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.
It 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
While Crockett said nothing in his only letter from Texas about
having hunted buffalo,
he did mention a buffalo pass, which was located near present-day
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 value.
From the Red
River country, Crockett and his party traveled south to Nacogdoches
Augustine, where on January 9, 1936, he wrote a letter to his
daughter Margaret: "I am hopes of making a fortune yet for myself
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
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. The spring
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 of Washington,
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) both here."
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.
Bob Bowman's East Texas
August 30, 2009 Column
A weekly column syndicated in 109 East Texas newspapers