David Crockett in Congress: The Rise and Fall of the Poor Man's Friend

David Crockett in Congress: The Rise and Fall of the Poor Man's Friend

by James R. Boylston, Allen J. Wiener
     
 

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Countering the widespread historical persona of David Crockett as little more than a coonskin-capped, buckskin-clad frontier hero, this remarkable biography chronicles his life in politics, revealing him instead as an inveterate entrepreneur, advocate for the poor, and career politician with a talent for hardball campaigning. Through a careful review of his letters,

Overview

Countering the widespread historical persona of David Crockett as little more than a coonskin-capped, buckskin-clad frontier hero, this remarkable biography chronicles his life in politics, revealing him instead as an inveterate entrepreneur, advocate for the poor, and career politician with a talent for hardball campaigning. Through a careful review of his letters, speeches, and political circulars, this provocative and insightful examination provides a unique, long-ignored perspective on the man behind the legend, and corrects inaccurate portrayals perpetuated by previous works, most notably James A. Shackford's landmark 1956 biography. Following his political rise from justice of the peace and magistrate to two-term representative in the Tennessee State Legislature and three-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives, this account details the progress of both the Tennessee Land Bill (1829-1830) and the Indian Removal Bill (1830). This exploration offers an alternative context for one of American history's most important figures and evaluates the political objectives for which he constantly strove.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Davy Crockett's political life has been covered in biographies, but it has never been subject to the close scrutiny it receives here. Boylston (Alamo Studies Forum) and Wiener (The Beatles: The Ultimate Recording Guide) dissect Crockett as a political animal, following him through the Tennessee legislature and into the halls of Congress, where he served three terms between 1827 and 1835. They show him to be a masterly campaigner and astute politician. While emphasizing his land bill, which would have allowed poor squatters in western Tennessee first claim on lands that they improved (the history of which is included in an appendix), the authors also examine his stands on Indian removal (he was against it) and the Second Bank of the United States (he favored it) and delineate his relationships with the Jacksonians and the Whigs. They let Crockett speak for himself by including all of his extant correspondence and circulars and a selection of his speeches, and they provide annotations as necessary. VERDICT This densely written analysis, with primary sources, may overwhelm all but the most ardent Crockett fan but may intrigue those wishing to study Crocket further, including advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and specialists.—Stephen H. Peters, Northern Michigan Univ. Lib., Marquette

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933979519
Publisher:
Bright Sky Press
Publication date:
11/01/2009
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.40(d)

What People are saying about this

Stuart Reid
A splendid book which reveals the true David Crockett. (Stuart Reid, author, The Secret War for Texas)
Gary Zaboly
A highly readable work that sifts the nuggets of truth from the mud of speculation . . . Intensely researched and footnoted. (Gary Zaboly, author, A True Ranger: The Life and Many Wars of Major Robert Rogers; illustrator, Texian Illiad, and Blood of Noble Men)
Greff Dimmick
A thorough and magnificently researched study of the political career of David Crockett . . . a clear, introspective analysis. (Greff Dimmick MD, author, Sea of Mud)
Jon Meacham
James R. Boylston and Allen Wiener have done a masterful job of recovering the real David Crockett, a figure of enormous historical significance in the tumultuous and critical Jacksonian age. (Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize winning author, American Lion)
Daniel Feller
A true gem, essential for anyone interested in Crockett himself, the Jacksonian milieu, the roots of modern democratic practice. (Daniel Feller, author, The Jacksonian Promise: America, 1815-1840)

Meet the Author

Jim Boylston is a member of the Alamo Society and the Alamo Battlefield Association, and has written articles for the Alamo Journal and the Crockett Chronicle. He is also the creator and moderator of the Alamo Studies online forum (www.alamostudies.com), a web-based discussion group devoted to the serious study of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution. Allen J. Wiener is the author of The Beatles: The Ultimate Recording Guide and The Music of the Alamo.

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