David "Davy" Crockett (1786–1836) was born in Tennessee, fought alongside Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812, and later served three terms in the House of Representatives before heading to Texas, where he died defending the Alamo. Col. Crockett’s Exploits and Adventures in Texas, first published after Crockett’s death and disingenuously attributed to him, was written by Richard Penn Smith as a narrative that promoted a sanitized account of the Alamo as a heroic effort by Americans to stem the Mexican "invasion" of Texas. The story, which was a huge success in its day, created a myth of the battle that pervaded the collective American memory for more than 150 years and reinforced the image of Davy Crockett as the "King of the Frontier."
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About the Author
Richard Penn Smith (17901854) was born in Philadelphia and trained as a lawyer, but was also a newspaper editor, poet, author, and playwright of more than fifteen plays.
John Seelye has edited numerous titles for Penguin Classics, including The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Red Pony, and Treasure Island. He is a professor of American literature at the University of Florida.