Tag Archives: Crockett

A Stud Horse License, a Fox Pelt Receipt & Davy Crockett’s Marriage License

In an opinion released this week, the state Court of Appeals is rejecting an elderly Tampa, Fla., woman’s claim that she is the rightful owner of a marriage license issued to Davy Crockett in Jefferson County in 1805 — long before the Greene County native’s death at the Alamo made him a hero.
More from Jamie Satterfield’s story:
Margaret Vance Smith, who is in her 90s, has been locked in a years-long battle with Jefferson County officials over the document, which has been in her family’s possession since at least the 1940s. She contends that either her uncle, who then was Jefferson County court clerk, or her father essentially rescued the document from the trash bin at a time when county officials were tossing out unwanted filings.
After all, she argued in her appeal, by the early 19th century Crockett was, historically speaking, all washed up, and Jefferson County officials saw no value in hanging onto a document that memorialized the frontiersman being dumped at the altar. He didn’t become the stuff of legend, she insisted, until Walt Disney made a popular television series about him.
Jefferson County officials countered the marriage license was a valued historical document purloined by the Vance brothers. In a 2010 trial, Jefferson County officials trotted out a slew of historically insignificant documents that the county maintains in its archives to this day.
“(It) defies logic that Jefferson County would keep and store a stud horse license (issued in 1859) and fox pelt receipt (logged in 1860) but not the marriage license of David Crockett, hero of the Alamo and arguably the greatest frontiersman in United States history,” the appellate court opinion quotes the county’s legal counsel as arguing.
In its opinion, authored by Appellate Judge John W. McClarty, the court agreed.

Note: the full opinion is HERE.