Thursday, January 07, 2010

Another Crockett Contretemps

It's been about a year since the last Davy Crockett dispute faded away, so we're due for another. And we've got it, in the form of a lawsuit over Crockett's marriage license (to Margaret Elder, who he didn't end up marrying). A Tampa Bay woman has it (she even took it on "Antiques Roadshow"), but the Tennessee county where it was filed wants it back. The St. Petersburg Times reports that Margaret V. Smith claims her uncle found the license "on the lawn" at the Jefferson (TN) County Courthouse, where it had been thrown away. County officials say no files from that period were discarded (let alone Crockett's), and judge Allen Wallace says there's "circumstantial evidence" that Smith's uncle stole the document (he worked for the courthouse in the 1930s-40s). In November, he ordered Smith to turn over the license.

Smith, 90, responded to the judge's order by saying "Well they are not going to get it," leading Jefferson County, TN to request a local order from a judge in Hillsborough County, FL. The Florida judge must decide whether to honor the TN order (she could be held in contempt and/or fined each day until she returns the license).

This one seems pretty clear-cut to me, as long as Jefferson County can show that records from that period were not culled. But we'll see what happens ...

Another case to keep an eye on!

[h/t Everett Wilkie, Ex Libris]

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