Boone's Capture, Escape had Influence on Revolutionary War

Dublin Core


Boone's Capture, Escape had Influence on Revolutionary War


In January of 1778 Daniel Boone and more than 30 other men left Fort Boonesborough for Lower Blue Licks, in northern Kentucky. As mentioned in last week's column, Blue Licks was the major salt-making place for the settlers. After boiling water for nearly a month to get the salt, the company ran out of provisions. Boone and several others went hunting and were surprised and captured by hostile Indians. Threatening to kill them, the redmen forced the hunters to take them to the camp at Blue Licks, where the entire party surrendered without a fight. The prisoners were taken north into Ohio and were held at Chillicothe, a very large Indian town. The Shawnee chief, Black Fish, liked Boone and adopted him as a son, naming him Sheltowee (Big Turtle). Boone entered into the games and hunts. He was taken to Detroit and shown off to the British Governor of Canada. The Governor wanted to ransom him, but the Indians admired and loved Boone and would not let him go. Boone, too, seemed to enjoy his time with his red brothers, but all along he was watching for an opportunity to escape from the Shawnee. Learning that the Indians planned a large expedition against Fort Boonesborough, he slipped away from the city on the Scioto and headed south. Finding a damaged canoe on the north shore, he used it to help him swim across the Ohio River and managed to outrun the pursuing Indians. Arriving at the unsuspecting fort, he gave the alarm. A few weeks later the Indians and British troops from Canada appeared at the gates of the fort. The Revolutionary War had arrived at the banks of the Kentucky River. The attack did not succeed in capturing the fort. The first assault on the fort took place Sept. 7-20, 1778. This siege has been written up in this column in detail. It was in the spring and summer of 1778 that George Rogers Clark, who also sometimes resided at Fort Boonesborough, led his expedition against the British at Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Vincennes. His capture of what became known as the Northwest territories shortened the war and gave the new United States claim to that vast area which became Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and other states. Boone was unable to go to Corn Island in the Ohio River, near the falls, across from Louisville to join this expedition for two reasons. First, he was held captive by the Indians; second, he was preparing Fort Boonesborough for the coming attack by the Shawnee.


Dr. Fred Engle




Content may be freely copied for personal and educational purposes with appropriate citation. Permission is required to reprint.





Dr. Fred Engle, “Boone's Capture, Escape had Influence on Revolutionary War,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed May 30, 2023,