entered Texas at a crossing on the Red River and
made his way to Clarksville,
the capital of Red River County, perhaps because he had friends there.
was the understanding of residents in the Red River area that Crockett was in
a hurry to reach San Antonio where
he intended to join the Texas revolutionary army.
Pioneer Isabella Clark
Gordon, who lived in the Red River area, remembered that Crockett "was dressed
like a gentleman, and not as a backwoodsman," but he did wear a coonskin cap.
Mrs. Gordon said Davy, "neither in dress, conversation or bearing could he have
created the impression that he was ignorant or uncouth..."
At the home
of William Becknell, a man he supposedly knew from Tennessee, Crockett stayed
several days and traveled west to hunt game with his friends.
said nothing in his only letter from Texas about having hunted buffalo,
he did mention a buffalo pass, which was located near present-day Fannin County.
He called the area "Bodark" for Bois d'Arc Creek near Bonham.
Leaving the Clarksville
area, Crockett went through Lost Prairie, on the west banks of the Red River,
where he traded watches with Dr. Isaac Jones. Davy received an additional thirty
dollars in cash in the trade since it was agreed that his watch was of a greater
the Red River country, Crockett and his party traveled south to Nacogdoches
and San Augustine,
where on January 9, 1936, he wrote a letter to his daughter Margaret: "I am hopes
of making a fortune yet for myself and family..."
While in San
Augustine, Crockett learned of the call for volunteers in the revolutionary
army. In a speech he said "we'll go to Mexico
and shake Santa Anna as a coon dog would a possum." He took an oath of allegiance
to Texas and, with other volunteers, started west
to San Antonio in mid-January.
Davy and his companions traveled down El
Camino Real, or the King's
Highway. Finding a pleasant spring
about 65 miles west of Nacogdoches
he camped and soon discovered that an old family friend, Elijah Gossett, was living
nearby. Gossett would later be influential by naming a new community for Crockett.
still exists in downtown Crockett.
From present-day Houston County, Crockett continued to make his way west, crossing
Mustang Prairie, wading across the Trinity and Brazos rivers, visiting the town
passing through the Lost Pines and Bastrop,
and finally arriving in San Antonio
in early February.
In a letter on February 11, Major Green B. Jameson,
the Alamo's engineer, wrote: "We
are now one hundred and fifty strong....Colonel Crockett and Colonel Travis (are)
Less than a month later, Davy lost his life when Santa Anna's
troops overwhelmed the Alamo defenders.
Just how Davy died is still being debated, but chances are good that the dust
of East Texas was still on his shoes.
Bowman's East Texas
August 30, 2009 Column
A weekly column syndicated in 109 East Texas newspapers