Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

In Daniel Boone, James Daugherty presents not only a biography but also an important source of American history. The book spans Boone’s entire life, ranging from his birth in Pennsylvania to his death in St. Louis. In between, Boone is portrayed as a farmer, trapper, frontiersman, military leader, political leader, and humanitarian. Daugherty’s words are complemented by the magnificent colored lithographs that are reproduced on almost every other page.

The book contains five chapters. The first, entitled “Of a Frontier Family,” depicts Boone’s early life in Pennsylvania, where he lived with his ten brothers and sisters. Early in his life, he served as one of a hundred North Carolina riflemen and came in contact with the British general Edward Braddock and the young American colonel George Washington. Although Boone returned to farming after his military service, a trapping expedition with Finley, a comrade-in-arms, revealed the lure of land that was still farther west for Boone.

The second chapter, “Transylvania,” describes how Richard Henderson, a colonel and judge, acquired two million acres from the Cherokees that was west of the Cumberland Mountains. Boone was to cut the Wilderness Road to Kentucky, and Henderson would persuade the Continental Congress to admit Transylvania as a state in the new government. Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, and Benjamin Franklin were not in favor of this proposal, so the land was...

(The entire section is 464 words.)