Davy Crockett Ceremonial Hatchet, 1835

Davy Crockett Ceremonial Hatchet, 1835

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Use of the axe as a political symbol dates to the era of Congressman Davy Crockett (1786–1836). Like his fellow Whigs, Crockett recognized the political value of assuming a self-effacing personality. His partisans played along. The Young Men’s Whig Association of Philadelphia, for example, presented Crockett with this ceremonial silver, mahogany, and ivory-tipped hatchet in 1835. One side of its head is engraved, “Crockett.” The other side is engraved with his motto, “Go Ahead.”
Object Name
associated date
associated person
Crockett, Davy
Physical Description
ivory (?? material)
metal, silver (head material)
wood (handle material)
overall: 17 in x 6 in x 1 in; 43.18 cm x 15.24 cm x 2.54 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Political Campaigns
See more items in
Political and Military History: Political History, Campaign Collection
Government, Politics, and Reform
American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith
American Democracy
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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