Fine Books and Manuscripts / CROCKETT, DAVID. 1786-1836. Autograph Letter Signed (David Crockett) to James Davison on the heels of his failed 1831 Senate bid, including much commentary on his political philosophy and his dispute with Andrew Jackson over the policy toward the Southern indians,
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CROCKETT, DAVID. 1786-1836.
"I would rather be politically burried than to be hypocritically imortalized[.] I have been made a political marter for being an honest man."
AN IMPORTANT DAVY CROCKETT LETTER ON HIS BREAK WITH JACKSON AND DISILLUSIONMENT WITH ELECTION POLITICS. Following his defeat in the 1831 election for the Tennessee state Senate, Crockett writes about his loss to "a little country court lawyer with verry little standing ... what we call here a perfect lick spittle." He asserts that it was not Jackson's party which had beaten him, but this country lawyers string of falsehoods which were picked up and published by the newspapers.
Of Jackson, who he supported in the 1828 election, he writes, "The truth is I was one of the first men that ever crossed the Tennessee river into the Creek war with him [Jackson] and I served two tours of duty with him and voted for him for President ... I supported him as far as he pursued the principles he professed to possess before he was elected. I never did support men and forsake principles...." He continues later to note his opposition to Jackson's "proscription for opinion sake," and most importantly he "condemned the course pursued to the Southern Indians. I live to sustain my country and I will do it while I live in or out of Congress." Actions have consequences, and this stance against Jackson's Indian Removal Act of 1830 was widely unpopular in his district.
"I would rather be beaten and be a man than to be elected and be a little puppy dog to yelp after their party," Crockett asserts. Continuing his common man bonafides, he writes: "My principle is to support a man for President and support his principles as far as I like them ... I am a verry plain man. I never had six months education in my life, raised in obscurity with out either wealth or education. I have made my self to every station in life that I ever filled through my own exertions."
This important Crockett letter wonderfully characterizes his dissatisfaction with Jackson, and shows the early signs of his frustration with the political system. He would return to the state senate two years later, defeating Fitzgerald before losing his seat in 1835. Citing many of the same frustrations expressed above, Crockett left for Texas in 1835: his famous words to the constituency that failed to re-elect him: "You can all go to Hell—I'm going to Texas." A rare Davy Crockett letter that perfectly illustrates the honesty and the fire which made him a folk hero.