Davy Crockett survive the battle
of the Alamo, only to be sent to Mexico as a prisoner and forced
to work in a mine?
The possibility was raised in an edition of Southwestern Historical
Quarterly in April of 1940.
The Quarterly reported: “On January 18, Romana Trout of Graham discovered
in the National Archives a letter from John Crockett, son of David
Crockett, to Texas Secretary of State John Forsyth,” which implied
that Crockett “may have been sent as a prisoner to the mines in
Mexico and (was) not killed at the Alamo...”
The letter, dated April 30, 1840, said John Crockett “was not too
sanguine as to the report, but requested an investigation.”
Miss Trout referred to a letter dated February 6, 1840, written
by William C. White at Camargo, on the border of Texas
and published in the Austin Gazette. White said he was a former
citizen of the United States, but had been in Mexico some seventeen
White said his work required him to travel widely and, while at
Guadalajara, a Mexican came to him and said there was a man from
Texas in the Salinas mine who wanted
to talk to any American.
White said he went to the mine and saw the American, who claimed
he was Davy Crockett.
The man said he had been captured at the Alamo
and had been carried by his captors through Texas
before he was put to work in a mine at Guadalajara.
White said the man wrote a letter to be mailed to his family in
Tennessee. The letter was mailed at Matamoros to a friend at New
Orleans with instructions to send the letter to Crockett’s family.
he also gave a copy of the letter to Colonel D.L. Wood, who promised
to publish it in an unidentified newspaper or periodical, but White
said it never appeared.
gave another copy of the supposed Crockett letter to a Mexican and
asked him to deliver it from Camargo to Austin
The 68-year-old Southwestern Historical Quarterly article poses
a lot of questions.
For example, who was William C. White and who was Colonel D.L. Wood?
that Davy escaped popped again in a 1907 issue of Heritage magazine,
published by the Texas Historical Foundation, but the story is different.
The story said a trunk found in New York State 45 years ago was
lined with old newspapers, including a May 12, 1836, issue from
the Courtland, NY, Advocate. The paper carried a story that Crockett
was found alive among a pile of bodies of slain Alamo defenders
in March of 1836, carried to a home, and recovered. The story doesn’t
say what happened to Davy after that.
Davy isn’t the first and won’t be the last hero or famous person
to be resurrected after death.
Others in Texas who come to mind are John
Wilkes Booth, William Clarke Quantrill and Jesse
James, who supposedly made their way to Texas after reports
of their deaths.
to have been the best of these, and we can only hope that he died
at the Alamo--and
will remain one of our most enduring Texas heroes.