Daniel Boone

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Boone went alone or with a small group of men, accumulating hundreds of deer skins in the autumn, and trapping beaver and otter over the winter. The hunt followed a network of bison migration trails, known as the Medicine Trails. When the long hunters returned in the spring, they sold their take to commercial fur traders. Such frontiersmen often carved messages on trees or wrote their names on cave walls, and Boone's name or initials have been found in many places. A tree in present Washington County, Tennessee reads "D. Boon Cilled a. Bar on tree in the year ". Boon Kilt a Bar, In , a conflict erupted between the British forces and the Cherokee , their allies in the French and Indian War which continued in other parts of the continent.

Boone served in the North Carolina militia during this "Cherokee Uprising". His militia expeditions went deep into Cherokee territory beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains and he was separated from his wife for about two years. By the mids, with peace made with the Cherokee, colonial immigration into the area increased. The competition of new settlers decreased the amount of game available. Boone had difficulty making ends meet; he was often taken to court for nonpayment of debts.

He sold his land to pay off creditors. After his father's death in , Boone traveled with his brother Squire and a group of men to Florida , which had become British territory after the end of the war, to look into the possibility of settling there. According to a family story, Boone purchased land near Pensacola , but Rebecca refused to move so far away from her friends and family. Boone first reached Kentucky in the fall of while on a long hunt with his brother Squire Boone , Jr. Boone's first steps in Kentucky were near present-day Elkhorn City.

Boone and Findley happened to meet again, and Findley encouraged Boone with more tales of Kentucky. At the same time, news had arrived about the Treaty of Fort Stanwix , in which the Iroquois had ceded their claim to Kentucky to the British. This, as well as the unrest in North Carolina due to the Regulator Movement , likely prompted Boone to extend his exploration. On May 11, , he began a two-year hunting expedition in Kentucky.

1. His family came to America to escape religious persecution.

On December 22, , Boone and a fellow hunter, Benjamin Cutbirth , were captured by a party of Shawnees, who confiscated all of their skins and told them to leave and never return. The Shawnees had not signed the Stanwix treaty, and since they regarded Kentucky as their hunting ground, they considered white hunters there to be poachers. Boone, however, continued hunting and exploring Kentucky until his return to North Carolina in , and returned to hunt there again in the autumn of On July 5, , Boone packed up his family and, with a group of about 50 immigrants, began the first attempt by British colonists to establish a settlement in Kentucky.

Boone was still an obscure hunter and trapper at the time; the most prominent member of the expedition was William Russell , a well-known Virginian and future brother-in-law of Patrick Henry. On October 9, Boone's eldest son James and a small group of men and boys who had left the main party to retrieve supplies were attacked by a band of Delawares , Shawnees, and Cherokees. Following the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, American Indians in the region had been debating what to do about the influx of settlers. This group had decided, in the words of historian John Mack Faragher, "to send a message of their opposition to settlement".

James Boone and William Russell's son Henry were captured and gruesomely tortured to death. The brutality of the killings sent shock waves along the frontier, and Boone's party abandoned its expedition. The massacre was one of the first events in what became known as Dunmore's War , a struggle between Virginia and, primarily, Shawnees of the Ohio Country for control of what is now West Virginia and Kentucky. In the summer of , Boone volunteered to travel with a companion to Kentucky to notify surveyors there about the outbreak of war.

Upon his return to Virginia, Boone helped defend colonial settlements along the Clinch River , earning a promotion to captain in the militia, as well as acclaim from fellow citizens. After the brief war, which ended soon after Virginia's victory in the Battle of Point Pleasant in October , the Shawnees relinquished their claims to Kentucky.

Following Dunmore's War, Richard Henderson , a prominent judge from North Carolina, hired Boone to travel to the Cherokee towns in present North Carolina and Tennessee and inform them of an upcoming meeting. In the treaty, Henderson purchased the Cherokee claim to Kentucky to establish a colony called Transylvania. Afterwards, Henderson hired Boone and Cutbirth to blaze what became known as the Wilderness Road , which went through the Cumberland Gap and into central Kentucky.

Along with a party of about 30 workers, Boone and Cutbirth marked a path to the Kentucky River , where they founded Boonesborough. Other settlements, notably Harrodsburg , were also established at this time. Despite occasional Indian attacks, Boone returned to the Clinch Valley and brought his family and other settlers to Boonesborough on September 8, Violence in Kentucky increased with the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War — Native Americans who were unhappy about the loss of Kentucky in treaties saw the war as a chance to drive out the colonists.

Isolated settlers and hunters became the frequent target of attacks, convincing many to abandon Kentucky. By late spring of , fewer than colonists remained in Kentucky, primarily at the fortified settlements of Boonesborough, Harrodsburg, and Logan's Station.


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On July 5, , Boone's daughter Jemima and two other teenaged girls were captured outside Boonesborough by an Indian war party, who carried the girls north towards the Shawnee towns in the Ohio country. Boone and a group of men from Boonesborough followed in pursuit, finally catching up with them two days later. Boone and his men ambushed the Indians while they were stopped for a meal, rescuing the girls and driving off their captors. The incident became the most celebrated event of Boone's life.


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James Fenimore Cooper created a fictionalized version of the episode in his classic novel The Last of the Mohicans Boone was shot in the ankle while outside the fort, but he was carried back inside amid a flurry of bullets by Simon Kenton , a recent arrival at Boonesborough. While Boone recovered, Shawnees kept up their attacks outside Boonesborough, destroying the surrounding cattle and crops.

With the food supply running low, the settlers needed salt to preserve what meat they had, so in January , Boone led a party of 30 men to the salt springs on the Licking River. Because Boone's party was greatly outnumbered, Boone returned the next day with Blackfish and persuaded his men to surrender rather than put up a fight.

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Blackfish wanted to continue to Boonesborough and capture it, since it was now poorly defended, but Boone convinced him that the women and children were not hardy enough to survive a winter trek. Instead, Boone promised that Boonesborough would surrender willingly to the Shawnees the following spring. Boone did not have an opportunity to tell his men that he was bluffing to prevent an immediate attack on Boonesborough, however. Boone pursued this strategy so convincingly that many of his men concluded that he had switched his loyalty to the British.

Boone and his men were taken to Blackfish's town of Chillicothe , where they were made to run the gauntlet. As was their custom, the Shawnees adopted some of the prisoners into the tribe to replace fallen warriors; the remainder were taken to Hamilton in Detroit. Boone was adopted into a Shawnee family at Chillicothe, perhaps into the family of Chief Blackfish himself, and given the name Sheltowee Big Turtle. During Boone's absence, his wife and children except for Jemima had returned to North Carolina, assuming he was dead.

Upon his return to Boonesborough, some of the men expressed doubts about Boone's loyalty, since after surrendering the salt-making party, he had apparently lived quite happily among the Shawnees for months. Boone responded by leading a preemptive raid against the Shawnees across the Ohio River , and then by helping to successfully defend Boonesborough against a day siege led by Blackfish, which began on September 7, After the siege, Captain Benjamin Logan and Colonel Richard Callaway —both of whom had nephews who were still captives surrendered by Boone—brought charges against Boone for his recent activities.

In the court-martial that followed, Boone was found "not guilty", and was even promoted after the court heard his testimony. Despite this vindication, Boone was humiliated by the court martial, and he rarely spoke of it. After the trial, Boone returned to North Carolina to bring his family back to Kentucky. In the autumn of , a large party of emigrants came with him, including according to tradition the family of Abraham Lincoln 's grandfather.

He began earning money at this time by locating good land for other settlers. Transylvania land claims had been invalidated after Virginia created Kentucky County , so settlers needed to file new land claims with Virginia. While he was sleeping in a tavern during the trip, the cash was stolen from his room.

Some of the settlers forgave Boone the loss; others insisted he repay the stolen money, which took him several years to do. A popular image of Boone which emerged in later years is that of the backwoodsman who had little affinity for "civilized" society, moving away from places like Boonesborough when they became "too crowded". In reality, however, Boone was a leading citizen of Kentucky at this time. When Kentucky was divided into three Virginia counties in November , Boone was promoted to lieutenant colonel in the Fayette County militia.

In April , he was elected as a representative to the Virginia General Assembly , which was held in Richmond. In , he was elected sheriff of Fayette County. Meanwhile, the American Revolutionary War continued. Apparently thinking that they had killed Daniel Boone, the Shawnees beheaded Ned and took the head home as a trophy.

Daniel Boone - Children, Home & Facts - HISTORY

In , Boone traveled to Richmond to take his seat in the legislature, but British dragoons under Banastre Tarleton captured Boone and several other legislators near Charlottesville. The British released Boone on parole several days later. During Boone's term, Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown in October , but the fighting continued in Kentucky unabated. Boone returned to Kentucky and in August fought in the Battle of Blue Licks , in which his son Israel was killed.

In November , Boone took part in another Clark expedition into Ohio, the last major campaign of the war. On his 50th birthday, historian John Filson published The Discovery, Settlement and Present State of Kentucke , a book which included a chronicle of Boone's adventures. Back in Limestone, Boone housed and fed Shawnees who were captured during the raid, and helped to negotiate a truce and prisoner exchange.

Although the war escalated and would not end until the American victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers eight years later, the expedition was the last time Boone saw military action. Boone was initially prosperous, owning seven slaves by a relatively large number for Kentucky at the time , [35] but began to have financial troubles while living in Limestone.

According to the later folk image, Boone the trailblazer was too unsophisticated for the civilization which followed him and which eventually defrauded him of his land. Boone was not the simple frontiersman of legend, however: he engaged in land speculation on a large scale, buying and selling claims to tens of thousands of acres. The land market in frontier Kentucky was chaotic, and Boone's ventures ultimately failed because his investment strategy was faulty and because his sense of honor made him reluctant to profit at someone else's expense.

According to Faragher, "Boone lacked the ruthless instincts that speculation demanded. Daniel Boone Homestead. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. American statesman Daniel Webster earned fame for his staunch support of the federal government and his skills as an orator.

8 Things You Might Not Know About Daniel Boone

Originally a lawyer, Webster was elected a New Hampshire congressman in He later served as a Massachusetts congressman and senator, In , the now-legendary frontiersman Daniel Boone blazed a trail through the Cumberland Gap—a notch in the Appalachian Mountains located near the intersection of Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee—through the interior of Kentucky and to the Ohio River. Known as the Wilderness His family came to America to escape religious persecution. Famed as a frontiersman, folk hero, congressman and Alamo defender, Davy Crockett was one of the most celebrated and mythologized figures in American history.

Steven Rinella stands at a curious intersection in American culture. Not many figures can tell such Lewis chose William Clark as his co-leader for the mission. The excursion lasted over One of the most famous figures to emerge from the colorful 19th-century history of the American West, Wyatt Earp was known first and foremost for his participation in a notorious gunfight at the O.

Corral in Tombstone, Arizona in Both before and after that This Day In History. Wilderness Road Boone never forgot his conversation with Findley. In Boone married Rebecca Bryan. Like his parents before him, Boone had 10 children with his wife. He was often away from his family, however, on remote wilderness hunting trips — some were solitary adventures — that would occasionally last for months. One of his six sons, James Boone, would be killed at the hands of the Cherokees. Another son, Israel , was killed at the Battle of Blue Licks in , one of the last skirmishes of the Revolutionary War Boone was also at the battle and saw his son die.

Boone never forgot his conversation with Findley. In fact, he first journeyed to Kentucky through the Cumberland Gap on a small hunting excursion in In Boone was hired to take a group of men to carve a path to Kentucky, which became known as Wilderness Road.

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Once Boone and his men reached the Kentucky River, they built the Boonesboro settlement, and the frontiersman brought his family to live with him there. Angry at the white settlers living off their land, many Native Americans attacked Boonesboro and neighboring settlements. As a militia leader, Boone spent the ensuing years successfully defending multiple white settlements in Kentucky.

He ended up being captured by the Shawnee in but escaped months later. Although he was famous as a militia leader, hunter and surveyor, Boone was not adept in business. By most reports he was an aggressive land speculator who often went heavily into debt to acquire property. After losing his property titles in Kentucky and faced with ongoing legal problems, Boone moved his family in to Missouri , which at the time was territory claimed by Spain.

He was a respected leader in his new community and in was appointed a justice of Femme Osage township by Meriwether Lewis , famed leader of the Lewis and Clark expedition who at the time was serving as governor of the region. At the age of 78, Boone volunteered for the War of but was denied admission into the armed forces. In , the lifelong outdoorsman went on his final long hunt into his beloved wilderness.

Daniel Boon [sic].


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