Daniel Boone's Early Days

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Daniel Boone's Early Days


Daniel Boone was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania on October 22, 1734 (Julian calendar) or November 2, 1734 (Gregorian calendar). The calendar was changed in 1752, so most authorities give the November date. Boone died on September 26, 1820 at the home of his son, Nathan, near St. Charles on the Missouri River. He was thus almost 86. As a youth he wandered through the backwoods forests of Pennsylvania. Later he and his family traveled the long route through the Valley of Virginia, across the Blue Ridge mountains to the forks of the Yadkin River in North Carolina. From that home he accompanied Braddock in his losing campaign of 1775, serving with George Washington and John Finely. It was Finely who had come into Kentucky from Pennsylvania in 1753 and it was he who told Boone of the beauties of the territory. Boone went on expeditions against the hostile Cherokees and hunted on the Holston and Tennessee rivers. It was in North Carolina that he married and began a family. At the beginning of May in 1769 Boone set out with Finely, Squire Boone (brother), John Stuart (brother-in-law) and two others into the wilds of Kentucky. Boone remained in Kentucky until March of 1771. Back in North Carolina there was being fought the War of the Regulation which climaxed in the Battle of the Alamance on May 16, 1771. Because of this war, many settlers of the Yadkin area decided to move farther west to Watauga. Upon his return to North Carolina, Boone put his farm up for sale, in order to take his family to Kentucky. It took him two years to sell the farm, but finally in September of 1773 the Boones started west. Like those moving today they were slowed by their possessions: slow moving live stock and pack animals with their household goods. They finally arrived at Powell's Valley in Virginia. While there a group of them were set upon by Shawnee Indians and among those killed was James Boone, Daniel's eldest son. Daniel wanted to push on, but the family was too upset to proceed and they remained near the Clinch River for another two years. In 1774 Boone and Michael Stoner went to Kentucky to warn the whites there of an Indian uprising. James Harrod was there ready to begin his settlement. It was in March of 1775 that Boone and others began to mark a road from the Sycamore Shoals on the Watauga through Cumberland Gap to Otter Creek on the Kentucky River, Boone's site for his fort. It took a little over two weeks to cut through the cane-brakes and to reach Silver Creek in what is now Madison County. There they were attacked by Indians. Twetty (of Tweety's fort fame) was among those killed. The fort was built by Boone's command to guard against future attacks and was named for Twetty. By April 2 they had reached the Kentucky River and began construction of Fort Boonesborough. These then were the adventures in the early life of Daniel Boone.


Dr. Fred Engle




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Dr. Fred Engle, “Daniel Boone's Early Days,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed May 30, 2023, https://madisonsheritage.eku.edu/items/show/959.