History

Woman Finds Clear Photo of Davy Crockett in Texas Museum

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The University of North Texas Library had an old photo in their large database simply titled “Face of a Man,” and for years, it sat in mystery. Recently, a woman called the assistant dean for external affairs to let them know who the unknown man was – Davy Crockett. The photo is currently owned by Fort Worth museum Log Cabin Village.

“When I saw it, I was like, I can’t believe UNT has this,” Campbell told Texas Monthly. “And they apparently had no idea who it was—it was just identified as a photograph of a man’s face. I was like, ‘no, it’s my great-great-grandmother’s grandfather.’”

The black and white photo only shows Crockett’s face and shoulders and measures 17 x 11 cm. The Portal to Texas History writes that it has only been viewed “612 times , with 470 in the last month,” marking its newfound popularity. The back of the photo depicts an advertisement for the photographer, D.H. Swartz.

Calling it a photograph of Davy Crockett is a bit of a stretch since it’s actually a photograph of a portrait he sat for. Crockett passed away in 1836 at the Alamo which was before photography was invented. It remains extraordinary because only six portraits of Crockett exist in the world. UNT would own the seventh known surviving image of Crockett once it’s confirmed as authentic.