled in preparation for some secret expedition. A large and select band was immediately dispatched, on horseback, to attack them by surprise. Two friendly Creeks led them with Indian sagacity through circuitous trails.”

 

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