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David Crockett. Engraving after a portrait by John Gadsby Chapman. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-93521).

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Crockett, Davy (17 August 1786–06 March 1836), frontiersman, Tennessee and U.S. congressman, and folk hero, was born David Crockett in Greene County, East Tennessee, the son of John Crockett, a magistrate, unsuccessful land speculator, and tavern owner, and Rebecca Hawkins. John Crockett hired his son out to Jacob Siler in 1798 to help on a cattle drive to Rockbridge County, Virginia, and Siler tried forcibly to detain young Crockett after the completion of the job. The boy ran away at night, however, and arrived home in late 1798 or early 1799. Preferring to play hooky rather than attend school, he ran away from home to escape his father’s wrath. His “strategic withdrawal,” as he called it, lasted about thirty months while he worked at odd jobs and as a laborer and a wagon driver. When he returned home in 1802, he had grown so much that his family at first did not recognize him. He soon found that all was forgiven and reciprocated their generosity by working for a year to settle the debts that his father had incurred....

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Hathorne, William (1607– April 1681), developer of Salem, Massachusetts, and progenitor of the Ha(w)thorne family in America, developer of Salem, Massachusetts, and progenitor of the Ha(w)thorne family in America, was born in Bray, Berkshire, England, the son of William Hathorne, a yeoman, and Sarah (full name unknown). Little is known of his early years except that he received more education than was usual for one of his family’s standing and grew up in relatively comfortable surroundings. As a young man of eighteen or nineteen, he was converted to Puritanism and, soon after, announced that he intended to migrate to New England. His close friend Richard Davenport, betrothed to Hathorne’s sister Elizabeth Hathorne, left for America in 1628 with the understanding that William and his sister would soon follow. When the Hathornes reached New England is unclear. Probably they arrived after 1630 and no later than the fall of 1633....