Mark Lucas Humanities 111
Meet Daniel Boone
After viewing the sculpture of Daniel Boone located in the Norton Center, I became all the more fascinated with this trailblazer and what he and the sculpture represent. Being born and raised in a small Kentucky town not far from Boonesboro, I grew up listening to folklore that included Boone and other pioneers who pushed back the frontiers and led the Westward expansion of what were then only English colonies. So writing a paper and presenting to you a small piece of Kentucky’s history and one of America’s first national heroes was a perfect fit for this assignment.
For those of you who don’t know Daniel Boone, he was born in 1734 near Reading, Pennsylvania. He had little education, but he made up for it with what developed into a love for hunting and exploration. Moving in 1750 at the age of 16 to western North Carolina, Boone honed his marksmanship and was now well recognized in this rough country as an able woodsman. By his early twenties, he enlisted in the British army and served as a wagoner for two years during the French and Indian War (1754-1756), before fighting in the “Cherokee Uprising” as a North Carolina militiaman in 1758.
Boone’s passion for adventure eventually led him to Kentucky. Then known by its Indian name of “Kentuck,” it was known for its wild game. Beaver, otters, deer and buffalo were plentiful. At first, Boone only intended to hunt, but discovery enticed and by 1775 he was blazing The Wilderness Road and establishing one of the first settlements in Kentucky, Boonesboro, located in present day Madison County. It became the foundation for explorers and settlers alike who pushed West to stake their own claims and make their own homesteads.
Amidst this race for land, the American Revolution erupted. Native peoples, resentful of their lost hunting grounds and the ever-increasing white man, made common cause with the British and began attacking the now vulnerable and isolated settlers to take Kentucky back. Boonesboro during this time was under constant threat and ended up as a focus of Indian and British plans to expel what were now American colonists. It was during this time that Boone went from famed hunter and explorer to wartime leader.
In 1776, Boone’s daughter, Jemima, and two other girls were captured and their captors began a swift journey to their Shawnee villages in Ohio. Boone responded without delay. He led a rescue party and caught up with the kidnappers. Surprising them during a rest, the girls were saved and their abductors driven away.
A year later, Shawnees led by Chief Blackfish raided Boonesboro and a rifle ball shattered Boone’s knee. While Boone recovered, a salt and meat shortage arose forcing him to