John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott.

Daniel Boone, pioneer of Kentucky online

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" His youth was innocent ; his riper ape,

Marlic>l with Eome act of goodness every dav ;

And watched by eyes that loved him, calm and sage.
Faded his late decliuinj^ years away.

Cheerful he gave his being up and went
To share the holy rest that waits a life well spent."








Entered accoramg to Act ot Congress, in the year 1873, by


Congress, at Washington.

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The name of Daniel Boone is a conspicuous one in
the annals of our country. And yet there are but
few who are familiar with the events of his wonderful
career, or who have formed a correct estimate of the
character of the man. Many suppose that he was a
rough, coarse backwoodsman, almost as savage as the
bears he pursued in the chase, or the Indians whose
terrors he so perseveringly braved. Instead of this
he was one of the most mJld and unboastful of men ;

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feminine as a woman in his tastes and hi^ deport-
ment, never uttering a cc-arse": ^woi'd, never allowing
himself in a rude action. He vi'i^'tru'ly' crie'of nature's
ge7itle men. With all this instinctive refinement and
delicacy, there was a boldness of character which
seeme.d absolutely incapable of experiencing the
emotion of fear. And surely all the records of chivalry
may be searched in vain for a career more full of peril
and of wild adventure.

This narrative reveals a state of society and habi-
tudes of life now rapidly passing into oblivion. It is


very desirable that the record should be perpetuated,
that we may know the scenes through which our
fathers passed, inlaying the foundations of this majes-
tic Republic. It is probable that as the years roll on
the events which occurred in the infancy of our nation
will be read with ever-increasing interest.

It is the intention of the publisher of this volume to
issue a series of sketches of the prominent men in the
early history of our country. The next volume will
contain the life and adventures of the renowned Miles
Standish, the Puritan Captain.

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Discovery of the New World. Of Florida. Conquest and cru-
elties of DeSoto. The Wigwam. Colony at St. Mary. Sir
Walter Eeleigh and his Colonies. Grant of King James.
Settlements in the Virginia. Adventures of John Smith.
Arrival of Lord Delaware Terrible massacres. Pressures
of Colonists to the West. Doherty Trade with Indians.
Anempted Colony on the Tennessee. Daniel Boone 9


Trials of the Colonists. George Boone and his home. Squire
Boone. Birth and character of Daniel Boone. His limited
education. A pioneer's camp. A log house and furnish-
ings. Annoyance of Boone on the arrival of Scotch emi-
grants. His longings for adventure. Camp meetings.
Frontier life. Sports. Squirrel hunting. Snuffing the
candle , , 36


Louisiana, and its eventful history. The expedition of DeSoto.
The Missionary Marquette. His voyage on the Upper
Mississippi. The Expedition of La Salle. Michilimaclii-
nac. Its History. Fate of the " Griffin," Grief of La
Salle. His voj'age of Discovery. Sale of Louisiana to the
United State. Remarks of Napoleon 74




John Finley and his adventures. Aspect of the Country.

Boone's Private Character. His Love for the Wilderness.

First view of Kentucky. Emigrants' Dress. Hunter's

Home. Capture of Boone and Stewart by the Indians.

Their Escape. Singular Incident 80


Alleghany Ridges. Voyage in a canoe. Speech of Logan.
Battle at the Kanawha. Narrative of Francis Marion.
Important commission of Boone. Council at Circleville.
Treaty of Peace Imlay's description of Kentucky Settle-
ment right. Richard Henderson. Boone's letter. Fort
at Boonesborough 109


Emigration to Boonesborough. New Perils. Transylvania
Company. Beneficence of its Laws -^Interesting incident.
Infamous conduct of Great Britain. Attack on the Fort.
Reinforcements. Simon Kenton and his Sufferings.
Mrs. Harvey 1 29


Stewart killed by the Indians. Squire Boone returns to the
Settlements. Solitary Life of Daniel Boone. Return of
Squire Boone. Extended and Romantic Explorations.
Charms and Perils of the Wilderness. The Emigrant Party.
The Fatal Ambuscade. Retreat of the Emigrants.
Solitude of the Wilderness Expedition of Lewis and
Clarke. Extraordinary Adventures of /Jotter 151


Heroism of Thomas Higgins and of Mrs Pursley. Affairs at
Boonesborough. Continued Alarms. Need of Salt. Its



Manufacture. Indian Schemef?. Capture of Boone and
twenty-seven men. Dilemma of the British at Detroit.
Blackfish adopts Colonel Boone. Adoption Ceremony.
Indian Designs. Escape of Boone. Attacks the Savages.
The Fort Threatened 182


Situation of the Fort. Indian Treachery. Bombardment.
Boone goes to North Carolina. New Trials. Boone
Robbed. He returns to Kentucky. Massacre of Colonel
Roorers. Adventure of Col. Bowman. New Attack by the
British and Indians. Retaliatory Measures, Wonderful
Exploit 209


Death of Squire Boone. Indian Outrages. Gerty and McGee.
Battle of Blue Lick. Death of Isaac Boone. -^-Colonel
Boone's Narrow Escape. Letter of Daniel Boone. Deter-
mination of General Clarke. Discouragement of the
Savages. Amusing Anecdote of Daniel Boone 230


Peace with England. Order of a Kentucky Court. Anecdotes.

Speech of Mr. Daiton. Reply of PJankashaw. Renewed
Indications of Indian Hostility. Conventions at Danville.
Kentucky formed into a State . New Trials for Boone . . 249


The Search for the Horse. Navigating the Ohio. Heroism of

Mrs Rowan. Lawless Gangs. Exchange of Prisoners.- /

Boone Revisits the Home of his Childhood The Realms ?

beyond the Mississippi. Habits of the Hunters. Corn
Boon/3's Journey to the West 271




Colonel Eoone welcomed by the Spanish Authorities. Boone'i
Narrative to Audubon. The Midnight Attack. Pursuit
of the Savages. Sickness in the Wilderness. Honesty of
Colonel Boone. Payment of his Debts. Loss of all his
Property J92


Colonel Boone Appeals to Congress. Complimentary Resolu-
tions of the Legislature of Kentucky. Death of Mrs. Boone.
Catholic Liberality Itinerant Preachers. Grant by
Congress to Colonel Boone. The Evening of his Days.
Personal Appearance. Death and Burial. Transference of
the Remains of Mr. and Mrs. Boone to Fraucfort, Kentucky. 320

The Discovery and early Settlement of America,

UlscxiveTj of the New World. Of Florida. Conquest and cruelties
of Desoto. The wigwam. Colony at St. Mary. Sir Walter
Releigh and his Colonies. Grant of King James. Settlements
in the Virginia. Adventures of John Smith. Arrival of Lord
Delaware. Terrible massacres. Pressures of Colonists to the

West Doherty Trade with Indians. Attempted Colony on the

Tennessee. Daniel Boone.

The little fleet of three small vessels, with which
Columbus left Pales in Spain, in search of a new
world, had been sixty-seven days at sea. They had
traversed nearly three thousand miles of ocean, and
yet there was nothing but a wide expanse of waters
spread out before them. The despairing crew were
loud in their murmurs, demanding that the expedition
should be abandoned and that the ships should return
to Spain. The morning of the nth of October, 1492,
had come. During the day Columbus, whose heart
had been very heavily oppressed with anxiety, had
been cheered by some indications that they were
approaching land. Fresh seaweed was occasionally
seen and a branch of a shrub with leaves and berries
upon it, and a piece of wood curiously carved had
been picked up.


The devout commander was so animated by thesa
indications, that he gathered his crew around him and
returned heartfelt thanks to God, for this prospect
that their voyage would prove successful. It was a
beautiful night, the moon shone brilliantly and a deli-
cious tropical breeze swept the ocean. At ten o'clock
Columbus stood upon the bows of his ship earnestly
gazing upon the western horizon, hoping that the
long-looked-for land would rise before him. Suddenly
he was startled by the distinct gleam of a torch far off
in the distance. For a moment it beemed forth with
a clear and indisputable flame and then disappeared.
The agitation of Columbus no words can describe.
Was it a meteor ? Was it an optical illusion ? Was it
light from the land }

Suddenly the torch, like a star, again shone forth
with distinct though faint gleam. Columbus called
some of his companions to his side and they also
saw the light clearly. But again it disappeared. At
two o'clock in the morning a sailor at the look out on
the mast head shooted, '* Land ! land ! land ! " In a
few moments all beheld, but a few miles distant from
them, the distinct outline of towering mountains
piercing the skies. A new world was discovered.
Cautiously the vessels hove to and waited for the
light of the morning. The dawn of day presented
to the eyes of Columbus and his companions a spec<


tacle of beauty which the garden of Eden could hardly
have rivalled. It was a morning of the tropics, calm
serene and lovely. But two miles before them there
emerged from the sea an island of mountains and
valleys, luxuriant with every variety of tropical ve-
getation. The voyagers, weary of gazing for many
weeks on the wide waste of waters, were so enchanted
with the fairy scene which then met the eye, that they
seemed really to believe tliat tliey had reached the
realms of the blest.

The boats were lowered, and, as they were rov/ed
towards the shore, the scene every moment grew more
beautiful. Gigantic trees draped in luxuriance of
foliage hitherto unimagined, rose in the soft valleys
and upon the towering hills. In the sheltered groves,
screened from the sun, the picturesque dwellings of
the natives were thickly clustered. Flowers of every
variety of tint bloomed in marvellous profusion. The
trees seemed laden with fruits of every kind, and
in inexhaustible abundance. Thousands of natives
crowded the shore, whose graceful forms and exqui-
sitely moulded limbs indicated the innocence and sim-
plicity of Eden before the fall.

Columbus, richly attired in a scarlet dress, fell upon
his knees as he reached the beach, and, with clasped
hands and uplifted eyes, gave utterance to the devout
feelings which ever inspired him, in thanksgiving to


God. In recognition of the divine protection he gave
the island the name of San Salvador, or Holy Savior.
Though the new world thus discovered was one of
the smallest islands of the Cc.ribbean Sea, no concep-
tion was then formed of the vast continents of North
and South America, stretching out in both directions,
for many leagues almost to the Aictic and Antarctic

Omitting a description of the wonderful adventures
which ensued, we can only mention that two years
after this, the southern extremity of the North Amer-
ican continent was discovered by Sebastian Cabot.
It was in the spring of the year and the whole surface
of the soil seemed carpeted with the most brilliant
flowers. The country consequently received the beau-
tiful name of Florida. It, of course, had no boun-
daries, for no one knew with certainty whether it were
an island or a continent, or how far its limits might

The years rolled on and gradually exploring excur-
sions crept along the coast towards the north, various
provinces were mapped out with pretty distinct boun-
daries upon the Atlantic coast, extending indefinitely
into the vast and unknown interior. Expeditk)ns
from France had entered the St. Lawrence and estab-
lished settlements in Canada. For a time the whole
Atlantic coast, from its extreme southern point to


Canada, was called Florida. In the year 1 5 39, Fer-
dinand de Soto, an unprincipled Spanish warrior, who
had obtained renown by the conquest of Peru in
South America, fitted out by permission of the king
of Spain, an expedition of nearly a thousand men to
conquer and take possession of that vast and indefi-
nite realm called Florida.

We have no space here to enter upon a description
of the fiendlike cruelties practiced by these Spaniards.
They robbed and enslaved without mercy. In pur-
suit of gold they wandered as far north as the pre-
sent boundary of South Carolina. Then turning to
the west, they traversed the vast region to the Missis-
sippi river. The forests were full of game. The graa-
* aries of the simple-hearted natives were well stored
with corn ; vast prairies spreading in all directions
around them, waving with grass and blooming w;lh
flowers, presented ample forage for the three hundp.'d
horses which accompanied the expedition. Thfy
were also provided with fierce bloodhounds to hunt
down the terrified natives. Thus invincible and armed
with the *' thunder and lightning " of their guns, they
swept the country, perpetrating every conceivable
outrage upon the helpless natives.

After long and unavailing wanderings in search oi
gold, having lost by sickness and the casualties of
such an expedition nearly half their number, the


remainder built boats upon the Mississippi, descended
that rapid stream five hundred miles to its mouth,
and then skirting the coast of Texas, finally disap-
peared on the plains of Mexico. De Soto, the leader
of this conquering band, died miserably on the Mis-
sissippi, and was buried beneath its waves.

The whole country which these adventurers tra-
versed, they found to be quite densely populated with
numerous small tribes of natives, each generally wan-
dering within circumscribed limits. Though these
tribes spoke difi'ercnt languages, or perhaps different
dialects of the same language, they were essentially
the same in appearance, manners and customs. They
were of a dark-red color, well formed and always dis-
posed to receive the pale face strangers with kind-
liness, until exasperated by ill-treatment. They lived
in fragile huts called wigwams, so simple in their
structure that one could easily be erected in a few
hours. These huts were generally formed by setting
long and slender poles in the ground, inclosing an
area of from ten to eighteen feet in diameter, accord-
ing to the size of the family. The tops were tied
together, leaving a hole for the escape of smoke from
the central fire. The sides were thatched with coarse
grass, or so covered with the bark of trees, as quite
effectually to exclude both wind and rain. There were
no windows, light entering only through the almost


always open door. The ground floor was covered
with dried grass, or the skins of animals, or with the
soft and fragrant twigs of some evergreen tiee.

The inmates, men, women and children, seated
upon these cushions, presented a very attractive
and cheerful aspect. Several hundred of these wig-
wams were frequently clustered upon some soft
meadow by the side of a flowing stream, fringed with
a gigantic forest, and exhibited a spectacle of pictu-
resque lovehness quite charming to the beholder. The
furniture of these humble abodes was extremely
sim.ple. They had no pots 'or kettles which would
staq,d the fire. They had no knives nor forks ; no
tables nor chairs. Sharp flints, such as they could
find served for knives, with which, with incredible
labor, they sawed down small trees and fashioned
their bows and arrows. They had no roads except
foot paths through the wilderness, which for genera-
tions their ancestors had traversed, called " trails."
They had no beasts of burden, no cows, no flocks nor
herds of any kind. They generally had not even
salt, but cured their meat by drying it in the sun.
They had no ploughs, hoes, spades, consequently they
could only cultivate the lightest soil. With a sharp
stick, women loosened the earth, and then depositing
their corn or maize, cultivated it in the rudest


These Indians acquired the reputation of being very
faithful friends, but very bitter enemies. It was said
they never forgot a favor, and never forgave an insult
They were cunning rather than brave. It was seldom
that an Indian could be induced to meet a foe in an
open hand-to-hand fight. But he would track him
for years, hoping to take him unawares and to brain
him with the tomahawk, or pierce his heart with the
flint-pointed arrow.

About the year 1565, a company of French Pro-
testants repaired to Florida, hoping there to find the
liberty to worship God in accordance with their inter-
pretation of the teachings of the Bible, They entab-
lished quite a flourishing colony, at a place which they
named St. Maiys, near the coast. This was the first
European settlement on the continent of North Am-
erica. The fanatic Spaniards, learning that Protestants
had taken possession of the country, sent out an
expedition and utterly annihilated the settlement,
putting men, women and children to the sword. Many
of these unfortunate Protestants were hung in chains
from trees under the inscription, "TV*?/ as FrencJunen
but as Hci'eticsy The blood-stained Spaniards then
established themselves at a spot near by, which they
called St. Augustine. A French gentleman of wealth
fitted out a well-manned and well-armed expedition
of three ships attacked the murderers by surprise and


put them to death. Several corpses were suspended
from trees, under the inscription, ** Not as SpaiiiardSt
but as Muj'dcrers"

There was an understanding among the powers oi
Europe, that any portion of the New World discov-
ered by expeditions from European courts, should be
recognised as belonging to that court. The Spaniards
had taken possession in Florida. Far away a thousand
leagues to the North, the French had entered the gulf
of St. Lawrence. But little was known of the vast
region between. A young English gentleman, Sir
Walter Raleigh, an earnest Protestant, and one who
had fought with the French Protestants in their reli-
gious wars, roused by the massacre of his friends in
Florida, applied to the British court to fit out a colony
to take possession of the intermediate country. He
hoped thus to prevent the Spanish monarchy, and the
equally intolerant French court, from spreading their
principles over the whole continent. The Protestant
Queen Elisabeth then occupied the throne of Great
Britain. Raleigh was young, rich, handsome and mar-
veiously fascinating in his address. He became a
great favorite of the maiden queen, and she gave him
a commission, making him lord of all the continent
of North America, between Florida and Canada.

The whole of this vast region without any accurate
boundaries, was called Virginia. Several ships were


sent to exploie the country. They reached the coast
of what is now called North Carolina, and the adven-
turers landed at Roanoke Island. They were charmed
with the climate, with the friendliness of the natives
and with the majestic growth of the forest trees, far
surpassing anything they had witnessed in the Old
World. Grapes in rich clusters hung in profusion on
the vines, and birds of every variety of song and
plumage filled the groves. The expedition returned
to England with such glowing accounts of the realm
they had discovered, that seven ships were fitted out,
conveying one hundred and eight men, to colonise
the island. It is quite remarkable that no women
accompanied the expedition. Many of these men
were reckless adventurers. Bitter hostility soon sprang
up between them and the Indians, who at first had
received them with the greatest kindness.

Most of these colonists were men unaccustomed
to work, and who insanely expected that in the New
World, in some unknown way, wealth was to flow in
upon them like a flood. Disheartened, homesick and
appalled by the hostile attitude which the much op- .
pressed Indians were beginning to assume, they were
all anxious to return home. When, soon after, some
ships came bringing them abundant supplies, they
with one accord abandoned the colony, and crowding
the vessels returned to England. Fifteen men however


consented to remain, to await the arrival of fiesh
colonists from the Mother Country.

Sir Walter Raleigh, still undiscouraged, in the next
year 1587 sent out another fleet containing a number
of families as emigrants, with women and children.
When they arrived, they found Roanoke deserted. The
fifteen men had been murdered by the Indians in
retaliation for the murder of their chief and several of
his warriors by the English. With fear and trembling
the new settlers decided to remain, urging the friends
who had accompanied them to hasten back to England
with the ships and bring them reinforcements and
supplies. Scarcely had they spread their sails on the
return voyage ere war broke out with Spain. It v/as
three years before another ship crossed the ocean, to
see what had become of the colony. It had utterly
disappeared. Though many attempts were made to
ascertain its tragic fate, all were unavailing. It is
probable that many were put to death by the Indians,
and perhaps the children were carried far back into
the interior and incorporated into their tribes. This
bitter disappointment seemed to paralyse the energies
of colonization. Foi more than seventy years the
Carolinas remained a wilderness, with no attempt to
transfer to them the civilization of the Old World. Still
English ships continued occasionally to visit the coast.
Some came to fish, some to purchase furs of the


Indians, and some for timber rbr shipbuilding The
stories which these voyagers told on their return,
kept up an interest in the New World. It was indeed
an attractive picture which could be truthfully painted.
The climate was mild, genial and salubrious. The
atmosphere surpassed the far-famed transparency of
Italian skies. The forests were of gigantic growth,
more picturesquely beautiful than any ever planted
by man's hand, and they were filled with game. The
lakes and streams swarmed with fish. A wilderness
of flowers, of every variety of loveliness, bloomed over
the wide meadows and the broad savannahs, which
the forest had not yet invaded. Berries and fruits
were abundant. In many places the soil was surpass-
ingly rich, and easily tilled ; and all this was open,
without money and without price, to the first comer.

Still m.ore than a hundred years elapsed after the
discovery of these realms, ere any permanent settle-
ment was effected upon them. Most of the bays,
harbors and rivers were unexplored, and reposed as
it were in the solemn silence of eternity. From the
everglades of Florida to the firclad hills of Nova
Scotia, not a settlement of white men could be found.

At length in the )^ear 1607, a number of wealthy
gentlemen in London formed a company to make a
new attempt for the settlement of America. It was
their plan to send out hardy colonists, abundantly


provided with arms, tools and provisions. King
James L, who had succeeded his cousin Queen EHza-
beth, granted them a charter, by which, wherever they
might effect a landing, they were to be the undisputed
lords of a territory extending a hundred miles along
the coast, and running back one hundred miles into
the interior. Soon after, a similar grant was conferred
upon another association, for the region of North
Virginia, now called New England.

Under the protection of this London Company, one
hundred and five men, with no women or children,
embarked in three small ships for the Southern

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Online LibraryJohn S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) AbbottDaniel Boone, pioneer of Kentucky → online text (page 1 of 18)