File:Boone, Daniel.jpg

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This photograph is of an engraved portrait of frontiersman Daniel Boone (1734-1820) sitting on rock with his rifle and with his dog beside him. The engraving's lower border has Boone's signature. American artist and book illustrator Alonzo Chappel (1828-1887) created the original painting ca. 1861. Chappel portrays Boone as an older man with white hair but still rugged and purposeful. Daniel Boone was a legendary man of the frontier in early America. He is most famous for his exploration and settlement of what is now Kentucky. He was born near Reading, Pennsylvania, but in 1750 the family moved to North Carolina. Boone participated in the French and Indian War, barely escaping with his life during General Edward Braddock's attack on Fort Duquesne. Boone went to Kentucky in fall 1767 and spent the winter exploring and hunting. The signing of the Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1768) by the Iroquois natives encouraged Boone to return to Kentucky in 1769. In 1775, Richard Henderson, the head of the Transylvania Company, hired Boone to assist him in establishing a settlement in Kentucky. Boone and his settlers arrived at the site that they had chosen for their community by April 1, 1775, and immediately began to build Fort Boonesborough, one of the first settlements west of the Appalachian Mountains. He spent the next several years exploring, surveying, and trapping. He also faced constant opposition from local Native Americans. During the American Revolution, Boone played an active role against the British and their Native American allies in the Ohio Country, accompanying both militia forces and regular army troops north of the Ohio River on several occasions to secure this territory for the Americans and to open it up for settlement. In February 1778, Boone and a few settlers were captured by a band of Shawnee natives at Blue Licks (Kentucky) and held hostage at Old Chillicothe. Boone spent the next five years in various government positions, including sheriff, deputy surveyor, and a delegate to the legislature. The frontiersman also continued to assist the American military in the struggle against the Native Americans in the Ohio Country. He had laid claim to large tracts of land in Kentucky during the 1770s, but he had filed the paperwork establishing his ownership incorrectly. The end result was that he lost all of his Kentucky lands. By 1799 he had left Kentucky for Missouri, where he died in 1820. Boone did much to open the lands west of the Appalachian Mountains, including the Ohio Country, to white settlement. In many respects, he was typical of the British colonists and the settlers who succeeded them after the American Revolution. Many of these people viewed the west as a land of opportunity and endless possibility. They faced innumerable hardships to expand the borders of the United States of America. However, in many cases, entire Native American tribes were displaced and removed due to the settlers' desire for land.


The Ohio Historical Society SC 2175


8/18/2005 21:19

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