In 1830, David Crockett introduced a resolution to abolish the military academy at West Point, New York, which had opened in 1802. First proposed in 1783 by George Washington, the academy faced criticism that it was anti-democratic and provoked fears of a military aristocracy. Crockett, the legendary frontiersman better known as Davy Crockett, represented Tennessee in Congress for three terms (1827–1831, 1833–1835). Crockett argued that those educated at West Point “receive their instruction at the public expense, and are generally the sons of the rich and influential.” His effort to close it drew on his constituents’ opposition to the military academy. Even if a poor student was accepted to the academy on the Hudson River, the cost of travel, Crockett explained, “would be at the risk of his ruin.” Crockett’s frontier personality came through in his declaration that the men educated at West Point were “too delicate, and could not rough it in the army like men differently raised.”
George McDuffie of South Carolina agreed that there were problems and abuses connected with West Point, but in debate on the House Floor, he urged Congress not to act hastily. The motion was tabled and expired at the end of the Congress.