Two other members of Congress were equally explicit in their testimony.
During Crockett’s first two sessions in Congress he got along very smoothly, cooperating generally with what was called the Jackson party. In 1829 he was again reelected by an overwhelming majority. On the 4th of March of this year, Andrew Jackson was inaugurated President of the United States. It may be doubted whether there ever was a more honest, conscientious man in Congress than David Crockett. His celebrated motto, “Be sure that you are right, and then go ahead,” seemed ever to animate him. He could neither be menaced or bribed to support any measure which he thought to be wrong. Ere long he found it necessary to oppose some of Jackson’s measures. We will let him tell the story in his own truthful words:
“Soon after the commencement of this second term, I saw, or thought I did, that it was expected of me that I would bow to the name of Andrew Jackson, and follow him in all his motions, and windings, and turnings, even at the expense of my conscience and judgment. Such a thing was new to me, and a total stranger to my principles. I know’d well enough, though, that if I didn’t ‘hurrah’ for his name, the hue and cry was to be raised against me, and I was to be sacrificed, if possible. His famous, or rather I should say his infamous Indian bill was brought forward, and I opposed it from the purest motives in the world. Several of my colleagues got around me, and told me how well they loved me, and that I was ruining myself. They said this was a favorite measure of the President, and I ought to go for it. I told them I believed it was a wicked, unjust measure, and that I should go against it, let the cost to myself be what it might; that I was willing to go with General Jackson in everything that I believed was honest and right; but, further than this, I wouldn’t go for him or any other man in the whole creation.
“I had been elected by a majority of three thousand five hundred and eighty-five votes, and I believed they were honest men, and wouldn’t want me to vote for any unjust notion, to please Jackson or any one else; at any rate, I was of age, and determined to trust them. I voted against this Indian bill, and my conscience yet tells me that I gave a good, honest vote, and one that I believe will not make me ashamed in the day of judgment. I served out my term, and though many amusing, things happened, I am not disposed to swell my narrative by inserting them.
“When it closed, and I returned home, I found the storm had raised against me sure enough; and it was echoed from side to side, and from end to end of my district, that I had turned against Jackson. This was considered the unpardonable sin. I was hunted down like a wild varment, and in this hunt every little newspaper in the district, and every little pinhook lawyer was engaged. Indeed, they were ready to print anything and everything that the ingenuity of man could invent against me.”