Every week, we’re going to highlight someone who embodies our “explore every day” mentality. There are Frontiersmen and women all around us: from the dusty pages of history to the front lines of exploration or conflict today. At Red Hatchet it’s our mission to help you find and vanquish your frontier- draw on these impressive figures for inspiration. Reach out to us and submit nominees, we’ll make sure to feature our favorites!
Childhood: A first generation American, Daniel grew up on the frontier. One story recounts his youthful nerves of steel when he faced a predator on a hunt. Apparently, Daniel and a group of friends were hunting in the woods when they heard the roar of a panther. The group dispersed, except for our young hero. As the animal leapt at him, Boone placed a well-aimed shot through the ferocious feline’s heart.
Military Record: Boone fought in the French & Indian War, Cherokee Uprising, Dunmore’s War, and American Revolution. His first experience at war left him battered. A young wagoner, his forces suffered a brutal defeat by the British at the Battle of Monongahela, when his wagon train was ambushed by Indians, and Daniel barely escaped with his life. Soon, he was fighting to preserve his community in their bid for settlement when the Cherokee Uprising threatened his family. After attempting to settle in Kentucky and having one of his compatriots tortured to death by a band of Delawares, Shawnees, and Cherokees, Boone traveled 800 miles to notify settlers of coming violence. He reached the rank of Captain during his service in that violence, later known as Dunmore’s War. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, there were just 200 settlers in Kentucky, many of them located in Boonesborough, a town that Daniel had established after blazing the Wilderness Trail to the Kentucky River. Indian War Parties contracted by the British began to batter the various settlements that dotted the landscape, and Boone defended them staunchly. He later served under General George Roger Clark.
- Killed a Bear in 1760. Boone was a commercial hunter and trapper, going out for months on end to collect pelts for sale. It was a common practice at the time to carve one’s initials in trees- one marking reads “D. Boon Cilled a. Bar [killed a bear] on [this] tree in the year 1760.”
- Survived the Gauntlet after being captured by Chief Blackfish of the Shawnee. Boone was captured on an emergency supply mission, and forced to “run the gauntlet.” The gauntlet has been a common practice among many cultures throughout history. Essentially, it involves two lines of hardy men (and sometimes women) wielding cudgels. The victim must make it from one end of the line to the other without dying. Boone survived and was inducted to the Shawnee Tribe, as custom dictated.
- Saved his Daughter from an Indian War Party. Just 10 days after the United States had declared independence from the British, Boone’s daughter Jemima and two other girls were captured by marauding Indians. He promptly rounded up a group of friends and brought all the girls home. Boone and his men managed to track the party to a campfire where the Indians had stopped for a meal and scared them off, rescuing the women.
- Essentially Founded Kentucky by settling there first, founding Boonesborough, blazing the trail to the Kentucky River, and helping to drive the economy there.
- Traveled to the Yellowstone at over 80 years old from his Missouri home: the guy did not quit.
- Died of Natural Causes. This is impressive in it’s own right, given the nature of this incredible frontiersman’s life.