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Lt. Col Daniel Boone

Daniel Boone, Kentucky's most famous pioneer and a national hero. He is Zetta's 5th Great Grandfather through Levinia Boone, and my 1st Cousin, seven-times removed, through his aunt, Mary Boone (who married John Webb). Our common ancestor was Daniel's grandfather, George Boone. For a summary of Daniel's life,read on...(spelling kept as published)

Boone was born on Oct 12, 1734, the son of Squire Boone. He was raised in a Quaker community in Berks County Pennsylvania. The family moved down the valley and farmed in Linville Creek, Virginia in 1750. They soon moved on to Yadkin Valley in 1752 in Western North Carolina. There he met and married Rachel Morgan in 1756. He enlisted as a wagoner in the French and Indian War along with John Finley (with whom he would later share many adventures.) He was part of Braddock’s doomed campaign. He enlisted in General John Forbes's campaign against Fort Duquesne. In that campaign he killed his first Indian by throwing him off of the Juniata bridge. While in Virginia, he worked for a while a wagoner in Culpepper County, Fredricksburg, Virginia.

By October 1759 Boone had returned to North Carolina and made a trip to present day Boone's Creek, in Washington County, Tennessee. There he carved, "D. Boon cilled a Bar on tree in the year 1760"

He enlisted under Colonel Waddell in North Carolina to participate in a mopping up operation of Cherokee. He was present at Fort Robinson on the Holston River for the peace treaty. When the regiment was disbanded in 1760, he made another hunting trip in to Tennessee and South Western Virginia along with Nathaniel Gist, the son of Christopher Gist who was a scout for Washington and who claimed to have found silver mines in Kentucky (some believe in the Red River area not far from our home.) After this trip, he went back to Culpepper and brought his family back to the Yadkin Valley in 1762.

In about 1764 he participated in vigilante operations against a band of bandits in the Yadkin Valley. In 1765 he went with his friend Major John Field and explored Florida's east, central and western areas and bought a home in Pensacola - but never returned. In 1767, he made hunting trips along the Big Sandy and camped at Prestonsburg.

In 1769 John Finley paid him a visit and convinced Boone to join him in an expedition into Kentucky. The entire party consisted of six long hunters. They followed a hunters trail through the Cumberland Gap and onto the Warriors' Path. They camped on the Rockcastle, and Boone climbed the highest Knob to wee the Bluegrass meadows. They encamped at Station Camp Creek. Boone remained in Kentucky alone with his favorite long rifle "Old Tick Licker" when the others returned. He explored all of the Valleys throughout Kentucky - going to the Falls of the Ohio in at Louisville.

He returned home Kentucky, and then led families to settlements. He was appointed a lieutenant, and then promoted to captain in the colonial Virgina militia in Kentucky, and during the Revolution was promoted to Major and then Lieutenant Colonel and fought in several battles where wounded and was captured. He was cheated out of his land, and left Kentucky for the Spanish Territory of Missouri where he could get more elbow room. The following is from the Adventure of Colonel Daniel Boone and other sources as noted.

Long Hunter

It was on the first of May, in the year 1769, that I resigned my domestic happiness for a time, and left my family and peaceable habitation on the Yadkin River, in North Carolina, to wander through the wilderness of America, in quest of the country of Kentucky, in company with John Finley, John Stewart, Joseph Holden, James Monay, and William Cool.

We proceeded successfully, and after a long and fatiguing journey through a mountainous wilderness, in a westward direction, on the seventh day of June following we found ourselves on Red-River, where John Finley had formerly been trading with the Indians, and, from the top of an eminence, saw with pleasure the beautiful level of Kentucky.

Here let me observe, that for some time we had experienced the most uncomfortable weather as a prelibation of our future sufferings. At this place we encamped, and made a shelter to defend us from the inclement season, and began to hunt and reconnoitre the country. We found every where abundance of wild beasts of all sorts, through this vast forest. The buffalo were more frequent than I have seen cattle in the settlements, browzing on the leaves of the cane, or cropping the herbage on those extensive plains, fearless, because ignorant, of the violence of man. Sometimes we saw hundreds in a drove, and the numbers about the salt springs were amazing. In this forest, the habitation of beasts of every kind natural to America, we practiced hunting with great success, until the twenty-second day of December following

We continued not in a state of indolence, but hunted every day, and prepared a little cottage to defend us from the winter storms. We remained there undisturbed during the winter.

Adventures of Colonel Daniel Boone, Daniel Boone & John Filson, 1784

The Wilderness Road -- The Warrior's Path
I can't say I was ever lost, but I was bewildered once for three days."

Daniel Boone had been employed to cut a path the Kentucky. Boone gathered thirty armed and mounted axmen, and with authority promised each of them a tract of land for their services. He himself was to get 2,000 acres. His company was made up of trained woodsmen, most of whom he knew personally. Boone led his trailblazers out of Long Island, March 10, 1775. His destination was more than two hundred miles away. Much of the way he would follow Indian, hunter, or buffalo trails, but occasionally he would need to make a short cut by chopping out underbrush, removing logs and blazing a path in the trackless woods. After Boone's axmen passed through the portals of Cumberland Gap, they had comparatively good going along the Warrior's Path. At last the axmen came to Big Hill, and suddenly arriving at a wide gap in the last range of mountains on the dividing line between the present counties of Laurel and Madison, they caught their first vista of the plains of Kentucky.
The Wilderness Road, Robert Kincaid, 1960


I returned safe to my old habitation, and found my family in happy circumstances. I sold my farm on the Yadkin, and what goods we could not carry with us; and on the twenty-fifth day of September, 1773, bade a farewell to our friends, and proceeded on our journey to Kentucky, in company with five families more, and forty men that joined us in Powel's Valley, which is one hundred and fifty miles from the now settled parts of Kentucky.

This promising beginning was soon overcast with a cloud of adversity; for upon the tenth day of October, the rear of our company was attacked by a number of Indians, who killed six, and wounded one man. Of these my eldest son was one that fell in the action. Though we defended ourselves, and repulsed the enemy, yet this unhappy affair scattered our cattle, brought us into extreme difficulty, and so discouraged the whole company, that we retreated forty miles, to the settlement on Clinch River.

We had passed over two mountains, viz. Powel's and Walden's, and were approaching Cumberland mountain when this adverse fortune overtook us. These mountains are in the wilderness, as we pass from the old settlements in Virginia to Kentucky, are ranged in a S.W. and N.E. direction, are of a great length and breadth, and not far distant from each other. Over these, nature hath formed passes that are less difficult than might be expected from a view of such huge piles. The aspect of these cliffs is so wild and horrid, that it is impossible to behold them without terror. The spectator is apt to imagine that nature had formerly suffered some violent convulsion; and that there are the dismembered remains of the dreadful shock; the ruins, not of Persepolis or Palmyra, but of the world!

Adventures of Colonel Daniel Boone, Daniel Boone & John Filson, 1784


The next few years were passed by Boone amid unending Indian conflicts. He was a leader among the settlers, both in peace and in war. At one time he represented them in the House of Burgesses of Virginia; at another time he was a member of the first little Kentucky parliament itself; and he became a colonel of the frontier militia. After the Revolutionary War he moved to Missouri and was appointed by the Spanish governor and later the US Governor Merriweather Lewis as a magistrate in that territory.
1 Daniel Boone Biography, Theordore Roosevelt, 1895
2 Undaunted Courage, Stephen E. Ambrose, 1996


Braddock's Campanign, French & Indian War: Lord Dunsmore's War:
Over 800 miles in 61 days
The best woodsmen of the border Daniel Boone and the German scout Michael Stoner, having been dispatched on July 27th by Colonel William Preston to warn the surveyors of the trans-Alleghany; made a remarkable journey on foot of eight hundred miles in sixty-one days. Harrod's company at Harrodsburg, a company of surveyors at Fontainebleau, Floyd's party on the Kentucky, and the surveyors at Mann's Lick, thus warned, hurried in to the settlements and were saved. ( see more)[Archibald Henderson (Ph.D.)'s The Conquest of the Old Southwest]

French & Indian War:
Boone and his friend were wagon masters in General Braddock's ill-fated campaign and subsequent defeat. They escaped unscathed from the battle.

Revoultionary War:
On the eighteenth day Col. Todd, Col. Trigg, Major Harland, and myself [Colonel Daniel Boone], speedily collected one hundred and seventy-six men, well armed, and pursued the savages. They had marched beyond the Blue Licks to a remarkable bend of the main fork of Licking River, about forty-three miles from Lexington, where we overtook them on the nineteenth day. The savages observing us, gave way; and we, being ignorant of their numbers, passed the river. When the enemy saw our proceedings, having greatly the advantage of us in situation, they formed the line of battle, from one bend of Licking to the other, about a mile from the Blue Licks.

An exceeding fierce battle immediately began, for about fifteen minutes, when we, being overpowered by numbers, were obliged to retreat, with the loss of sixty-seven men, seven of whom were taken prisoners. The brave and much-lamented Colonels Todd and Trigg, Major Harland, and my second son, were among the dead. We were informed that the Indians, numbering their dead, found they had four killed more than we; and therefore, four of the prisoners they had taken were, by general consent, ordered to be killed, in a most barbarous manner, by the young warriors, in order to train them up to cruelty; and then they proceeded to their towns.

On our retreat we were met by Col. Logan, hastening to join us, with a number of well armed men. This powerful assistance we unfortunately wanted in the battle; for notwithstanding the enemy's superiority of numbers, they acknowledged that, if they had received one more fire from us, they should undoubtedly have given way. So valiantly did our small party fight, that, to the memory of those who unfortunately fell in the battle, enough of honour cannot be paid. Had Col. Logan and his party been with us, it is highly probable we should have given the savages a total defeat.

Adventures of Colonel Daniel Boone, Daniel Boone & John Filson, 1784


"Concealing himself in a tree, where unseen he could take deliberate aim, he became one of the most successful of the assailants. But the eagle eye of Boone detected him, and though, as was afterwards ascertained by actual measurement, the tree was five hundred and twenty-five feet distant from the fort, Boone took deliberate aim, fired, and the man was seen to drop heavily from his covert to the ground. The bullet from Boone's rifle had pierced his brain."

Prisoner of War

Boone's Run: 140 miles in four days without food while evading the enemy
As a Revolutionary War Prisoner of War, Captain Daniel Boone of the Virginia Militia became the "Adopted" son of the Shawnee Chief Black Fish who captured him and named him Sheltowee (Big Turtle in Shawnee) for his characteristic pack that he carried on his back and his slow gate. Boone masqueraded as an friend to the Shawnee and British in order to gain time and information. He made a daring escape and traveled on foot through the forests 160 miles in four days to warn Boonesborough of an impending attack.

On the first day of January 1778, I went with a party of thirty men to the Blue Licks, On Licking River, to make salt for the different garrisons in the country.

On the 7th day of February, as I was hunting to procure meat for the company, I met with a party of one hundred and two Indians, and two Frenchmen, on their march against Boonsborough, that place being particularly the object of the enemy.

They pursued, and took me; and brought me on the eighth day to the Licks, where twenty-seven of my party were, three of them having previously returned home with the salt. I, knowing it was impossible for them to escape, capitulated with the enemy, and, at a distance in their view, gave notice to my men of their situation, with orders not to resist, but surrender themselves captives.

The generous usage the Indians had promised before in my capitulation, was afterwards fully complied with, and we proceeded with them as prisoners to old Chelicothe, the principal Indian town on Little Miami, where we arrived, after an uncomfortable journey in very severe weather, on the eighteenth day of February, and received as good treatment as prisoners could expect from savages. On the tenth day of March following, I and the of my men were conducted by forty Indians to Detroit, where we arrived the thirtieth day, and were treated by Governor Hamilton, the British commander at that post, with great humanity.

During our travels, the Indians entertained me well; and their affection for me was so great, that they utterly refused to leave me there with the others, although the Governor offered them one hundred pounds sterling for me, on purpose to give me a parole to go home. Several English gentlemen there, being sensible of my adverse fortune, and touched with human sympathy, generously offered a friendly supply for my wants, which I refused, with many thanks for their kindness; adding, that I never expected it would be in my power to recompense such unmerited generosity.

The Indians left my men in captivity with the British at Detroit, and on the tenth day of April brought me towards Old Chelicothe, where we arrived on the twenty-fifth day of the same month. This was a long and fatiguing march, through an exceeding fertile country, remarkable for fine springs and streams of water. At Chelicothe I spent my time as comfortably as I could expect; was adopted, according to their custom, into a family, where I became a son, and had a great share in the affection of my new parents, brothers, sisters, and friends. I was exceedingly familiar and friendly with them, always appearing as cheerful and satisfied as possible, and they put great confidence in me.

I often went a hunting with them, and frequently gained their applause for my activity at our shooting-matches. I was careful not to exceed many of them in shooting; for no people are more envious than they in this sport. I could observe, in their countenances and gestures, the greatest expressions of joy when they exceeded me; and, when the reverse happened, of envy.

The Shawanese king took great notice of me, and treated me with profound respect, and entire friendship, often entrusting me to hunt at my liberty. I frequently returned with the spoils of the woods, and as often presented some of what I had taken to him, expressive of duty to my sovereign. My food and lodging were in common with them; not so good indeed as I could desire, but necessity made every thing acceptable.

I now began to meditate an escape, and carefully avoided their suspicions, continuing with them at Old Chelicothe until the first day of June following, and then was taken by them to the salt springs on Sciota, and kept there, making salt, ten days. During this time I hunted some for them, and found the land, for a great extent about this river, to exceed the soil of Kentucky, if possible, and remarkably well watered.

When I returned to Chelicothe, alarmed to see four hundred and fifty Indians, of their choicest warriors, painted and armed in a fearful manner, ready to march against Boonborough, I determined to escape the first opportunity.

On the sixteenth, before sun-rise, I departed in the most secret manner, and arrived at Boonsborough on the twentieth, after a journey of one hundred and sixty miles; during which, I had but one meal.

I found our fortress in a bad state of defence; but we proceeded immediately to repair our flanks, strengthen our gates and posterns, and form double bastions, which we completed in ten days. In this time we daily expected the arrival of the Indian army; and at length, one of my fellow prisoners, escaping from them, arrived, informing us that the enemy had, on account of my departure, postponed their expedition three weeks.

Adventures of Colonel Daniel Boone, Daniel Boone & John Filson, 1784

Boone's Travel Log
1734 - Oley, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
1750 - Linville Creek, Virginia
1752 - Yadkin Valley, NC
1758 - Fort Duquesne - French & Indian War
1759 - Culpepper Co. Virginia
1760 - Boone's Creek, Washington County, VA
1762 - Yadkin Valley, NC
1765 - Pensacola, Florida
1767 - Prestonsburg, Kentucky
1768 - Jonesboro, Tennessee
1769 - Kentucky
1774 - Lord Dunsmore's War - Kentucky, Virginia (LT)
1774 - Kunawha River, West Virginia (CPT)
1775 - Boonesboro, Kentucky - Henderson's Land Company
1778 - Detroit, Michigan (POW CPT)
1779 - Battle of Boonesboro (MAJ)
1780 - Athens, Kentucky (LTC, sheriff of Fayette Co)
1789 - Point Pleasant, West Virginia (LTC)
1799 - Feme Osage, Missouri, Spanish Territory

updated 20130126
Mark S. Carroll