Great was the astonishment of his family upon his arrival, for they had given him up as dead. The neighbors who set out on this journey with him had returned and so reported; for they had been misinformed. They told Mrs. Crockett that they had seen those who were with him when he died, and had assisted in burying him.
Still the love of change had not been dispelled from the bosom of Crockett. He did not like the place where he resided. After spending a few months at home, he set out, in the autumn, upon another exploring tour. Our National Government had recently purchased, of the Chickasaw Indians, a large extent of territory in Southern Tennessee. Crockett thought that in those new lands he would find the earthly paradise of which he was in search. The region was unsurveyed, a savage wilderness, and there were no recognized laws and no organized government there.
Crockett mounted his horse, lashed his rifle to his back, filled his powder-horn and bullet-pouch, and journeying westward nearly a hundred miles, through pathless wilds whose solitudes had a peculiar charm for him, came to a romantic spot, called Shoal Creek, in what is now Giles County, in the extreme southern part of Tennessee. He found other adventurers pressing into the new country, where land was abundant and fertile, and could be had almost for nothing.
Log cabins were rising in all directions, in what they deemed quite near neighborhood, for they were not separated more than a mile or two from each other. Crockett, having selected his location on the banks of a crystal stream, summoned, as was the custom, some neighbors to his aid, and speedily constructed the cabin, of one apartment, to shield his family from the wind and the rain. Moving with such a family is not a very arduous undertaking. One or two pack-horses convey all the household utensils. There are no mirrors, bedsteads, bureaus, or chairs to be transported. With an auger and a hatchet, these articles are soon constructed in their new home. The wife, with the youngest child, rides. The husband, with his rifle upon his shoulder, and followed by the rest of the children, trudges along on foot.
Should night or storm overtake them, an hour’s work would throw up a camp, with a cheerful fire in front, affording them about the same cohorts which they enjoyed in the home they had left. A little meal, baked in the ashes, supplied them with bread. And during the journey of the day the rifle of the father would be pretty sure to pick up some game to add to the evening repast.
Crockett and his family reached their new home in safety. Here quite a new sphere of life opened before the adventurer, and he became so firmly settled that he remained in that location for three years. In the mean time, pioneers from all parts were rapidly rearing their cabins upon the fertile territory, which was then called The New Purchase.