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Daniel Boone Essay

1710 words - 7 pages

Daniel Boone and the Settlement of KentuckyWritten by George LeroeApril 24th, 2003AMH 1010Professor Charles DeusnerDaniel Boone and the Settlement of KentuckyDaniel Boone will always occupy a unique place in our history as the archetype of the hunter and wilderness wanderer. He was a true pioneer, and stood at the head of that class of Indian-fighters, game-hunters, forest-fellers, and backwoods farmers who, generation after generation, pushed westward the border of civilization from the Smokeys to the Pacific. As he himself said, he was "an instrument ordained of God to settle the wilderness." He was born on November 2, 1734, in a log cabin in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Boone had little formal education, but he did learn the skills of a woodsman early in life. By age twelve, his sharp hunter's eye and skill with a rifle helped keep his family well provided with wild game. In 1756, Boone married Rebecca Bryan, a pioneer woman with great courage and patience. He built a log cabin, and hunted, chopped trees, and tilled the ground like any other frontiersman. The Alleghany Mountains still marked a boundary beyond which the settlers dared not go for west of them lay immense reaches of unknown forest, inhabited only by tribes of warlike Indians. Occasionally some pioneer hunter or trapper penetrated this dark wilderness, and returned with strange stories of what he had seen and done.In 1769, Boone, excited by these vague and wondrous tales, determined himself to cross the mountains and find out what was on the other side. With a few chosen companions, he set out, making his own trail through the gloomy forest. After weeks of wandering, he at last emerged into the beautiful and fertile country of Kentucky. When Boone first saw it, it was a fair and smiling land of groves and glades and running waters, where the open forest grew tall and beautiful, and where many herds of game grazed, roaming freely along the trails they had used for countless generations. They found a hunter's paradise filled with buffalo, deer, wild turkey and meadows ideal for farming. Boone vowed to return with his family one day to Kentucky, which was not owned by any Indian tribe, and was visited only by wandering war parties and hunting-parties who came from among the savage nations living north of the Ohio or south of the Tennessee.In 1773, a roving war party stumbled upon one of Boone's companions and killed him. The other companions then left Boone and as he journeyed home alone; but his brother came out to join him, and the two spent the winter together. While traveling through the Cumberland Gap Boone and his brother were attacked by Indians and driven away. In 1775, however, Boone made another attempt to get through Gap and into the new unmarked territory; and this attempt was successful. The Indians attacked the newcomers; but by this time, the parties of would-be settlers were in great enough numbers to hold their own. They beat back the Indians, and built rough little...

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