AppLit Home Appalachian Tall Tales / Tales of Strong Women Tina L. Hanlon

Davy Crockett and Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett


"Every single word is true, unless it is false." From the Crockett Almanacs

Note: This page lists biographical/historical resources as well as folklore about the Crocketts. There are many other books about Davy Crockett (1786-1836) and his wife, for children and adults, and he is included in many collections of American tall tales. Not all the Crockett stories are Appalachian but Crockett was from eastern Tennessee in real life and his fictional wife Sally Ann was born in the Kentucky mountains in some tales. (Crockett was really married to Polly Finley, in 1806, and after her death to Elizabeth Paton.)

Children's Books. Audio, and Web Sites:

Note: Because biographies of Davy Crockett are so numerous, some of the children's books that focus on retelling tall tales are highlighted with boldface, colored titles below.

Adler, David A. A Picture Book of Davy Crockett. Illus. John and Alexandra Wallner. New York: Holiday House, 1996. N. pag.

Allen, Charles Fletcher, and Frank McKernan. David Crockett, Scout Small Boy, Pilgrim, Mountaineer, Soldier, Bear-Hunter, and Congressman: Defender of the Alamo. 1911. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Pub, 2000. Biography.

Alphin, Elaine Marie and Tim Parlin. Davy Crockett. History Maker Bios series. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications, 2003. 47 pp. Includes bibliography, index, and sections Introduction - Wild Boy - Hunter and Scout - Pioneer in Politics - Hunting for Votes - Remember the Alamo - gline.

American Folklore contains retellings of folktales from every state. In "Davy Crockett and the Frozen Dawn," a short Tenn. tale on Davy Crockett, Davy can kick the sun and use a bear's body to thaw out the dawn. Also includes "Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett Bests Mike Fink." Retold by S. E. Schlosser. This site also contains Daniel Boone's DearNC tale on Daniel Boone and his wife, John Henry from WV, and other tales from Appalachia.

Beals, Frank Lee. Davy Crockett. Illus. Jack Merryweather. The American Adventure Series. Chicago: Wheeler Publishing, 1941. 252 pp.

Brimner, Larry Dane. Davy Crockett. The Imagination Series. Illus. Donna Berger. Minneapolis, Minn: Compass Point Books, 2004. 32 pp. Picture book with life story of the legendary tall tale hero and braggart. Includes episodes called "What a Guy!" (in which he tries to teach a raccoon a lesson for not laughing at his grin by cutting down its tree, but he realizes it was a knothole in the tree so he claims he "could outgrin anything"), "Davy Makes His Entrance" (about his extraordinary birth and childhood), "Sally Saves the Day" (Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind rescues him from some eagles), and "Capturing a Comet." The last episode explains that he wears coonskin on his head because the comet scorched some of his hair off, and the comet is still wandering around space looking its tail. This book says he "rode into this world saddled to a streak of lightning. He landed near the Nolichucky River" at his parents' cabin. "The Real Davy Crockett" is a page of biography. Other sections are a recipe for Tennessee grits, a glossary, references and background facts, a photo of a statue in Lawrenceburg, TN, and an index.

Burke, Rick. Davy Crockett. American Lives. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2004. 32 pp. Biography.

Cage, Nicholas, Anjelica Huston, Garrison Keillor, Jonathan Winters, and Washington Irving. Rabbit Ears Treasury of Tall Tales. Audiobook CD. Norwalk, CT: Rabbit Ears Entertainment LLC, 2006. Davy Crockett and Paul Bunyan in vol. 2. Also includes Johnny Appleseed and Rip Van Winkle.

Calvert, Patricia. The American Frontier. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1997.

Carmer, Carl Lamson. The Hurricane's Children. Illus. Elizabeth Black Carmer. 1937. New York: D. McKay, 1967. 175 pp. Tall tales, including "How Davy Crockett Fiddled His Daughter Out of A Husband" and "How Tony Beaver Built the Candy Dam."

Carpenter, Eric, and Jenny Williams. Young Davy Crockett Frontier Pioneer. A Troll First-start Biography. [Mahwah, N.J.]: Troll Associates, 1996. 32 pp.

Clemen, Gina D. B. Davy Crockett, An American Hero. Green Apple. Genoa: Cideb Editrice, 1998. Book and sound recording.

Cohen, Caron Lee. Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett. Illus. Ariane Dewey. New York: Mulberry, 1985. A small picture book that says Sally lived near the Mississippi River (no Appalachian references). Her fights with Mike Fink are depicted.

Cohen, Caron Lee. "Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett Meets Mike Fink, Snappin' Turkle." Illus. Marcia Brown. In Cohn, Amy L., ed.  From Sea to Shining Sea:  A Treasury of American Folklore and Folk Songs.  New York:  Scholastic, 1993, pp. 118-21.

Collard, Sneed B. David Crockett Fearless Frontiersman. American Heroes. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2007. 42 pp. Biography.

Crockett, David. Davy Crockett: His Own Story, A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett of the State of Tennessee. Bedford, MA: Applewood Books, 1993. 122 pp. A reprinting of Crockett's 1834 autobiography. "It's more like a tall tale of the life of the frontiersman than it is a true autobiography, but that just adds to the book's fun" (back cover).

"Davy Crockett: A Folktale for Reading Out Loud." Activated Storytellers! National Touring Theatre. L'Eau Theatre Productions, 1996. With audio, an activity involving animal figures, and performance photographs of "this version adapted from the stage production written by Dennis Goza."  In a section on Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind, Davy meets her at a barn dance where she said she would marry any man who could outdance her, and after dancing hard all night, Davy wears her out. Other folktales with audio and slide shows are available at this site.

"Davy Crockett Trees a Wolf." In Animal Folk Tales of America: Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, the Jumping Frog, Davy Crockett, Johnny Appleseed, Sweet Betsy, and Many Others. Adapted and illustrated by Tony Palazzo. New York: Sterling, 2010. "Retells fourteen American folktales focusing on the role animals played in American pioneer heritage." Limited source information given.

Davy Crockett y los piratas del río. Colección Acción y aventura. Buenos Aires: Editorial Atlantida, 1973. Book in Spanish based on Walt Disney production.

Devillier, Christy. Davy Crockett. A Buddy Book. Edina, Minn: Abdo Pub, 2004. 32 pp. Biography.

Dewey, Ariane. The Narrow Escapes of Davy Crockett: From a Bear, a Boa Constrictor, a Hoop Snake, an Elk, an Owl, Eagles, Rattlesnakes, Wildcats, Trees, Tornadoes, a Sinking Ship, and Niagara Falls. More Tall Tales Series. New York: Greenwillow, 1990. 48 pp. Episodes based on the Crockett Almanacs retold in fairly brief text. "Summary: Recounts the wild adventures of Davy Crockett, including his tangles with a wrestling bear, eagles that wish to pull out his hair, and an alligator he rides up Niagara Falls." Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind uses a rattlesnake rope to save Davy from eagles tearing out his hair; he falls in love with her, and he calls for her from a distance in a voice like a tornado, so they get "hitched up." Later he makes a toy with a rattlesnake's rattles for their child Rockett Ann. Brightly colored, humorous  illustrations in watercolor and black ink line.

Driskill, Frank A. Davy Crockett The Untold Story. Austin, Tex: Eakin Press, 1981. 56 pp. Biography.

Feeney, Kathy. Davy Crockett A Photo-Illustrated Biography. Photo-illustrated Biographies. Mankato, Minn: Bridgestone Books, 2002. 24 pp.

Ford, Ann. Davy Crockett. Illus. Leonard Vosburgh. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1961. "A see and read book." Recommended by NEA's Read Across America program, Books from all the 50 states list.

French, James Strange. Sketches and Eccentricities of Col. David Crockett of West Tennessee. New York: J & J. Harper, 1833. Rpt. Popular Culture in America. New York: Arno Press, 1974. 209 pp. Biography.

Furstinger, Nancy. Davy Crockett. Folk Heroes. Mankato, MN: Weigl, 2003. 24 pp. Biography.

Graham, Jack. "Davy Crockett's Grin." Pennsylvania Jack. No date. This storyteller's web site gives his version of several Appalachian tales, with no specific details on sources. "Jack Gets a Herd of Cattle" is identified as an Appalachian tale. "The Longest Story" is identified as a Jack Tale brought to America. "The Snakebit Hoe Handle" is identified as a classic American tall tale. Other "Old Time Stories" include "Old One Eye," "The Trained Trout," and "Two Old Women Make a Bet."

Grant, Bruce, and William Timmins. Davy Crockett American Hero. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1955.

Grant, Matthew G., and Jack Norman. Davy Crockett, Frontier Adventurer. Mankato, Minn: Creative Education; distributed by Children's Press, Chicago, 1973. 29 pp. Biography.

Harmon, Daniel E. Davy Crockett. Famous Figures of the American Frontier. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2002. 64 pp. Biography.

Hasday, Judy L. Davy Crockett. New York: Chelsea House, 2010. 117 pp. Biography for secondary school readers.

Herweck, Diana. Davy Crockett. Buiding Fluency Through Reader's Theater series. Huntington Beach, CA: Teacher Created Materials, 2010. 24 pp. With tips for reader's theater adapted from Aaron Shepard.

Hogrogian, Robert. Davy Crockett. People to Remember Series. [Hawthorne, NJ]: January Productions, 1981. Book and sound recording.

Holbrook, Stewart Hall. Davy Crockett. New York: Random House, 1955. Biography. 179 pp. with illustrations.

Johnston, Marianne. Davy Crockett. American Legends. New York: PowerKids Press, 2001. 24 pp. Biography.

Kellogg, Steven. Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett. New York: Mulberry, 1995. One of Kellogg's many humorous, colorful tall tale retellings.  In this version of her life, Sally Ann is born in the mountains of Kentucky, able to beat her brothers and others in various contests of strength and speed. She has many adventures (based on 8 tales in Davy Crockett's almanacs, 1834-56): she scares a bear out of its skin, "invents" bald eagles, marries Davy Crockett, causes a tornado of flying alligators, and flings tall tale hero Mike Fink 5 miles up the Mississippi River. See cover and description at Nancy Keane's Booktalks, brief review at, Teacher  Resource File on Steven Kellogg at JMU. Recommended by NEA's Read Across America program, Books from all the 50 states list.

Krensky, Stephen. Davy Crockett: A Life on the Frontier. New York: Aladdin, 2004. 48 pp. Nonfiction. A Ready-to-Read book, level 3.

Kunstler, James Howard, and Steve Brodner. Davy Crockett. Rabbit Ears Book. Edina, Minn: Abdo Pub., 1992. Book and sound recording.

Le Sueur, Meridel. Chanticleer of Wilderness Road: A Story of Davy Crockett. Illus. Aldren A. Watson. New York: Knopf, 1951. 160 pp.

Lisker, Tom. Tall Tales: American Myths. Milwaukee: Raintree Children's Books, 1977. 48 pp. Includes "Davy Crockett - King of the Old Wild West."

Luna, Sagrario, José Ma Alvarez, and Jesús Alonso. David Crockett. Historias de siempre, 9. Madrid: Alfaguara, 1996. In Spanish.

McCall, Edith S. Pioneers on Early Waterways, Davy Crockett to Mark Twain. Illus. Carol Rogers. Her Frontiers of America Series. Chicago: Children's Press, 1961. 127 pp.

Malcolmson, Anne. "Davy Crockett." Yankee Doodle's Cousins. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1969.

Meadowcroft, Enid La Monte. The Story of Davy Crockett. Illus. Charles B. Falls. Signature Books Series. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1952. 178 pp. "Summary: A biography of the famous woodsman and hunter who could snuff a candle with a bullet, was hated by every bear in the county, and was known by politicians as 'the gamecock of the wilderness.'"

Miller, Bobbi. Davy Crockett Gets Hitched. Illus. Megan Lloyd. New York: Holiday House, 2009. Picture book. "An accidental encounter with a thorn bush on his way to the spring dance has Davy Crockett kicking up his heels and out-dancing even the audacious Miss Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind." She is described as "full of spit and vinegar," able to "run like a shooting star, jump rainbow high, and outwhistle the wind." The burr in Davy's britches cause him to dance and yodel so wildly that, as Sally Ann tries to compete with him, they knock things over and in the process, Davy eats garlic pickles, makes applesauce, mashes potatoes, and stirs all the food on the tablecloth into a stew. Finally they settle down to eat amicably and dance together all night. In the illustrations, some of the oil paintings look a little like American folk art landscapes.

Miller, Bobbi Ann. Miss Sally Ann and the Panther. Illus. Megan Lloyd. New York: Holiday House, 2012. "Miss Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind was a woman of wonder. She could rope a hurricane, outspin a steam mill, and blow out the moonlight in a single breath. Her finest adventure is wrestling Fireeyes, a mean-as-tarnation panther. Lickity-split they begin fighting. They raise such a racket that the moon dips onto its side and the Milky Way curdles. Neither one backs down, backs up, or backs out...until, finally, each wins the other's respect, and the two become great and glorious friends" (from author's web site, which shows several illustrations).

Moriarty, J. T. Davy Crockett Frontier Hero = defensor de la frontera. New York: Rosen Central Primary Source/Editorial Buenas Letras, 2004. 32 pp. Biography. In English and Spanish and Spanish-English bilingual editions.

Moseley, Elizabeth Robards. Davy Crockett, Hero of the Wild Frontier. Illus. Thomas Beecham. A Discovery Book Series. Champaign, IL: Garrard Pub., 1967. 80 pp. "Summary: A profile of the woodsman, politician, and soldier whose decisions were abetted by his motto, 'Be sure you're right, then go ahead.'"

Osborne, Mary Pope. American Tall Tales. Illus. Michael McCurdy. New York: Knopf, 1991. Includes Davy Crockett, "Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind," John Henry, historical background and a bibliography, with energetic tinted wood engravings. Davy is born on a comet. A dramatic double-page engraving shows Davy facing a giant panther perched on a pile of bones, the panther which he then civilizes and takes home as a sort of servant. Also includes Davy's brag about outgrinning a knothole on a tree (which he mistook for a raccoon). In Davy's encounter with Mike Fink, they wear each other out bragging and screaming at each other. Davy thaws the frozen earth by rubbing bear grease on the sun and kicking away giant blocks of ice. "Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind" tells about Sally rescuing Davy with a rope made of rattlesnakes when he is caught in a tree, her encounter with Mike Fink, and her victory over a bear after she invites it to dance. When she meets Davy, she tells him not to call her a "sweetie" and brags about her abilities, such as wearing a hornets' nest for her Sunday bonnet. The Sally Ann story is reprinted in Jones, Raymond E. and John C. Stott, eds. A World of Stories: Traditional Tales for Children. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2006. 

Parks, Aileen Wells. Davy Crockett, Young Rifleman. Illus. Justin Pearson. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1983. Rpt. New York: Aladdin Books, 1986. 192 pp. "Summary A biography of the famous frontiersman and Congressman, focusing on his childhood."

Perry, Frances Melville. Four American Pioneers: Daniel Boone, George Rogers Clark, David Crockett, Kit Carson: A Book for Young Americans. Katherine Beebe (joint author or illustrator?). The Four Great Americans Series. New York: Werner School Book C., 1900. 255 pp.

Prior, Colleen, and Loÿd Petilotte. Davy Crockett. Fortune series. Brighton, England: Litor, 1900s.

Quackenbush, Robert. Quit Pulling My Leg! A Story of Davy Crockett. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987. Picture book biography.

Retan, Walter. The Story of Davy Crockett Frontier Hero. Illus. Steven Petruccio. Famous Lives. New York: Dell, 1993.

Roberts, Russell. Davy Crockett. What's So Great About...? Series. Hockessin, Del.: Mitchell Lane, 2007. 32 pp. Biography.

Rourke, Constance. Davy Crockett. NY: Harcourt Brace, 1934. Garden City, NY: Junior Deluxe Editions, 1956. 256 pp. Biography.

Sanford, William R. and Carl R. Green. Davy Crockett: Defender of the Alamo. Springfield, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 1996. 48 pp. Biography.

Santry, Laurence. Davy Crockett: Young Pioneer. Illus. Francis Livingston. Troll, 1983. 47 pp. This is a chapter book on Crockett's life, with very little on the tall tales about him. Black and white drawings throughout.

Sattler, Anne, Edwin Vandermeulen, and Bruce Miles. I Ride Panthers for Fun. Scottsdale, Ariz: Remedia Publications, 2003. Book and CD. Includes Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett and Mike Fink.

"Davy Crockett: Hero of the Frontier." In Schafer, Liza, ed. Famous Americans: Twenty-two Short Plays for the Classroom. New York: Scholastic Professional Books, 1994. 199 pp. For grades 4-8.

Schanzer, Rosalyn. Davy Crockett Saves the World. New York: HarperCollins, 2001. N. pag. Based on the Davy Crockett almanacs published in the 19th century, claiming "every single word is true, unless it is false." Crockett is "the greatest woodsman who ever lived," who "could whip ten times his weight in wildcats and drink the Mississippi River dry." His bear Death Hug and girlfriend Sally Sugartree participate in his fantastic exploits. Among Crockett's impossible feats, he saves the world from Halley's Comet in response to an ad from the President. A pourquoi episode at the end explains why he wears his coonskin cap after taking on a comet. Carolyn Phelan (in Booklist) wrote, "the vivid language places the story squarely in the tradition of American tall tales, where exaggeration is not just allowed, it's celebrated."

Shapiro, Irwin. "Strong But Quirky: The Birth of Davy Crockett." Illus. Molly Bang. In Cohn, Amy L., ed.  From Sea to Shining Sea:  A Treasury of American Folklore and Folk Songs. New York:  Scholastic, 1993, pp. 85-88.  A retelling of a tall tale account of Crockett's birth as a gigantic child, "half horse, half alligator, with a little touch o' snapping turtle!" Also in this book: "John Henry" (with music) in "I've Been Working on the Railroad."

Shapiro, Irwin. Yankee Thunder: The Legendary Life of Davy Crockett. Illus. James Daugherty. New York: J. Messner, 1944. 205 pp. Illustrations archived at University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. "Strong but Quirky" is an excerpt from Shapiro's book about Crockett's birth  in Haviland, Virginia, ed. North American Legends. Illus. Ann Strugnell. New York: Collins, 1979.

Stoutenburg, Adrien. American Tall Tales. Illus. Richard M. Powers. New York: Puffin, 1966. A small collection of prose retellings on eight folk heroes, including Davy Crockett and John Henry, with black and white prints. No background information. "Davy Crockett—Frontier Fighter" gives an overview of Crockett's life: his powerful grin, his ability to talk to animals, his marriage to Polly Finley Thunder Whirlwind, his adoption of his pet bear Death-Hug and pet alligator Old Mississippi, his military and political career, his hunting exploits, his defeat of the Comet, his ending of the Big Freeze, and his death at the Alamo. Also available as sound cassettes with Ed Begley.

Sullivan, George. Davy Crockett. In Their Own Words. New York: Scholastic Reference, 2001. 128 pp. Biography with color illustrations. Brief discussion at the end of legends about Crockett's superhuman feats, and lines from a song sung in Tennessee after they mourned the death of their hero.

Townsend, Tom. Davy Crockett: An American Hero. Austin, TX: Eakin Press, 1987. 70 pp. "Summary: Follows the life of the renowned pioneer, with an emphasis on his experiences on the American frontier in the early nineteenth century." Available from netLibrary if you have library access to this online book collection.

Trotman, Felicity and Shirley Greenway. Davy Crockett. Great Tales series. Illus. Chris Molan. Milwaukee, Wis: Raintree Children's Books, 1986. 32 pp. Biography. Also published by Ideals.

Wade, Mary D. David Crockett: Creating a Legend. Illus. Joy F. Hein. Houston, Tex: Bright Sky Press, 2009. 23 pp. Biography for children.

Wade, Mary D. Wade. David Crockett: Hero and Legend. Illus. Don Collins. Texas Heroes for Young Readers series. Houston, Tex: Bright Sky Press, 2009. 63 pp.

Wade, Mary Dodson. David Crockett: Sure He Was Right. Illus. Pat Finney. Austin, TX. Eakin Press, 1992. 60 pp. An illustrated biography. Available from netLibrary if you have library access to this online book collection.

Walker, Paul Robert. Big Men, Big Country: A Collection of American Tall TalesIllus. James Bernardin. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1993. Includes John Henry and "Davy Crockett Teaches the Steamboat a Leetle Patriotism." Contains dramatic realistic paintings and small drawings.

Welch, Thomas B., and Samuel Stillman Osgood. The Life of Colonel David Crockett Comprising His Adventures As Backwoodsman and Hunter; His Services As Soldier and Scout in the Creek War; His Electioneering Canvasses; His Career As Congressman; His Tour Through the Northern States; and His Services and Death in the Texan War of Independence: to Which Are Added Sketches of General Sam Houston, General Santa Anna, Rezin P. and Colonel James Bowie. Philadelphia: Henry T. Coates & Co, 1884. Long biography.

Winders, Richard Bruce. Davy Crockett The Legend of the Wild Frontier. The Library of American Lives and Times. New York: PowerPlus Books, 2003. 112 pp. Biography.

Zadra, Dan, and Jack Norman. Davy Crockett Frontier Adventurer (1786-1836). Mankato, Minn: Creative Education, 1988. 30 pp. Biography.

Zorn, Steve. Classic American Folk Tales. Illus. Gary Gianni. Philadelphia: Courage Books, 1992. 55 pp. In addition to Davy Crockett and John Henry, includes Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed, "How Brer Rabbit Tricked Brer Fox," "The Story of Bobcat & Coyote," Pocahontas, Pecos Bill.

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Other Crockett Stories:

"Bear Hunting in Tennessee." From Narrative of the Life of David Crockett of the State of Tennessee (1834) by David Crockett, edited by Angel Price (11/96). Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library.  This text is introduced by the page Davy Crockett, which says, "A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett (1834) is the autobiography most likely to be the actual work of Crockett; edited by Thomas Chilton.  Much of the other writing attributed to Crockett was actually penned by ghost writers (presumably due to Crockett's lack of formal education) and was approved by Crockett before publication. 'Bear Hunting in Tennessee' is a story . . . that emphasized Crockett's reputation as a great bear hunter--one of the first mighty hunters in Southwestern humor. Unlike Thorpe's later creation of the mighty hunter, Jim Doggett, Crockett's role is used to further the myth that allowed Crockett to become a legend of the old West within his lifetime and for years to come." With several illustrations.

Blair, Walter. Tall Tale America A Legendary History of Our Humorous Heroes. Illus. Glen Rounds. New York: Coward-McCann, 1944. Chicago: U of Chicago Press, 1987. "This is a folksy history of the United States, told as if the characters were all real." Includes Daniel Boone, John Henry, Davy Crockett, and others.

Blair, Walter, and Raven I. McDavid, Jr., eds. The Mirth of a Nation: America's Great Dialect Humor. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1983. Includes Davy Crockett stories and "Larkin Snow, the Miller" (1859) by Harden E. Taliaferro.

Botkin, B. A., ed. A Trecasury of Southern Folklore: Stories, Ballads, Traditions, and Folkways of the People of the South. New York: Crown, 1944. This large anthology reprints Davy Crockett materials in several sections.

Crockett, David. A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett of the State of Tennessee. 1834. Rpt. Knoxville: Univ. of Tennessee Press, 1973. A facsimile ed. with annotations and an introduction by James A. Shackford and Stanley J. Folmsbee. Original ed. published by E. L. Carey and A. Hart, Philadelphia.

Crockett, Davy. The Autobiography of David Crockett. The Modern Student's Library Series. American Division. New York: Scribner, 1923. Introduction by Hamlin Garland. 328 pp. Contains "Col. Crockett's Exploits and Adventures in Texas," a pseudoautobiography generally ascribed to Richard Penn Smith.

Crockett, Davy. Davy Crockett's Own Story as Written by Himself: The Autobiography of America's Great Folk Hero. Illus. Milton Glaser. New York: Citadel Press, 1955. 377 pp. "Consists of... A narrative of the life of David Crockett...written by himself, published in 1834; An account of Col. Crockett's tour to the North and down East, published in 1834, and Col. Crockett's exploits and adventures in Texas, published posthumously in 1836. 'Col. Crockett's exploits and adventures in Texas' is a pseudo-autobiography generally ascribed to Richard Penn Smith" (notes from Appalachian State Univ. library catalog).

Crockett, Davy. King of the Wild Frontier: An Autobiography. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2010. "This Dover edition, first published in 2010, is an unabridged republication of the work originally published in 1834 as A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett of the State of Tennessee, by E. L. Carey and A. Hart, Philadelphia."

Crockett, Davy. A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett of the State of Tennessee. Written by himself, edited for the modern reader by Joseph J. Arpad. The Masterworks of Literature Series. New Haven, Conn.: College & University Press, 1972. 171 pp.

Crockett, Davy. The Sayings of Davy Crockett in His Own Language. Compiled by Larry Mills,1938. 37 pp. Subject: Aphorisms and apothegms.

The Crockett Almanacs (1836). In The Heath Anthology of American Literature. 4th ed. Eds. Paul Lauter, et al. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002. Includes "A Pretty Predicament," "Crockett's Daughters," "Sunrise in His Pocket." Links and other references and study aids given at this link in Heath web site. 

David Crockett: His Life and Adventures by John S. C. Abbott (New York: Dodd & Mead, 1874). Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library. Davy marries a "little wife" in chapter 3, but she is not the tall tale heroine Sally Ann.

"Davy Crockett." In Harvest of World Folktales. Crown, 1988. p. 74.

"Davy Crockett Shoots Bears." In Gohdes, Clarence Louis Frank, ed. Hunting in the Old South: Original Narratives of the Hunters. Southern Literary Studies Series. Baton Rouge: Louisiana Univ. Press, 1967.

Lofaro, Michael A., ed. The Tall Tales of Davy Crockett: The Second Nashville Series of Crockett Almanacs 1839-1841. Knoxville: Univ. of TN Press, 1987.

Lofaro, Michael A., ed. Davy Crockett's Riproarious Shemales and Sentimental Sisters: Women's Tall Tales from the Crockett Almanacs, 1835-1856. Stackpole Books, 2001. Collects and analyzes the stories of courageous and masculine backwoods females from the Almanacs. Reviewed by Grace McEntee in Appalachian Journal, vol. 29 (Summer 2002).

Peck, Catherine, ed.  QPB Treasury of North American Folktales.  Illus. Charles Blake. Introduction by Charles Johnson.  New York:  Quality Paperback Book Club, 1998.  Reprints a number of Appalachian folktales and tall tales, including "David Crockett Meets a Bear," John Henry, Maud Long's "Jack and the Giants' Newground." (Also published as A Treasury of North American Folktales, Norton, 1999).

Sketches and Eccentricities of Col. David Crockett of West Tennessee. Popular Culture in America Series. New York: Arno Press, 1974. 209 pp. "The author was unknown to Crockett who wrote his 'Narrative' to correct the wrong impressions produced by this publication. Cf. Pref. to Crockett's Narrative. Doubtfully ascribed to J. S. French by E. A. Poe. Cf. Southern Literary Messenger, v. 2, 1835-36, p. 589. Reprint of the 1833 ed. published by J. & J. Harper, New York (notes from Appalachian State Univ. library catalog).

Sockdolager! A Tale of Davy Crockett, in which the Old Tennessee Bear Hunter Meets up with the Constitution of the United States. Richmond: Virginia Commission on Constitutional Government, 195?. 15 pp. Reprinted from Freeman Magazine.

The Tall Tales of Davy Crockett: The Second Nashville Series of Crockett Almanacs, 1839-1841. Knoxville: Univ. of Tennessee Press, 1987. Facsimile ed. with an introduction by Michael A. Lofaro. 116 pp.

"Davy Crockett: Sunrise in his Pocket," In Rugoff, Milton, ed. A Harvest of World Folktales. New York: Viking, 1949. Other American tales include "Jack and the Varmints," "Jack's Hunting Trips," "Old Gally Mander," "The Tar Baby," "Dicey -- and Orpus,"  "The Man and his Boots," "Big John the Conqueror," "Why Women Always Take Advantage of Men," "Paul Bunyan's Big Griddle," "Paul's Cornstalk," "John Henry and the Machine in West Virginia."

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Poems and Songs:

Davy Crockett appears in a number of folk songs and ballads found at Mudcat Cafe: A Magazine Devoted to Blues and Folk Music (put "Crockett" in search window for different versions with audio and discussion links).

"Davy Crockett." In Ballads of the Civil War. Sound recording 33 1/3 rpm. Folkways Records, 1954. Sung by Hermes Nye, with guitar.

"Davy Crockett." In Sarah Ogan Gunning: Girl of Constant Sorrow. Audio recording 33 1/3 rpm. Folk-Legacy Records, 1965. Unaccompanied folk-songs performed by Sarah Ogan Gunning. Program notes by Archie Green.

"Davy Crockett." In The Silver Dagger. 1 sound disc. 33 1/3 rpm. Somerville, MA: Rounder Records, 1976. Performed by Sarah Ogan Gunning; with Jim Garland on Band 2/1 and Band 2/9. Recorded in Medford, Mass., in May, 1974. Produced by Mark Wilson.

"Davy Crockett." Performed by Clyde Caso. In Folksongs and Ballads. Vol. 4. 1 sound cassette. Elkins, WV: Augusta Heritage Recordings, 1992. Labeled "West Virginia traditional music." Recorded and produced by Gerry Milnes.

"Me and Davy Crockett." In Crawdads, Doodlebugs and Creasy Greens: Songs, Stories and Lore Celebrating the Natural World by Douglas B Elliott. Musical score. Folk music. Pacific, MO: Mel Bay Publications, 1997. Also includes " The Frogge and the Mouse."

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Film and Television (in chronological order):

Most of these films are listed with details and additional comments in Southern Mountaineers Filmography by J. W. Williamson, Appalachian State University Libraries:

Davy Crockett—In Hearts United. New York Motion Picture Co., 1909. "The earliest known Davy Crockett movie, wherein the Alamo does not appear. This is the alternate Crockett of the Lochinvar legend."

Davy Crockett. Selig Polyscope, 1910. "Another non-Alamo Crockett story."

The Immortal Alamo. Star Film Co., 1911. "The familiar Alamo story filmed on location in San Antonio, starring Francis Ford as Davy Crockett."

Martyrs of the Alamo, or, The Birth of Texas. D. W. Griffith. Fine Arts/Triangle Film, 1915.

Davy Crockett. Pallas Picture/Paramount, 1916. "Based on the Frank Mayo stage characterization, a non-Alamo romance in which Davy saves the girl. . ."

Davy Crockett at the Fall of the Alamo. Sunset Productions, 1926. "Early scenes set in Tenn. show Crockett as top-hatted gentleman. He only puts on buckskin & coonskin hat when he goes west to the Alamo."

Heroes of the Alamo. Sunset Productions, 1937. "This company also made the silent 'Davy Crockett at the Fall of the Alamo.'"

Man of Conquest. Republic Pictures, 1939. "Story of Sam Houston, consorter-with-Cherokees and fierce warrior, with a number of scenes involving Andy Jackson."

Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter. Walt Disney television series beginning Dec. 15, 1954.

Davy Crockett, Indian Scout. United Artists, 1950. "This version of Davy makes him a part of the Wild West and does not take him to the Alamo."

The Man from the Alamo. Universal-International, 1953. "Not a mountain picture but a conventional Western, though it begins at the end of the Davy Crockett legend."

Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier. Walt Disney/Buena Vista, 1955. "The movie based on the three-part TV series that was one of the cultural events of the '50s, the movie that started the rage among youngsters for coonskin caps."

The Last Command. Republic Pictures, 1955. "Alamo story, with Davy Crockett, though this is really Jim Bowie's story. Takes place entirely in Tex. Arthur Hunnicut's Crockett is the best ever."

Woody Meets Davy Crewcut. Walter Lantz, 1956. "Woody Woodpecker meets the coonskin-capper of legend."

Davy Crockett and the River Pirates. Walt Disney/Buena Vista, 1956. "Adapted for theatrical release from the 'Disneyland' TV production's second set of stories about the famous coonskin-capper. Features authentic settings along the Ohio R."

The Alamo. Batjac Production/United Artists, 1960. "John Wayne's notorious portrayal of Davy Crockett: A 'splashy, simple-minded reenactment.... there is little excuse for the outrageous historical inaccuracies found everywhere throughout this irritating cliche-ridden script.'"

Davy Crockett: Rainbow in the Thunder. Wonderful World of Disney/NBC-TV, 1988. "Another take on the Davy Crockett legend, made for TV, with Johnny Cash as the older Col. David Crockett."

Davy Crockett. Videocassette. Dir. David Grossman. With Shelley Duvall, Mac Davis, Adam Carl, Michael McKean, McLean Stevenson, Susan Denim, Jack Carrerow, Lisa A. Bannick, Bridget Terry, and Frederic S. Fuchs. Richardson, TX: Distributed by Lyrick Studios, 1998. American Tall Tales and Legends series. 1986 television production. "Ben, the class clown, can't relate to studying American heroes, until the teacher gives him a magical book. Ben is transported to the World of Davy Crockett, where he meets the hero, and learns something about himself."

Sottnick, Mark, David Bromberg, Steve Brodner, James Howard Kunstler, B. B. King, Barry Jackson, Brad Kessler, Ry Cooder, Tim Raglin, and Brian Gleeson. Frontiers. Footprints across America. VHS tapes. [S.l.]: Sunburst Communications, 1996. Includes "The Legend of Davy Crockett," "John Henry," and "Pecos Bill," with teacher's guide.

Davy Crockett. Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales & Legends: The Complete Series. DVD. Dir. Howard Storm. Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales & Legends TV Series. Edward Asner, Howard Cosell, and Rebecca DeMornay. Port Washington, NY: Koch Vision, 2005. 1 of 9 epidodes. John Henry is another one.

Messecar, Ray, Carol Ann Messecar, Thomas H. Zingarelli, Robyn Ferracane, John Barilla, and Rusty Ferracane. Davy Crockett. Greatest American Tall Tales & Legends. DVD animated video for children with teacher's guide. Wynnewood, PA: Schlessinger Media, 2006. Also VHS tape. 23 min.

Other References and Teaching Resources:

Born on a Mountaintop?: Davy Crockett, Tall Tales, and History, 2002. Detailed lesson plans for grades 3-5, with excerpts from and links to historical texts on Crockett. An NEH Edsitement site.

Chatham, Anne Bassett Stanley. Tidewater Families of the New World and Their Westward Migrations: Case Studies in Southern States Research. Includes appendices on Davy Crockett and Pocahontas. Edited and illustrated by Karen Clifford. Austin, TX: Historical Publications, 1996.

Davy Crockett. Links to internet resources in Tall Tales section of the Internet School Library Media Center.

Davy Crockett Commemorative Stamp designed by a fifth grader for a tall tales project, Fairland Elementary School, Md., 1997.

Dorson, Richard Mercer. Davy Crockett, American Comic Legend. New York: Spiral Press for Rockland Editions, 1939. Rpt. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1977. Foreword by Howard Mumford Jones. 171 pp.

Hauck, Richard Boyd. Crockett, a Bio-bibliography. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1982. Rpt. Davy Crockett, a Handbook. Lincoln: Univ, of Nebraska Press,1986. 169 pp.

Review of Davy Crockett Stories. By Sam, age 8. Indiana. Nov. 2007 for AppLit.

Rourke, Constance. Davy Crockett. 1934. Illus. James MacDonald. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1962. 276 pp. Intro. and study guides by Geraldine Murphy. Map on lining papers.

Shakkford, James Atkins. "Davy Crockett: The Legend and the Symbol." The Frontier Humorists: Critical Views. Ed. M. T. Inge. Hamden, Conn: Archon Books, 1975.

Shakkford, James Atkins, ed. David Crockett: The Man and the Legend. Chapel Hill: Univ. of NC Press, 1986. Rpt. Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1994. Introduction by Michael A. Lofaro. 338 pp.

Sunrise in his Pocket The Life, Legend, and Legacy of Davy Crockett. Information and photos on a 2002 exhibit at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. "More Than Just the Facts, Ma'am," by Wayne Alan Brenner, is an Austin Chronicle article (6/14/02) with discussion of a historical play associated with the exhibit.

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See also:

John Henry, Swamp Angel, Tony Beaver

Appalachian Folktale Picture Books: Tall Tales

Jack is able to cure the President's daughter and overcome death in Tom Davenport film's Soldier Jack, and he does the same with the king's daughter in "Something Old, Something New" by Donald Davis.

Card, Orson Scott. "The Grinning Man." In Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy. Ed. Robert Silverberg. Tom Doherty, 1998. "Wandering an alternate earth in 'The Grinning Man' is . . . Alvin the Maker, who meets the Grinning Man while roaming through Kenituck. The Grinning Man turns out to be none other than Davy Crockett, who has a magical knack for charming bears. He does little, though, to charm Alvin and Alvin's ward, Arthur Stuart, when he spreads lies to his neighbors that the pair are burglars. While in town, Alvin and Arthur have a run-in with a cheating miller, who first hires them in an effort to take advantage of their good natures but soon learns that he is being taught a lesson in honesty. Alvin also manages to get even with the Grinning Man by trading a bit of Crockett's 'heartfire' with that of a bear. Card continues his exemplary fusion of American magic, folklore, and history, and manages to creates a dialect and language reminiscent of Manly Wade Wellman's cherished Silver John character" (from Barnes & Noble editorial review by Tom Piccirilli). Tales of Alvin Maker is Card's series of fantasy novels creating "an alternative American frontier powered by folk magic where Native Americans remain powerful" (publisher's notes).

Compare with:

Other American tall tale heroes. See AppLit's Tall Tales and Jack Tales: Literature and Writing Activities. Johnny Appleseed and Mike Fink are other tall tale heroes who are definitely based on real people.

Sally Ann's rival Mike Fink can be found in many resources on American tall tales. See, for example, short entry on Mike Fink from Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed., 2001, at, and Steven Kellogg's comical picture book Mike Fink (New York: Mulberry, 1992).

Crocodile Dundee. Dir. Peter Faiman. Prod. John Cornell. Perf. Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski. Rimfire Films/Paramount, 1986. "Comments: Co-written by Paul Hogan who created the character, an Australian version of Davy Crockett (and the best characterization of what the backwoodsman has always meant in American mythology)." Information from Southern Mountaineers Filmography by J. W. Williamson, Appalachian State University Libraries.

     Last update: 8/5/13     Top of Page    Links checked 7/12/05


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