Daniel Boone (1734-1820) American pioneer, backwoodsman, explorer, Indian fighter, farmer and land surveyor. Daniel grew up in western North Carolina, then on the frontier, farming, hunting, and trapping. In 1755, during the French and Indian War, he served as a blacksmith and wagoner for the British during General Braddock's disastrous campaign. In the 1760's he explored Florida, then controlled by Spain, and begin the first of many explorations of Kentucky hunting and trapping. In 1775 he led a party of settlers to build the "Wilderness Road" through Kentucky and established Boonesborough, the first English settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains. Indians attacked the settlement, and in 1778 he was captured by the Shawnee Indians, and taken to Detroit as a prisoner. He escaped, and traveled 160 miles through the wilderness back to Boonesborough in 4 days to warn the settlement of an impending Indian attack, in which he distinguished himself in battle. Unfortunately, Boonesborough proved to be untenable and eventually was abandoned. For a short time he represented the western settlers in the Virginian House of Burgesses, Kentucky then being a part of Virginia. After losing his land through improper titles, he moved further into the wilderness to what is now Missouri, then controlled by Spain. In 1803, after the Louisiana Purchase, his land claims there were found to be defective, and again he was dispossessed. He died in 1820, was buried in Missouri, but exhumed and reburied in Frankfort, Kentucky in 1845. Although he was active within Kentucky, he was neither the first to explore nor the first to settle in the region.
Daniel Boone was a hunter and explorer. He was the first to build settlements in Kentucky (Boonesborough and Harrodsburg), and he became captain of the militia to defend these settlements from the Native Americans.
He also established the "Wilderness Road." "Wilderness Road" became the main route used by pioneers for Western migration. The route began in Virginia, crossed the Appalachian Mountains, and reached the Ohio River.