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Authenticity of Davy Crockett letter questioned

davy_crockett.jpgYesterday, I reported in The Daily Flag that the State of Texas had acquired the last known letter Davy Crockett wrote before the fall of the Alamo. Now some are calling into question the authenticity of that document. Several experts say the letter is definitely a copy, and not originally penned by Crockett.

State of Texas officials assure us that part of the contract to purchase the letter included thirty days for authentication. That process has begun and we should know soon whether the letter is real or a fake.

Doubts raised about authenticity of Davy Crockett letter | – Houston Chronicle
State officials said the letter had not yet been authenticated. Debbi Head, spokeswoman for the Historical Commission, said the $490,000 will remain in an escrow account pending the outcome of a third-party investigation.

“We built that caveat into the contract so that the purchase wouldn’t go through without an authentication process,” she said. “We are currently in the process of putting together the best team of experts of people who actually do this type of work — forensic experts, appraisers, handwriting experts, all kinds of people.”

Head said she’s “99.9 percent sure” the letter is real. “We just want to have it authenticated by our experts to put us at 100 percent certainty that this is the real document,” she said.

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Texas Buys Crockett’s Last Known Letter

“… the garden spot of the world” is how Davy Crockett described Texas in his final letter, written just weeks before he died defending the Alamo. The letter, misplaced for several decades, is now in the hands of the State of Texas after a payment of $490,000.The state plans to display the letter publicly, but no time or place has been decided, yet.

I know I’m biased, but I must agree with Davy’s assessment of the Lone Star State: it is the garden spot of the world.

The Associated Press: Texas Buys Crockett’s Last Known Letter
ray-simpson-with-davy-crockett-letter.jpg AUSTIN (AP) — Just two months before he perished defending the Alamo, Davy Crockett described to his daughter and son-in-law the land he treasured enough to die for its independence.
“I must say as to what I have seen of Texas it is the garden spot of the world,” the famed frontiersman and former congressman from Tennessee wrote. “The best land and the best prospect for health. …”

The Texas Historical Commission announced Tuesday it bought the letter, which is believed to be the last that Crockett penned before he and about 200 other Alamo defenders were killed by Mexican forces led by Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.

Gov. Rick Perry accepted the letter on behalf of the state during a brief ceremony Tuesday at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.

“He stood tall against overwhelming odds and he refused to run away,” Perry said of Crockett.

“It’s clear that he cherished his principles above his life and died nobly in their defense,” he said.

The state bought the letter for $490,000 from Simpson Galleries, a Houston fine arts auctioneer.

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Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys Heroes

Let’s face it, people need heroes. Someone to look up to and emulate. Today, sports and movie stars are the prevailing heroes of the young, but it wasn’t always that way.

Growing up, I went through phases of life where my heroes changed, but they were always there. In the fifties I wanted to be a cowboy, like the Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers or even John Wayne. Then America went into space and I wanted to be like Alan Shepard. As I got older (sixteen), I wanted to be a Rock Star, like John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, and I even had one high school friend who wanted to be a hippie. Yes, a very wide spread, but remember, in the fifties and sixties, the times, they were a changing.

Back to Grade School

Davy CrockettIn elementary school, I learned about Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, and other frontiersmen and decided I wanted to join their ranks. There was only one problem—most of the U.S. was discovered, mapped, and had paved roads. What was a young boy to do?

Read! I read every book I could on these and other men who explored much of this country. They wandered, fought, and camped out almost every night (I was twelve, so camping out was desirable). Most of them even suffered hardships, but they always prevailed. They were bigger than life, like the heroes in a Louis L’Amour novel, and they changed the face of who we are today.

Heroes. They are special in our memories. Some even continue in importance, like the men at The Alamo. Reading about The Alamo is where I learned another lesson about heroes. Heroes are men and women bound by honor, integrity, and passion, willing to be right against huge odds.

Yesterday, March 6th, was the 171st anniversary of the fall of The Alamo and it got me to thinking about all those heroes from my youth.

It makes me stop and think about life and how I match up with my heroes.

(Apologies to Willie Nelson for the title. I couldn’t resist.)