KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — One of Davy Crockett’s first rifles is on display at the East Tennessee History Center. Now, 185 years after Crockett’s death at the Alamo, during a fight for Texas’ independence, new information has come to light about how Crockett got this rifle.
“The owner Joe Swan continued to look into its past and while we thought may have originally traded the rifle to get a courting horse for his future wife Polly, we actually think he may have just traded the gun to settle a debt,” said Adam Alfrey from the East Tennessee History Center.
The history center says that when he owned this rifle, he was living near what is now the intersection of I-40 and 81 in Jefferson County. It, like many rifles similar to it, was nicknamed “Betsy” by Crockett.
“When you do hold the rifle, he described it as a capital piece and it’s very much in that manner. It’s a hefty sidearm, well made, certainly one that would have been an amazing piece to be hunting with here on the East Tennessee frontier,” said Alfrey.
The placard with the history of the rifle will be changed to reflect its recently uncovered history. You can see it in the “Voices of the Land” exhibit at the East Tennessee History Center on Gay Street.