September 26, 2017
Daniel Boone knew he and his 30 men were dead men. The warrior scouts easily surprised and overtook him as he prepared the game he just hunted. It was only a matter of time before they found the other men gathering salt at the river. They recognized Boone right away, as he and the Shawnee enjoyed a cordial relationship before. However, Boone knew this was not a friendly meeting. He quickly learned the band of four hundred and fifty Indians, accompanied by two aides to British Lieutenant Governor of Canada, Henry Hamilton, were headed towards Fort Boonesborough.
The men had been hesitant to leave Fort Boonesborough to travel 60 miles away to Blue Licks for this very reason. However, most of their crops and livestock were destroyed during Indian raids during the previous the fall of 1777. They needed salt to preserve meat if they had any chance of surviving winter. Boone realized he needed to buy some time until he could escape back to the fort to defend it.
Grossly outnumbered, Boone understood their only chance of survival was surrender. So, he made a bargain. If he and the other men came peacefully, he would return with them in the Spring and persuade the settlers to also surrender. Arguing the women and children would not survive the trip to Ohio in the cold, February weather, Shawnee Chief Blackfish agreed. (see ) Boone then signaled to his men, who were now captured, to not resist. However, he had no way to convey his full plan.
Boone also bargained that his men would not have to run the gauntlet, a tradition where prisoners were forced to run through a tunnel of natives as they tried to mercilessly hit and beat them. (see ) However, he forgot to include himself in that qualification. Boone zigzagged though the men, even butting one with his head who stepped into Boone’s path, sending the warrior through the air. His successful run only increased his already impressive reputation among the natives.
The Shawnee took the men to their Chillicothe settlement in the Ohio territory. Several men were chosen to become adopted members of the tribe. The others were taken to Detroit and sold to Hamilton. As part of the adoption process, the men had no reprieve from running the gauntlet themselves this time. Boone was adopted by Chief Blackfish, and given the name Big Turtle. He described his process into the tribe to biographer John M. Peck as, “the hair of the head is plucked out by a tedious and painful operation, leaving a tuft, some three or four inches in diameter, on the crown, for the scalp-lock, which is cut and dressed up with ribbons and feathers. The candidate is then taken into the river in the state of nudity, and there thoroughly washed and rubbed, ‘to take all his white blood out.’ This ablution is usually performed by females.”
Boone continued to feign compliance with the Shawnee as he waited for his moment to escape. His act was so convincing, even some of his men believed it. One who already escaped returned to Boonesborough and reported Boone was helping the British. Blackfish and the Shawnee began trusting Boone, taking him on hunting trips, even letting him go alone. However, he was just bidding time.
In the meanwhile, Boone had a little fun. He often told Blackfish he was going home, which always garnered a death threat from Blackfish. On one occasion, Boone covertly removed all the bullets from the Shawnee’s guns and hid them in his coat. He then said he was leaving, and started out. At about 40 yards, he turned and taunted them to shoot him, if they could. They fired as he pretended to grab the non-existing bullets in a leather apron he was wearing. After which he returned to the group, allowing the bullets to fall from his clothes in front of the speechless warriors.
However, when Boone discovered that Blackfish was gathering a large force to attack Boonesborough, he knew his time had come. Boone grabbed a horse and started riding hard. "On the 16th [of June 1778], before sunrise, I departed in the most secret manner, and arrived at Boonesborough on the 20th, after a journey of 160 miles, during which I had but one meal.” The last day of the trip Boone ran on foot as his horse could no longer continue.
When he arrived, the settlers, including his closest friends, were ready to attack him. He insisted he was not a savage, then he remembered how he was dressed. Finally recognizing he was, in fact, Daniel Boone, they were still not convinced he had not become a turncoat. Adding insult to injury, the people he risked everything to save were actually questioning his loyalty. However, after explaining himself, the settlers welcomed him back. Once inside the fort, Boone discovered his wife and children had returned to North Carolina, believing he had been killed by the Shawnee, but he would have to worry about that later. Right now his only concern was securing the fort and preparing for an attack.
When the Shawnee arrived on September 8th, Blackfish proposed a treaty and promised a peaceful retreat after its signing. They requested nine colonists exit the fort, which Boone and the others agreed. However, it was a trick as Hamilton wanted the men apprehended, not killed. The Shawnee planned on grabbing them by insisting they shake hands to confirm the treaty. The colonists escaped capture, returning to the fort where they valiantly fought for twelve days before Blackfish went home.
Despite Boone’s victory, Captain Benjamin Logan and Colonel Richard Callaway, each having a nephew still held captive because of Boone’s surrender, brought charges against Boone. After the facts surfaced during the court martial, Boone was not only vindicated with a “not guilty” verdict, he was rewarded with a promotion. Regardless, the whole event was humiliating to Boone and he scarcely discussed it.
While these events would be enough to turn anyone into a legend, it was pretty much life as usual for this one.
Daniel Boone was born on October 22, 1734 (November 2 (N.S.) (see )), near Reading, Pennsylvania with the Boone family moving to North Carolina when Daniel was young. Raised a Quaker, Boone always sought peace whenever possible, but did what he had to do when necessary. During all his expeditions and hunting trips, primarily two books accompanied Boone, The Bible and Gulliver's Travels.
Even after Boone married Rebecca Bryan on August 14, 1736, he spent months and sometimes years away from home on hunting and exploring excursions as well as military operations, starting with the French and Indian War. (see , , , and )
From the moment he saw it, Boone fell in love with the Kentucky region. With it still Indian Territory, Boone found himself captured several times over the years. Whether he escaped or was released, nothing stopped him from wanting to settle in Kentucky.
His first attempt occurred in 1773, when his family and approximately 50 immigrants entered the territory. Several men and boys, including son James Boone, split from the group to retrieve supplies. On October 10th, a band of Shawnee, Delaware, and Cherokee attacked the men, brutally torturing and killing James and five others. Boone and his party withdrew from Kentucky, however the gruesome slaughter of the boys already helped set in motion Dunmore’s War, consisting of the Battle of Point Pleasant in October of 1774. (see )
While some of his fellow soldiers continued on to fight at Lexington and Concord, (see ), Boone took a job with Richard Henderson’s Transylvania Company to blaze a trail into Kentucky. At the time, the Appalachian Mountains stood as a natural barrier between the colonies and the West. Boone and thirty other men changed that. Widening a rough Indian and Buffalo route through a small gap, known as Cumberland Gap, they opened a pathway for expansion. They were again met with resistance from the natives, but continued their work until the Boone Trace, often referred to as the Wilderness Trail, was finished. Upon its completion, Boone settled Fort Boonesborough, bringing his family north again. The area was so untouched by whites that Rebecca and their daughters were considered the first free white women to ever see the banks of the Kentucky River.
While Native Americans often traded and peacefully interacted with colonists, many resisted the new settlers. Both the French and British used the Indians and their anger against the Americans to try to secure victory. (see ) For decades, Great Britain enlisted colonists to fight the Shawnee. Now they were enticing the Shawnee to attack colonial settlements like Fort Boonesborough. Similar actions are occurring today with far left activists like George Soros funding Antifa and Black Lives Matter. (see )
Around the time Philadelphian’s were hearing the (see ), daughter Jemima Boone and two other girls were captured by Indians. Boone’s heroic rescue of the girls two days later became the inspiration for James Fenimore Cooper’s 1826 novel The Last of the Mohicans.
Boone defended Boonesborough, not only as its founder, but as a Captain in the militia. The fort was under constant attack, including one particular raid in 1777 where Boone was wounded in the ankle. His good friend, 22-year-old Simon Kenton, raced among the flying bullets to rescue Boone and return him to the fort. (see ) It was these raids that forced the men to leave the fort and travel to Blue Licks the following January, resulting in their capture.
After Boone’s court martial trial in the fall of 1778, he set off to retrieve his family from North Carolina along with another group of frontiersmen. They settled Boone’s Station, near Boonesborough, in late 1779.
When called upon, he entered battles during the Revolutionary War, including the Battle of Piqua in Ohio under General George Rogers Clark. Following General Cornwallis’ surrender at Yorktown in October of 1781, Boone participated in two more major battles. (see ) The Battle of Blue Licks occurred almost a year later. A complete ambush by the Indians, the Americans were harshly defeated, resulting in the death of Boone’s son, Israel. Clark led the last significant conflict of the war in Ohio, which Boone also joined.
However, hunting and fighting weren’t all that Boone knew. He was elected for three consecutive terms of the Virginia Legislature, starting in 1781, as well as sheriff, deputy surveyor and coroner for Fayette County.
After the war, Boone and Rebecca continued to move around, spending some time in Point Pleasant, Virginia (WV), before returning to Kentucky and then finally joining son, Daniel Morgan Boone, in Spanish Louisiana. Following the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 (see ), the area became Missouri, where Boone died on September 26, 1820.
Daniel Boone’s legacy began evolving around the time of his death. Still known and renowned as an avid hunter and frontiersman, many distorted his history to further their agenda. Referred to as “the founding father of westward expansion,” by historian Michael Locarno, several biographers twisting Boone’s attitudes, intentions and desires to bolster their own, including distorting Boone’s character to give credence to their warped idea of Manifest Destiny. (see ). Progressives have been doing the same to all founding fathers since President Woodrow Wilson. (see ) In reality, Boone sternly believed in Divine Providence, wanting to and successfully living peacefully with the Indians on many occasions. (see )
As Daniel Boone stated in his autobiography, “You see now how little nature requires to be satisfied. Felicity, the companion of content, is rather found in our own breasts than in the enjoyment of external things; and I firmly believe it requires but a little philosophy to make a man happy in whatsoever state he is. This consists in a full resignation to the will of Providence; and a resigned soul finds pleasure in a path strewed with briers and thorns.”
Boone concluded his autobiography stating, “What thanks, what ardent and ceaseless thanks are due to that all-superintending Providence which has turned a cruel war into peace, brought order out of confusion, made the fierce savages placid, and turned away their hostile weapons from our country! May the same Almighty Goodness banish the accursed monster, war, from all lands, with, her hated associates, rapine and insatiable ambition! Let peace, descending from her native heaven, bid her olives spring amid the joyful nations; and plenty, in league with commerce, scatter blessings from her copious hand!
“This account of my adventures will inform the reader of the most remarkable events of this country. I now live in peace and safety, enjoying the sweets of liberty, and the bounties of Providence, with my once fellow-sufferers, in this delightful country, which I have seen purchased with a vast expense of blood and treasure: delighting in the prospect of its being, in a short time, one of the most opulent and powerful States on the continent of North America; which, with the love and gratitude of my countrymen, I esteem a sufficient reward for all my toil and dangers.”
Liberty, progressives have successfully convinced the past several generations that America began by people who hated the black man, hated the Indians, hated women, and hated God. Yet to accomplish this they have to lie about, distort and completely ignore such legends as Daniel Boone. His own words expose their deceit. They want to tear down statues of men like Boone, propagating he tried to eliminate the Native Americans. However, the fact that he eagerly hunted and traded with them quickly dispels this lie. In addition, he was happy to peacefully live side by side with them, just as most Americans want to live happily next to their neighbors today.
In the end, even after all he endured, he found hope, comfort and finally peace under . This is by far the best lesson we can learn and emulate from Daniel Boone.
That’s my 2 cents.
THE FOUNDING FATHER OF WESTWARD EXPANSION