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Persistence through hardship and turmoil certainly was a trademark of American frontiersman Daniel Boone (1734-1820). Born to a family of Quakers, Boone's father was expelled from the church, though Boone always maintained a Christian ethic. As a youth, he maintained friendly relations with neighboring Native Americans, and when he was captured by Shawnees during the American Revolution, they thought so highly of him that he was adopted into the tribe. In 1775, Boone was hired to blaze what became known as the Wilderness Trail from Western Virginia throught the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky; there, he founded the settlement of Boonesborough, one of the first towns west of the Appalachians. Despite his earlier friendship with Native Americans, Boone became famous as an Indian fighter, repulsing many attacks against Boonesborough. Nevertheless, Boone was court-martialed following his escape from capture by the Shawnees, but was found not-guilty. He fought in several small battles during the Revolutionary War (being captured a second time), and he was active in the Northwest Indian War of 1794. Elected to three terms in the Virginia General Assembly, Boone lost most of his money in Kentucky land speculation. He moved to Spanish Louisiana (now Missouri) where he was made military commandant of the district. Once again, Boone was deprived of most of his land holdings when the area became part of the Louisiana Purchase. In 1810, at the age of 76, he ventured as far west as the Yellowstone River; and at the age of 80, he made a hunting trip "to the head waters of the Great Osage," where he trapped beaver and other game. Surviving both British and Indian capture--where he was forced to run the infamous gauntlet--as well as several wars and financial ruin, Boone died of natural causes just short of his 86th birthday.
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