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Title: Life of Daniel Boone, the Great Western Hunter and Pioneer
Author: Hartley, Cecil B.
Language: English
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Life of Daniel Boone, the Great Western Hunter and Pioneer,
Comprising an Account of His Early History; His Daring and
Remarkable Career as the First Settler of Kentucky; His
Thrilling Adventures with the Indians, and His Wonderful Skill,
Coolness and Sagacity under All the Hazardous and Trying
Circumstances of Western Border Life

To Which Is Added His Autobiography Complete as Dictated by
Himself, and Showing His Own Belief That He Was an Instrument
Ordained to Settle the Wilderness




[Illustration: The Old Fort at Boonesborough]


The subject of the following biography, the celebrated Colonel Daniel
Boone, is one of the most remarkable men which this country has produced.
His character is marked with originality, and his actions were important
and influential in one of the most interesting periods of our
history--that of the early settlement of Kentucky. Boone is generally
acknowledged as the founder of that State. His having explored it alone
to a considerable extent; his leading the earliest bands of settlers;
his founding Boonesborough, the nucleus of the future State; his having
defended this and other stations successfully against the attacks of the
Indians; and the prominent part which he took in military affairs at
this period of distress and peril, certainly render his claims to the
distinguished honor of founding Kentucky very strong.

But Boone, personally, reaped very little benefit from his patriotic and
disinterested exertions. The lands which he had first cultivated and
defended, were taken from him by the chicanery of the law; other lands
granted to him by the Spanish government were lost by his inattention to
legal forms; and in his old age he was without an acre of land which he
could call his own. A few years before his death a small tract, such as
any other settler in Missouri was entitled to, was granted him by
Congress. But he has left to his numerous posterity a nobler
inheritance--that of an imperishable fame in the annals of his country!



The family of Daniel Boone--His grandfather emigrates to America,
and settles in Bucks County, Pennsylvania--Family of Daniel Boone's
father--Account of Exeter, the birth-place of Boone--Birth of Daniel
Boone--Religion of his family--Boone's boyhood--Goes to
school--Anecdote--Summary termination of his schooling.


Removal of Boone's father and family to North Carolina--Location on
the Yadkin River--Character of the country and the people--Byron's
description of the Backwoodsmen--Daniel Boone marries Rebecca Bryan--His
farmer life in North Carolina--State of the country--Political troubles
foreshadowed--Illegal fees and taxes--Probable effect of this state of
things on Boone's mind--Signs of movement.


The Seven Years' War--Cherokee War--Period of Boone's first
long Excursion to the West--Extract from Wheeler's History of
Tennessee--Indian accounts of the Western country--Indian traders--Their
Reports--Western travelers--Doherty--Adair--Proceedings of the
traders--Hunters--Scotch traders--Hunters accompany the traders to the
West--Their reports concerning the country--Other adventurers--Dr.
Walker's expedition--Settlements in South-western Virginia--Indian
hostilities--Pendleton purchase--Dr. Walker's second expedition--Hunting
company of Walker and others--Boone travels with them--Curious monument
left by him.


Political and social condition of North
Carolina--Taxes--Lawsuits--Ostentation and extravagance of foreigners
and government officers--Oppression of the people--Murmurs--Open
resistance--The Regulators--Willingness of Daniel Boone and others to
migrate, and their reasons--John Finley's expedition to the West--His
report to Boone--He determines to join Finley in his next hunting
tour--New company formed, with Boone for leader--Preparations for
starting--The party sets out--Travels for a month through the
wilderness--First sight of Kentucky--Forming a camp--Hunting buffaloes
and other game--Capture of Boone and Stuart by the Indians--Prudent
dissimulation--Escape from the Indians--Return to the old camp--Their
companions lost--Boone and Stuart renew their hunting.


Arrival of Squire Boone and a companion at the camp of Daniel
Boone--Joyful meeting--News from home, and hunting resumed--Daniel
Boone and Stuart surprised by the Indians--Stuart killed--Escape
of Boone, and his return to camp--Squire Boone's companion lost
in the woods--Residence of Daniel Boone and Squire Boone in the
wilderness--Squire returns to North Carolina, obtains a fresh supply
of ammunition, and again rejoins his brother at the old camp--Daniel
Boone's own account of this remarkable period of his life--His return to
North Carolina--His determination to settle in Kentucky--Other Western
adventurers--the Long hunters--Washington in Kentucky--Bullitt's
party--Floyd's party--Thompson's survey--First settlement of Tennessee.


Daniel Boone remains two years in North Carolina after his return from
the West--He prepares to emigrate to Kentucky--Character of the early
settlers to Kentucky--The first class, hunters--The second class, small
farmers--The third class, men of wealth and government officers.


Daniel Boone sets out for Kentucky with his family and his brother,
Squire Boone--Is joined by five families and forty men at Powell's
Valley--The party is attacked by Indians, and Daniel Boone's oldest son
is killed--The party return to the settlements on Clinch River--Boone,
at the request of Governor Dunmore, goes to the West and conducts a
party of surveyors to Virginia--Boone receives the command of three
garrisons and the commission of Captain--He takes a part in the Dunmore
war--Battle of Point Pleasant and termination of the war.


The militia discharged--Captain Boone returns to his family--Henderson's
company--Various companies of emigrants to Kentucky--Bounty
lands--Harrod's party builds the first log-cabin erected in Kentucky,
and founds Harrodsburg--Proceedings of Henderson's company--Agency of
Captain Boone--He leads a company to open a road to Kentucky
River--Conflicts with the Indians--Captain Boone founds
Boonesborough--His own account of this expedition--His letter to
Henderson--Account of Colonel Henderson and the Transylvania
Company--Failure of the scheme--Probability of Boone having been several
years in the service of Henderson.


Description of the Old Fort at Boonesborough--Usual methods of
fortifications against the Indians--Arrival of more settlers at
Boonesborough--Captain Boone returns to the Clinch River to bring out
his family--He enlists new emigrants and starts for Kentucky--Reinforced
by a large party at Powel's Valley--Arrival at Boonesborough--Arrival of
many new settlers at Boonesborough and Harrod's settlement--Arrival of
Kenton, Floyd, the McAfees, and other distinguished persons--Arrival of
Colonel Richard Callaway.


Disturbed state of the country in 1775--Breaking out of the Revolutionary
war--Exposed situation of the Kentucky settlements--Hostility of the
Indians excited by the British--First political convention in the
West--Capture of Boone's daughter and the daughters of Colonel
Callaway by the Indians--Their rescue by a party led by Boone and
Callaway--Increased caution of the colonists at Boonesborough--Alarm
and desertion of the Colonies in the West by land speculators and
other adventurers--A reinforcement of forty-five men from North
Carolina arrive at Boonesborough--Indian attack on Boonesborough in
April--Another attack in July--Attack on Logan's Fort, and siege--Attack
on Harrodsburg.


Arrival of George Rogers Clark in Kentucky--Anecdote of his
conversation with Ray--Clark and Jones chosen as delegates for the
Colonies to the Virginia Legislature--Clark's important services in
obtaining a political organization for Kentucky, and an abundant supply
of gunpowder from the government of Virginia--Great labor and difficulty
in bringing the powder to Harrodstown--Clark's expedition against
Kaskaskias--Surprise and capture of their fort--Perilous and difficult
march to Vincennes--Surprise and capture of that place--Extension of the
Virginian settlements--Erection of Fort Jefferson.


Scarcity of salt at Boonesborough--Boone goes to Blue Licks to make
salt, and is captured by the Indians--Taken to Chilicothe--Affects
contentment, and deceives the Indians--Taken to Detroit--Kindness of the
British officers to him--Returns to Chilicothe--Adopted into an Indian
family--Ceremonies of adoption--Boone sees a large force of Indians
destined to attack Boonesborough--Escapes, and gives the alarm, and
strengthens the fortifications at Boonesborough--News of delay by the
Indians on account of Boone's escape--Boone goes on an expedition to the
Scioto--Has a fight with a party of Indians--Returns to Boonesborough,
which is immediately besieged by Captain Duquesne with five hundred
Indians--Summons to surrender--Time gained--Attack commenced--Brave
defense--Mines and countermines--Siege raised--Boone brings his family
once more back to Boonesborough, and resumes farming.


Captain Boone tried by court-martial--Honorably acquitted and
promoted--Loses a large sum of money--His losses by law-suits and
disputes about land--Defeat of Colonel Rogers's party--Colonel Bowman's
expedition to Chilicothe--Arrival near the town--Colonel Logan attacks
the town--Ordered by Colonel Bowman to retreat--Failure of the
expedition--Consequences to Bowman and to Logan.


Invasion of Kentucky by Captain Byrd's party--He captures the garrisons
at Ruddle's Station and Martin's Fort--Colonel Clark's invasion of the
Indian country--He ravages the Indian towns--Adventure of Alexander
McConnell--Skirmish at Pickaway--Result of the expedition--Boone goes
to the Blue Licks with his brother--Attacked by the Indians--Boone's
brother killed--Boone promoted to the rank of Lieutenant
Colonel--Clark's galley--Squire Boone's Station removed to Bear's
Creek--Attack by the Indians--Colonel Floyd's defeat--Affair of the
McAfees--Attack on McAfee's Station repelled--Fort Jefferson
evacuated--Attack on Montgomery Station--Rescue by General Logan.


News of Cornwallis's surrender--Its effects--Captain Estill's
defeat--Grand army of Indians raised for the conquest of Kentucky--Simon
Girty's speech--Attack on Hoy's Station--Investment of Bryant's
Station--Expedient of the besieged to obtain water--Grand attack
on the fort--Repulse--Regular siege commenced--Messengers sent to
Lexington--Reinforcements obtained--Arrival near the fort--Ambushed and
attacked--They enter the fort--Narrow escape of Girty--He proposes a
capitulation--Parley--Reynolds' answer to Girty--The siege
raised--Retreat of the Indians.


Arrival of Reinforcements at Bryant's Station--Colonel Daniel
Boone, his son and brother among them--Colonels Trigg, Todd, and
others--Consultation--Apprehensions of Boone and others--Arrival at the
Blue Licks--Rash conduct of Major McGary--Battle of Blue Licks--Israel
Boone, Colonels Todd and Trigg, and Majors Harland and McBride
killed--Retreat of the whites--Colonel Boone nearly surrounded by
Indians--Bravery of Netherland--Noble conduct of Reynolds--The fugitives
meet Colonel Logan with his party--Return to the field of battle--Logan
returns to Bryant's Station.


The Indians return home from the Blue Licks--They attack the settlements
in Jefferson County--Affair at Simpson's Creek--General Clark's
expedition to the Indian country--Colonel Boone joins it--Its
effect--Attack of the Indians on the Crab Orchard settlement--Rumor of
intended invasion by the Cherokees--Difficulties about the treaty with
Great Britain--Hostilities of the Indians generally stimulated by
renegade whites--Simon Girty--Causes of his hatred of the whites--Girty
insulted by General Lewis--Joins the Indians at the battle of Point
Pleasant--Story of his rescuing Simon Kenton--Crawford's expedition, and
the burning of Crawford--Close of Girty's career.


Season of repose--Colonel Boone buys land--Builds a log house and goes
to farming--Kentucky organized on a new basis--Colonel Boone surprised
by Indians--Escapes--Manners and customs of the settlers--The autumn
hunt--The house-warming.


Condition of the early settlers as it respects the mechanic
arts--Throwing the tomahawk--Athletic sports--Dancing--Shooting at
marks--Scarcity of Iron--Costume--Dwellings--Furniture--Employments--The
women--Their character--Diet--Indian corn.


Indian hostilities resumed--Expedition of Davis, Caffre, and
McClure--Attack on Captain Ward's boat--Affair near Scagg's
Creek--Growth of Kentucky--Population--Trade--General Logan calls
a meeting at Danville--Convention called--Separation from Virginia
proposed--Virginia consents--Kentucky admitted as an independent
State of the Union--Indian hostilities--Expedition and death of
Colonel Christian--Expedition of General Clark--Expedition of General
Logan--Success of Captain Hardin--Defeat of Hargrove--Exploits of Simon
Kenton--Affairs at the Elkhorn settlements--Treaty--Barman's expedition.


Colonel Boone meets with the loss of all his land in Kentucky,
and emigrates to Virginia--Resides on the Kenhawa, near Point
Pleasant--Emigrates to Missouri--Is appointed commandant of a
district--Mr. Audubon's narrative of a night passed with Boone.


Colonel Boone receives a large grant of land from the Spanish
Government of Upper Louisiana--He loses it--Sketch of the history
of Missouri--Colonel Boone's hunting--He pays his debts by the sale
of furs--Taken sick in his hunting camp--Colonel Boone applies
to Congress to recover his land--The Legislature of Kentucky
supports his claim--Death of Mrs. Boone--Results of the application
to Congress--Occupations of his declining years--Mr. Harding paints
his portrait.


Last illness, and death of Colonel Boone--His funeral--Account of his
family--His remains and those of his wife removed from Missouri, and
reinterred in the new cemetery in Frankfort, Kentucky--Character of
Colonel Boone.



     The family of Daniel Boone--His grandfather emigrates to America,
     and settles in Bucks County, Pennsylvania--Family of Daniel Boone's
     father--Account of Exeter, the birth-place of Boone--Birth of
     Daniel Boone--Religion of his family--Boone's boyhood--Goes to
     School--Anecdote--Summary termination of his schooling.

The immediate ancestors and near relations of the American Boone family,
resided at Bradwinch about eight miles from Exeter, England. George
Boone the grandfather of Daniel, emigrated to America and arrived, with
Mary his wife, at Philadelphia, on the 10th of October, 1717. They
brought with them eleven children, two daughters and nine sons. The
names of three of the sons have come down to us, John, James, and
Squire. The last of these, Squire Boone, was the father of Daniel.

George Boone, immediately after his arrival in America, purchased a
large tract of land in what is now Bucks County, which he settled, and
called it Exeter, after the city near which he was born. The records
distinguish it only as the township of Exeter, without any county. He
purchased also various other tracts in Maryland and Virginia; and our
tradition says, among others, the ground on which Georgetown, District
of Columbia, now stands, and that he laid the town out, and gave it his
own name. His sons John and James lived and died on the Exeter

Daniel Boone's father, Squire Boone, had seven sons and four daughters,
viz.: James,[2] Samuel, Jonathan, Daniel, George, Squire, Edward, Sarah,
Elizabeth, Mary, and Hannah.

Exeter Township is situated in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and now has a
population of over two thousand. Here Daniel Boone was born, on the 11th
of February, 1735.[3]

The maiden name of Boone's mother was Sarah Morgan. Some dispute has
arisen respecting the religious persuasion of the Boone family. It would
appear, on a review of the whole controversy, that before their removal
to this country, the Boones were Episcopalians; but during their
residence in Pennsylvania they permitted themselves to be considered
Quakers. What sort of a Quaker Daniel Boone himself was, will be
apparent in the course of our narrative.

Exeter, the native place of Daniel Boone, was at this period a small
frontier settlement, consisting of log-houses, surrounded with woods,
which abounded with game of various kinds and were occasionally infested
with hostile Indians. It is not surprising that Daniel, passing the
period of his boyhood in such a place, should have acquired at an early
age the accomplishments of a hunter and woodsman. From a mere child it
was his chief delight to roam in the woods, to observe the wild haunts
of Nature, and to pursue the wild animals which were then so abundant.

Of the boyhood of Daniel Boone, one of his biographers gives the
following account. Speaking of the residence of the family at Exeter,
he says:[4]

"Here they lived for ten years; and it was during this time that their
son Daniel began to show his passion for hunting. He was scarcely able
to carry a gun when he was shooting all the squirrels, raccoons, and
even wild-cats (it is said), that he could find in that region. As he
grew older, his courage increased, and then we find him amusing himself
with higher game. Other lads in the neighborhood were soon taught by him
the use of the rifle, and were then able to join him in his adventures.
On one occasion, they all started out for a hunt, and, after amusing
themselves till it was almost dark, were returning homeward, when
suddenly a wild cry was heard in the woods. The boys screamed out,
'A panther! A panther!' and ran off as fast as they could. Boone stood
firmly, looking around for the animal. It was a panther indeed. His eye
lighted upon him just in the act of springing toward him: in an instant
he leveled his rifle, and shot him through the heart."

"But this sort of sport was not enough for him. He seemed resolved to go
away from men, and live in the forests with these animals. One morning
he started off as usual, with his rifle and dog. Night came on, but
Daniel did not return to his home. Another day and night passed away,
and still the boy did not make his appearance. His parents were now
greatly alarmed. The neighbors joined them in making search for the lad.
After wandering about a great while, they at length saw smoke rising
from a cabin in the distance. Upon reaching it, they found the boy. The
floor of the cabin was covered with the skins of such animals as he had
slain, and pieces of meat were roasting before the fire for his supper.
Here, at a distance of three miles from any settlement, he had built his
cabin of sods and branches, and sheltered himself in the wilderness."

"It was while his father was living on the head-waters of the
Schuylkill that young Boone received so far as we know, all his
education. Short indeed were his schoolboy days. It happened that an
Irish schoolmaster strolled into the settlement, and, by the advice of
Mr. Boone and other parents, opened a school in the neighborhood. It was
not then as it is now. Good school-houses were not scattered over the
land; nor were schoolmasters always able to teach their pupils. The
school-house where the boys of this settlement went was a log-cabin,
built in the midst of the woods. The schoolmaster was a strange man;
sometimes good-humored, and then indulging the lads; sometimes surly and
ill-natured, and then beating them severely. It was his usual custom,
after hearing the first lessons of the morning, to allow the children to
be out for a half hour at play, during which time he strolled off to
refresh himself from his labors. He always walked in the same direction,
and the boys thought that after his return, when they were called in, he
was generally more cruel than ever. They were whipped more severely, and
oftentimes without any cause. They observed this, but did not know the
meaning of it One morning young Boone asked that he might go out, and
had scarcely left the school-room when he saw a squirrel running over
the trunk of a fallen tree. True to his nature, he instantly gave chase,
until at last the squirrel darted into a bower of vines and branches.
Boone thrust his hand in, and, to his surprise, laid hold of a bottle of
whiskey. This was in the direction of his master's morning walks, and he
thought now that he understood the secret of much of his ill-nature. He
returned to the school-room; but, when they were dismissed for that day,
he told some of the larger boys of his discovery. Their plan was soon
arranged. Early the next morning a bottle of whiskey, having tartar
emetic in it, was placed in the bower, and the other bottle thrown away.
At the usual hour, the lads were sent out to play, and the master
started on his walk. But their play was to come afterward; they longed
for the master to return. At length they were called in, and in a little
time saw the success of their experiment. The master began to look pale
and sick, yet still went on with his work. Several boys were called up,
one after the other, to recite lessons, and all whipped soundly, whether
right or wrong. At last young Boone was called out to answer questions
in arithmetic. He came forward with his slate and pencil, and the master
began: 'If you subtract six from nine, what remains?' said he. 'Three,
sir,' said Boone. 'Very good,' said the master; 'now let us come to
fractions. If you take three-quarters from a whole number, what
remains?' 'The whole, sir,' answered Boone. 'You blockhead!' cried the
master, beating him; 'you stupid little fool, how can you show that?'
'If I take one bottle of whiskey,' said Boone, 'and put in its place
another in which I have mixed an emetic, the whole will remain if nobody
drinks it!' The Irishman, dreadfully sick, was now doubly enraged.
He seized Boone, and commenced beating him; the children shouted and
roared; the scuffle continued until Boone knocked the master down upon
the floor, and rushed out of the room. It was a day of freedom now for
the lads. The story soon ran through the neighborhood; Boone was rebuked
by his parents, but the schoolmaster was dismissed, and thus ended the
boy's education."

"Thus freed from school, he now returned more ardently than ever to his
favorite pursuit. His dog and rifle were his constant companions, and
day after day he started from home, only to roam through the forests.
Hunting seemed to be the only business of his life; and he was never so
happy as when at night he came home laden with game. He was an untiring

Perhaps it was not a very serious misfortune for Daniel Boone that his
school instruction was so scanty, for, "in another kind of education,"
says Mr. Peck,[5] "not unfrequent in the wilds of the West, he was an
adept. No Indian could poise the rifle, find his way through the
pathless forest, or search out the retreats of game, more readily than
Daniel Boone. In all that related to Indian sagacity, border life, or
the tactics of the skillful hunter, he excelled. The successful training
of a hunter, or woodsman, is a kind of education of mental discipline,
differing from that of the school-room, but not less effective in giving
vigor to the mind, quickness of apprehension, and habits of close
observation. Boone was regularly trained in all that made him a
successful backwoodsman. Indolence and imbecility never produced a
Simon Kenton, a Tecumthè, or a Daniel Boone. To gain the skill of an
accomplished hunter requires talents, patience, perseverance, sagacity,
and habits of thinking. Amongst other qualifications, knowledge of human
nature, and especially of Indian character is indispensable to the
pioneer of a wilderness. Add to these, self-possession, self-control,
and promptness in execution. Persons who are unaccustomed to a frontier
residence know not how much, in the preservation of life, and in
obtaining subsistence, depends on such characteristics!"

In the woods surrounding the little settlement of Exeter, Boone had
ample opportunity for perfecting himself in this species of mental
discipline, and of gaining that physical training of the limbs and
muscles so necessary in the pursuits of the active hunter and pioneer.
We have no record of his ever having encountered the Indians during his
residence in Pennsylvania. His knowledge of their peculiar modes of
hunting and war was to be attained not less thoroughly at a somewhat
later period of life.

[Footnote 1: "Pittsburg Gazette," quoted by Peck.]

[Footnote 2: The eldest, James, was killed by the Indians in 1773, and
his son Israel was killed at the battle of Blue Licks, August 19th,

[Footnote 3: Bogant gives 11th of February, 1735. Peck, February, 1735.
Another account gives 1746 as the year of his birth, and Bucks County
as his birth-place. The family record, in the hand writing of Daniel
Boone's uncle, James, who was a school master, gives the 14th of July,

[Footnote 4: "Adventures of Daniel Boone, the Kentucky Rifleman." By the
author of "Uncle Philip's Conversations."]

[Footnote 5: "Life of Daniel Boone" By John M. Peck.]


     Removal of Boone's father and family to North Carolina--Location on
     the Yadkin River--Character of the country and the people--Byron's
     description of the backwoodsman--Daniel Boone marries Rebecca
     Bryan--His farmer life in North Carolina--State of the
     country--Political troubles foreshadowed--Illegal fees and
     taxes--Probable effect of this state of things on Boone's
     mind--Signs of movement.

When Daniel Boone was still a youth, his father emigrated to North
Carolina. The precise date of this removal of the family residence is
not known. Mr. Peck, an excellent authority, says it took place when
Daniel was about eighteen years old. This would make it about the year

The new residence of Squire Boone, Daniel's father, was near Holman's
Ford, on the Yadkin River, about eight miles from Wilkesboro'. The fact
of the great backwoodsman having passed many years of his life there
is still remembered with pride by the inhabitants of that region. The
capital of Watauga County, which was formed in 1849, is named Boone, in
honor of Daniel Boone. The historian of North Carolina[6] is disposed
to claim him as a son of the State. He says: "In North Carolina Daniel
Boone was reared. Here his youthful days were spent; and here that bold
spirit was trained, which so fearlessly encountered the perils through
which he passed in after life. His fame is part of her property, and she
has inscribed his name on a town in the region where his youth was

"The character of Boone is so peculiar," says Mr. Wheeler, "that it
marks the age in which he lived; and his name is celebrated in the
verses of the immortal Byron:"

   "Of all men--
    Who passes for in life and death most lucky,
    Of the great names which in our faces stare,
    Is Daniel Boone, backwoodsman of Kentucky."

           *       *       *       *       *

   "Crime came not near him--she is not the child
    Of Solitude. Health shrank not from him, for
    Her home is in the rarely-trodden wild."

           *       *       *       *       *

   "And tall and strong and swift of foot are they,
    Beyond the dwarfing city's pale abortions,
    Because their thoughts had never been the prey
    Of care or gain; the green woods were their portions:
    No sinking spirits told them they grew gray,
    No fashions made them apes of her distortions.
    Simple they were, not savage; and their rifles,
    Though very true, were not yet used for trifles."

   "Motion was in their days, rest in their slumbers,
    And cheerfulness the handmaid of their toil.
    Nor yet too many nor too few their numbers;
    Corruption could not make their hearts her soil;
    The lust which stings, the splendor which encumbers,
    With the free foresters divide no spoil;
    Serene, not sullen, were the solitudes
    Of this unsighing people of the woods.'"

We quote these beautiful lines, because they so aptly and forcibly
describe the peculiar character of Boone; and to a certain extent, as
Mr. Wheeler intimates, his character was that of his times and of his

It was during the residence of the family on the banks of the Yadkin,
that Boone formed the acquaintance of Rebecca Bryan, whom he married.[7]
The marriage appears, by comparison of dates, to have taken place in the
year 1755. "One almost regrets," says Mr. Peck, "to spoil so beautiful a
romance, as that which has had such extensive circulation in the various
'Lives of Boone,' and which represents him as mistaking the bright eyes
of this young lady, in the dark, for those of a deer; a mistake that
nearly proved fatal from the unerring rifle of the young hunter. Yet in
truth, we are bound to say, that no such mistake ever happened. Our
backwoods swains never make such mistakes."

The next five years after his marriage, Daniel Boone passed in the quiet
pursuits of a farmer's life, varied occasionally by hunting excursions
in the woods. The most quiet and careless of the citizens of North
Carolina were not unobservant, however, of the political aspect of the
times. During this period the people, by their representatives in the
Legislature, began that opposition to the Royal authority, which was in
after years to signalize North Carolina as one of the leading Colonies
in the Revolutionary struggle.

The newly-appointed Royal Governor, Arthur Dobbs, arrived at Newbern in
the autumn of 1754. "Governor Dobbs's administration of ten years," says
the historian Wheeler, "was a continued contest between himself and the
Legislature, on matters frivolous and unimportant. A high-toned temper
for Royal prerogatives on his part, and an indomitable resistance of the
Colonists ... The people were much oppressed by Lord Grenville's agents.
They seized Corbin, his agent, who lived below Edenton, and brought him
to Enfield, where he was compelled to give bond and security to produce
his books and disgorge his illegal fees."

This matter of illegal fees was part of a system of oppression, kindred
to the famous Stamp Act--a system which was destined to grow more and
more intolerable under Governor Tryon's administration, and to lead to
the formation of the famous company of Regulators, whose resistance of
taxation and tyranny was soon to convulse the whole State.

We are by no means to suppose that Daniel Boone was an unobservant
spectator of what was passing even at the time we are speaking of,
nor that the doings of the tax-gatherers had nothing to do with his
subsequent movements. He not only hated oppression, but he hated also
strife and disturbance; and already began to long for a new migration
into the distant woods and quiet intervals, where politics and the
tax-gatherer should not intrude.

The population in his neighborhood was increasing, and new settlements
were being formed along the Yadkin and its tributary streams, and
explorations were made to the northwest on the banks of the Holston and
Clinch Rivers. The times were already beginning to exhibit symptoms of
restlessness and stir among the people, which was soon to result in the
formation of new States and the settlement of the far West.

[Footnote 6: John H. Wheeler. "Historical Sketches of North Carolina."]

[Footnote 7: The children by this marriage were nine in number. _Sons:_
James, born in 1756, Israel, Jesse, Daniel, and Nathan. _Daughters_:
Susan, Jemima, Lavinia, and Rebecca. The eldest, James, was killed, as
will appear in our subsequent narrative, by the Indians, in 1773; and
Israel fell in the battle of Blue Licks, May 17th, 1782. In 1846,
Nathan, a captain in the United States service, was the only surviving


     The Seven Years' War--Cherokee war--Period of Boone's first long
     excursions to the West--Extract from Wheeler's History of
     Tennessee--Indian accounts of the western country--Indian
     traders--Their reports--Western
     travelers--Doherty--Adair--Proceedings of the
     traders--Hunters--Scotch traders--Hunters accompany the traders to
     the West--Their reports concerning the country--Other
     adventurers--Dr. Walker's expedition--Settlements in South-western
     Virginia--Indian hostilities--Pendleton purchase--Dr. Walker's
     second expedition--Hunting company of Walker and others--Boone
     travels with them--Curious monument left by him.

The reader will recollect that the period referred to in the last
chapter, comprehended the latter years of the celebrated Seven Years'
War. During the chief portion of this period, the neighboring Colony
of Virginia suffered all the horrors of Indian war on its western
frontier--horrors from which even the ability, courage, and patriotism
of Washington were for a long time unable to protect them. The war was
virtually terminated by the campaign of 1759, when Quebec was taken.
The next year Canada was ceded to England; and a Cherokee war, which had
disturbed the border setters of North Carolina, was terminated. Daniel
Boone's biographers all agree that it was about this time when he first
began to make long excursions toward the West; but it is difficult to
fix exactly the date of his first long journey through the woods in
this direction. It is generally dated in 1771 or 1772, We now make a
quotation from Ramsay's Annals of Tennessee, which shows, beyond the
possibility of a doubt, that he hunted on the Wataga River in 1760, and
renders it probable that he was in the West at an earlier date. Our
readers will excuse the length of this quotation, as the first part of
it gives so graphic a picture of the hunter and pioneer life of the
times of Daniel Boone, and also shows what had been done by others in
western explorations before Boone's expeditions commenced.

"The Colonists of the Carolinas and of Virginia had been steadily
advancing to the West, and we have traced their approaches in the
direction of our eastern boundary,[8] to the base of the great
Appalachian range."

Of the country beyond it, little was positively known or accurately
understood. A wandering Indian would imperfectly delineate upon the
sand, a feeble outline of its more prominent physical features--its
magnificent rivers, with their numerous tributaries--its lofty
mountains, its dark forests, its extended plains and its vast extent.
A voyage in a canoe, from the source of the Hogohegee[9] to the
Wabash,[10] required for its performance, in their figurative language,
'two paddles, two warriors, three moons.' The Ohio itself was but a
tributary of a still larger river, of whose source, size and direction,
no intelligible account could be communicated or understood. The Muscle
Shoals and the obstructions in the river above them, were represented
as mighty cataracts and fearful whirlpools, and the Suck, as an awful
vortex. The wild beasts with which the illimitable forests abounded,
were numbered by pointing to the leaves upon the trees, or the stars
in a cloudless sky.

"These glowing descriptions of the West seemed rather to stimulate
than to satisfy the intense curiosity of the approaching settlers.
Information more reliable, and more minute, was, from time to time,
furnished from other sources. In the Atlantic cities, accounts had been
received from French and Spanish traders, of the unparalleled beauty and
fertility of the western interior. These reports, highly colored and
amplified, were soon received and known upon the frontier. Besides,
persons engaged in the interior traffic with the south-western Indian
tribes had, in times of peace, penetrated their territories--traded
with and resided amongst the natives--and upon their return to the white
settlements, confirmed what had been previously reported in favor of the
distant countries they had seen. As early as 1690, Doherty, a trader
from Virginia, had visited the Cherokees and afterward lived among them
a number of years. In 1730, Adair, from South Carolina, had traveled,
not only through the towns of this tribe, but had extended his tour
to most of the nations south and west of them. He was not only an
enterprising trader but an intelligent tourist. To his observations upon
the several tribes which he visited, we are indebted for most that is
known of their earlier history. They were published in London in 1775.

"In 1740 other traders went among the Cherokees from Virginia. They
employed Mr Vaughan as a packman, to transport their goods. West of
Amelia County, the country was then thinly inhabited; the last hunter's
cabin that he saw was on Otter River, a branch of the Staunton, now in
Bedford County, Va. The route pursued was along the Great Path to the
centre of the Cherokee nation. The traders and pack-men generally
confined themselves to this path till it crossed the Little Tennessee
River, then spreading themselves out among the several Cherokee villages
west of the mountain, continued their traffic as low down the Great
Tennessee as the Indian settlements upon Occochappo or Bear Creek, below
the Muscle Shoals, and there encountered the competition of other
traders, who were supplied from New Orleans and Mobile. They returned
heavily laden with peltries, to Charleston, or the more northern
markets, where they were sold at highly remunerating prices. A hatchet,
a pocket looking-glass, a piece of scarlet cloth, a trinket, and other
articles of little value, which at Williamsburg could be bought for a
few shillings, would command from an Indian hunter on the Hiwasse or
Tennessee peltries amounting in value to double the number of pounds
sterling. Exchanges were necessarily slow, but the profits realized from
the operation were immensely large. In times of peace this traffic
attracted the attention of many adventurous traders. It became mutually
advantageous to the Indian not less than to the white man. The trap and
the rifle, thus bartered for, procured, in one day, more game to the
Cherokee hunter than his bow and arrow and his dead-fall would have
secured during a month of toilsome hunting. Other advantages resulted
from it to the whites. They became thus acquainted with the great
avenues leading through the hunting grounds and to the occupied country
of the neighboring tribes--an important circumstance in the condition of
either war or peace. Further, the traders were an exact thermometer of
the pacific or hostile intention and feelings of the Indians with whom
they traded. Generally, they were foreigners, most frequently Scotchmen,
who had not been long in the country, or upon the frontier, who, having
experienced none of the cruelties, depredation or aggressions of the
Indians, cherished none of the resentment and spirit of retaliation born
with, and everywhere manifested, by the American settler. Thus, free
from animosity against the aborigines, the trader was allowed to remain
in the village where he traded unmolested, even when its warriors were
singing the war song or brandishing the war club, preparatory to an
invasion or massacre of the whites. Timely warning was thus often given
by a returning packman to a feeble and unsuspecting settlement, of the
perfidy and cruelty meditated against it.

"This gainful commerce was, for a time, engrossed by the traders; but
the monopoly was not allowed to continue long. Their rapid accumulations
soon excited the cupidity of another class of adventurers; and the
hunter, in his turn, became a co-pioneer with the trader, in the march
of civilization to the wilds of the West. As the agricultural population
approached the eastern base of the Alleghanies, the game became scarce,
and was to be found by severe toil in almost inaccessible recesses
and coves of the mountain. Packmen, returning from their trading
expeditions, carried with them evidences, not only of the abundance
of game across the mountains, but of the facility with which it was
procured. Hunters began to accompany the traders to the Indian towns;
but, unable to brook the tedious delay of procuring peltries by traffic,
and impatient of restraint, they struck boldly into the wilderness,
and western-like, to use a western phrase, set up for themselves. The
reports of their return, and of their successful enterprise, stimulated
other adventurers to a similar undertaking. 'As early as 1748 Doctor
Thomas Walker, of Virginia, in company with Colonels Wood, Patton and
Buchanan, and Captain Charles Campbell, and a number of hunters, made an
exploring tour upon the western waters. Passing Powel's valley, he gave
the name of 'Cumberland' to the lofty range of mountains on the west.
Tracing this range in a south-western direction, he came to a remarkable
depression in the chain: through this he passed, calling it 'Cumberland
Gap.' On the western side of the range he found a beautiful mountain
stream, which he named 'Cumberland River,' all in honor of the Duke of
Cumberland, then prime minister of England.[11] These names have ever
since been retained, and, with Loudon, are believed to be the only names
in Tennessee of English origin."

"Although Fort Loudon was erected as early as 1756, upon the Tennessee,
yet it was in advance of any white settlements nearly one hundred and
fifty miles, and was destroyed in 1760. The fort, too, at Long Island,
within the boundaries of the present State of Tennessee, were erected
in 1758, but no permanent settlements had yet been formed near it.
Still occasional settlers had begun to fix their habitations in the
south-western section of Virginia, and as early as 1754, six families
were residing west of New River. 'On the breaking out of the French war,
the Indians, in alliance with the French, made an irruption into these
settlements, and massacred Burke and his family. The other families,
finding their situation too perilous to be maintained, returned to the
eastern side of New River; and the renewal of the attempt to carry the
white settlements further west, was not made until after the close of
that war.'"[12]

[Sidenote: 1756]

"Under a mistaken impression that the Virginia line, when extended west,
would embrace it, a grant of land was this year made, by the authorities
of Virginia, to Edmund Pendleton, for three thousand acres of land,
lying in Augusta County, on a branch of the middle fork of the Indian
river called West Creek,[13] now Sullivan County, Tennessee."

[Sidenote: 1760]

In this year, Doctor Walker again passed over Clinch and Powell's
River, on a tour of exploration into what is now Kentucky.

[Sidenote: 1761]

'The Cherokees were now at peace with the whites, and hunters from the
back settlements began with safety to penetrate deeper and further into
the wilderness of Tennessee. Several of them, chiefly from Virginia,
hearing of the abundance of game with which the woods were stocked, and
allured by the prospects of gain, which might be drawn from this source,
formed themselves into a company, composed of Wallen, Scaggs, Blevins,
Cox, and fifteen others, and came into the valley since known as
Carter's Valley, in Hawkins County, Tennessee. They hunted eighteen
mouths upon Clinch and Powell's Rivers. Wallen's Creek and Wallen's
Ridge received their name from the leader of the company; as also did
the station which they erected in the present Lee County, Virginia,
the name of Wallen's station. They penetrated as far north as Laurel
Mountain, in Kentucky, where they terminated their journey, having met
with a body of Indians, whom they supposed to be Shawnees. At the head
of one of the companies that visited the West this year 'came Daniel
Boon, from the Yadkin, in North Carolina, and traveled with them as low
as the place where Abingdon now stands, and there left them.'

"This is the first time the advent of Daniel Boon to the western wilds
has been mentioned by historians, or by the several biographers of that
distinguished pioneer and hunter. There is reason, however, to believe
that he had hunted upon Watauga earlier. The writer is indebted to N.
Gammon, Esq., formerly of Jonesboro, now a citizen of Knoxville, for
the following inscription, still to be seen upon a beech tree, standing
in sight and east of the present stage-road, leading from Jonesboro to
Blountsville, and in the valley of Boon's Creek, a tributary of Watauga:"

              D. Boon
           CillED A. BAR On
               in ThE

"Boon was eighty-six years old when he died, which was September, 1820.
He was thus twenty-six years old when the inscription was made. When he
left the company of hunters in 1761, as mentioned above by Haywood, it
is probable that he did so to revisit the theatre of a former hunt upon
the creek that still bears his name, and where his camp is still pointed
out near its banks. It is not improbable, indeed, that he belonged to,
or accompanied, the party of Doctor Walker, on his first, or certainly
on his second, tour of exploration in 1760. The inscription is
sufficient authority, as this writer conceives, to date the arrival of
Boon in Tennessee as early as its date, 1760, thus preceding the
permanent settlement of the country nearly ten years."

It will be observed that the historian in this extract, spells Boon
without the final _e_, following the orthography of the hunter, in his
inscription on the tree. This orthography Boone used at a later period,
as we shall show. But the present received mode of spelling the name is
the one which we have adopted in this work.

On a subsequent page of Wheeler's history, we find the following

"Daniel Boone, who still lived on the Yadkin, though he had previously
hunted on the Western waters, came again this year to explore the
country, being employed for this purpose by Henderson & Company.
With him came Samuel Callaway, his kinsman, and the ancestor of the
respectable family of that name, pioneers of Tennessee, Kentucky, and
Missouri. Callaway was at the side of Boon when, approaching the spurs
of the Cumberland Mountain, and in view of the vast herds of buffalo
grazing in the valleys between them, he exclaimed, 'I am richer than the
man mentioned in Scripture, who owned the cattle on a thousand hills;
I own the wild beasts of more than a thousand valleys.'"

After Boone and Callaway, came another hunter, Henry Scaggins, who was
also employed by Henderson. He extended his explorations to the Lower
Cumberland, and fixed his station at Mansco's Lick.

We shall have occasion to speak more particularly of Henderson's company
and Boone's connection with it; but we will first call the reader's
attention to the state of affairs in North Carolina at this period, and
their probable influence on the course pursued by Daniel Boone.

[Footnote 8: That is, the eastern boundary of Tennessee, which was then
a part of North Carolina.]

[Footnote 9: Holston.]

[Footnote 10: The Ohio was known many years by this name.]

[Footnote 11: Monette. The Indian name of this range was Wasioto, and of
the river, Shawnee.]

[Footnote 12: Howe.]

[Footnote 13: The original patent, signed by Governor Dinwiddie, and now
in the possession of the writer, was presented to him by T.A.R. Nelson,
Esq., of Jonesboro, Tennessee. It is probably the oldest grant in the


     Political and social condition of North
     Carolina--Taxes--Lawsuits--Ostentation and extravagance of
     foreigners and government officers--Oppression of the
     people--Murmurs--Open resistance--The Regulators--Willingness of
     Daniel Boone and others to migrate, and their reasons--John
     Finley's expedition to the West--His report to Boone--He determines
     to join Finley in his next hunting tour--New company formed, with
     Boone for leader--Preparations for starting--The party sets
     out--Travels for a month through the wilderness--First sight of
     Kentucky--Forming a camp--Hunting buffaloes and other game--Capture
     of Boone and Stuart by the Indians--Prudent dissimulation--Escape
     from the Indians--Return to the old camp--Their companions
     lost--Boone and Stuart renew their hunting.

There were many circumstances in the social and political condition
of the State of North Carolina, during the period of Daniel Boone's
residence on the banks of the Yadkin, which were calculated to render
him restless and quite willing to seek a home in the Western wilderness.
Customs and fashions were changing. The Scotch traders, to whom we
have referred in the last chapter, and others of the same class were
introducing an ostentatious and expensive style of living, quite
inappropriate to the rural population of the colony. In dress and
equipage, they far surpassed the farmers and planters; and they were not
backward in taking upon themselves airs of superiority on this account.
In this they were imitated by the officers and agents of the Royal
government of the colony, who were not less fond of luxury and show.
To support their extravagant style of living, these minions of power,
magistrates, lawyers, clerks of court, and tax-gatherers, demanded
exorbitant fees for their services. The Episcopal clergy, supported by a
legalized tax on the people, were not content with their salaries, but
charged enormous fees for their occasional services. A fee of fifteen
dollars was exacted from the poor farmer for performing the marriage
service. The collection of taxes was enforced by suits at law, with
enormous expense; and executions, levies, and distresses were of
every-day occurrence. All sums exceeding forty shillings were sued for
and executions obtained in the courts, the original debt being saddled
with extortionate bills of cost. Sheriffs demanded more than was due,
under threats of sheriff's sales; and they applied the gains thus made
to their own use. Money, as is always the case in a new country, was
exceedingly scarce, and the sufferings of the people were intolerable.

Petitions to the Legislature for a redress of grievances were treated
with contempt. The people assembled and formed themselves into an
association for _regulating_ public grievances and abuse of power.
Hence the name given to them of Regulators. They resolved "to pay only
such taxes as were agreeable to law and applied to the purpose therein
named, to pay no officer more than his legal fees." The subsequent
proceedings of the Regulators, such as forcible resistance to officers
and acts of personal violence toward them, at length brought on an
actual collision between them and an armed force led by the Royal
Governor, Tryon (May 16 1771,) at Alamanance, in which the Regulators
were defeated; and the grievances continued with scarcely abated force
till the Revolution brought relief.

Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that Daniel Boone and
others were quite willing to migrate to the West, if it were only to
enjoy a quiet life; the dangers of Indian aggression being less dreaded
than the visits of the tax-gather and the sheriff; and the solitude
of the forest and prairie being preferred to the society of insolent
foreigners; flaunting in the luxury and ostentation purchased by the
spoils of fraud and oppression.

Among the hunters and traders who pursued their avocations in the
Western wilds was John Finley, or Findley, who led a party of hunters
in 1767 to the neighborhood of the Louisa River, as the Kentucky River
was then called, and spent the season in hunting and trapping. On his
return, he visited Daniel Boone, and gave him a most glowing description
of the country which he had visited--a country abounding in the richest
and most fertile land, intersected by noble rivers, and teeming with
herds of deer and buffaloes and numerous flocks of wild turkeys, to say
nothing of the smaller game. To these descriptions Boone lent a willing
ear. He resolved to accompany Finley in his next hunting expedition, and
to see this terrestrial paradise with his own eyes, doubtless with the
intention of ultimately seeking a home in that delightful region.

Accordingly, a company of six persons was formed for a new expedition to
the West, and Boone was chosen as leader. The names of the other members
of this party were John Finley, John Stuart, Joseph Holden, James
Moncey, and William Cool.

Much preparation seems to have been required. Boone's wife, who was one
of the best of housekeepers and managers, had to fit out his clothes,
and to make arrangements for house-keeping during his expected long
absence. His sons were now old enough to assist their mother in the
management of the farm, but, doubtless, they had to be supplied with
money and other necessaries before the father could venture to leave
home; so that it was not till the 1st of May, 1769, that the party were
able to set out, as Boone, in his autobiography, expresses it, "in quest
of the country of Kentucky."

It was more than a month before these adventurers came in sight of the
promised land. We quote from Mr. Peck's excellent work the description
which undoubtedly formed the authority on which the artist has relied
in painting the accompanying engraving of "Daniel Boone's first view of
Kentucky." It is as follows:

"It was on the 7th of June, 1769, that six men, weary and wayworn, were
seen winding their way up the steep side of a rugged mountain in the
wilderness of Kentucky. Their dress was of the description usually worn
at that period by all forest rangers. The outside garment was a hunting
shirt, or loose open frock, made of dressed deer skins. Leggings or
drawers, of the same material, covered the lower extremities, to which
was appended a pair of moccasins for the feet. The cape or collar of
the hunting shirt, and the seams of the leggings, were adorned with
fringes. The under garments were of coarse cotton. A leather belt
encircled the body; on the right side was suspended the tomahawk, to be
used as a hatchet: on the left side was the hunting-knife, powder-horn,
bullet-pouch, and other appendages indispensable for a hunter. Each
person bore his trusty rifle; and, as the party slowly made their
toilsome way amid the shrubs, and over the logs and loose rocks that
accident had thrown into the obscure trail which they were following,
each man kept a sharp look-out, as though danger or a lurking enemy was
near. Their garments were soiled and rent, the unavoidable result of
long traveling and exposure to the heavy rains that had fallen; for the
weather had been stormy and most uncomfortable, and they had traversed
a mountainous wilderness for several hundred miles. The leader of the
party was of full size, with a hardy, robust, sinewy frame, and keen,
piercing, hazel eyes, that glanced with quickness at every object as
they passed on, now cast forward in the direction they were traveling
for signs of an old trail, and in the next moment directed askance
into the dense thicket, or into the deep ravine, as if watching some
concealed enemy. The reader will recognize in this man the pioneer
Boone, at the head of his companions."


"Toward the time of the setting sun, the party had reached the summit
of the mountain range, up which they had toiled for some three or four
hours, and which had bounded their prospect to the west during the day.
Here new and indescribable scenery opened to their view. Before them,
for an immense distance, as if spread out on a map, lay the rich and
beautiful vales watered by the Kentucky River; for they had now reached
one of its northern branches. The country immediately before them, to
use a Western phrase, was 'rolling,' and, in places, abruptly hilly; but
far in the vista was seen a beautiful expanse of level country, over
which the buffalo, deer, and other forest animals, roamed unmolested
while they fed on the luxuriant herbage of the forest. The countenances
of the party lighted up with pleasure, congratulations were exchanged,
the romantic tales of Finley were confirmed by ocular demonstration, and
orders were given to encamp for the night in a neighboring ravine. In a
deep gorge of the mountain a large tree had fallen, surrounded with a
dense thicket, and hidden from observation by the abrupt and precipitous
hills. This tree lay in a convenient position for the back of their
camp. Logs were placed on the right and left, leaving the front open,
where fire might be kindled against another log; and for shelter from
the rains and heavy dews, bark was peeled from the linden tree."

This rude structure appears to have been the head-quarters of the
hunters through the whole summer and autumn, till late in December.
During this time, they hunted the deer, the bear, and especially the
buffalo. The buffaloes were found in great numbers, feeding on the
leaves of the cane, and the rich and spontaneous fields of clover.

During this long period, they saw no Indians. That part of the country
was not inhabited by any tribe at that time, although it was used
occasionally as a hunting ground by the Shawanese, the Cherokees and the
Chickesaws. The land at that time belonged to the colony of Virginia,
which then included what is now called Kentucky. The title to the ground
was acquired by a treaty with the Indians, Oct. 5th, 1770. The Iroquois,
at the treaty of Fort Stanwix, in 1768, had already ceded their doubtful
claim to the land south of the Ohio River, to Great Britain; so that
Boone's company of hunters were not trespassing upon Indian territory
at this time.[14] But they were destined nevertheless to be treated as

On the 22d of December, Boone and John Stuart, one of his companions,
left their encampment, and following one of the numerous paths which the
buffalo had made through the cane, they plunged boldly into the interior
of the forest. They had as yet, as we have already stated, seen no
Indians, and the country had been reported as totally uninhabited. This
was true in a strict sense, for although, as we have seen, the southern
and northwestern tribes were in the habit of hunting here as upon
neutral ground, yet not a single wigwam had been erected, nor did the
land bear the slightest mark of having ever been cultivated.

The different tribes would fall in with each other and from the fierce
conflicts which generally followed these casual rencounters, the country
had been known among them by the name of '_the dark and bloody ground!_'

The two adventurers soon learned the additional danger to which they
were exposed. While roving carelessly from canebrake to canebrake, and
admiring the rank growth of vegetation, and the variety of timber which
marked the fertility of the soil, they were suddenly alarmed by the
appearance of a party of Indians, who, springing from their place of
concealment, rushed upon them with a rapidity which rendered escape

They were almost instantly seized, disarmed, and made prisoners. Their
feelings may be readily imagined. They were in the hands of an enemy who
knew no alternative between adoption and torture; and the numbers and
fleetness of their captors, rendered escape by open means impossible,
while their jealous vigilance seemed equally fatal to any secret

Boone, however, was possessed of a temper admirably adapted to the
circumstances in which he was placed. Of a cold and saturnine, rather
than an arden disposition, he was never either so much elevated by
good fortune or depressed by bad, as to lose for an instant the full
possession of all his faculties. He saw that immediate escape was
impossible, but he encouraged his companion, and constrained himself
to accompany the Indians in all their excursions, with so calm and
contented an air, that their vigilance insensibly began to relax.


On the seventh evening of their captivity, they encamped in a thick
canebrake, and having built a large fire, lay down to rest. The party
whose duty it was to watch, were weary and negligent, and about
midnight, Boone, who had not closed an eye, ascertained from the deep
breathing all around him, that the whole party, including Stuart, was
in a deep sleep.

Gently and gradually extricating himself from the Indians who lay around
him, he walked cautiously to the spot where Stuart lay, and having
succeeded in awakening him, without alarming the rest, he briefly
informed him of his determination, and exhorted him to arise, make no
noise, and follow him. Stuart, although ignorant of the design, and
suddenly roused from sleep, fortunately obeyed with equal silence and
celerity, and within a few minutes they were beyond hearing.

Rapidly traversing the forest, by the light of the stars and the bark
of the trees, they ascertained the direction in which the camp lay, but
upon reaching it on the next day, to their great grief, they found it
plundered and deserted, with nothing remaining to show the fate of their
companions: and even to the day of his death, Boone knew not whether
they had been killed or taken, or had voluntarily abandoned their cabin
and returned.[15]

Indeed it has never been ascertained what became of Finley and the rest
of Boone's party of hunters. If Finley himself had returned to Carolina,
so remarkable a person would undoubtedly have left some trace of himself
in the history of his time; but no trace exists of any of the party who
were left at the old camp by Boone and Stuart. Boone and Stuart resumed
their hunting, although their ammunition was running low, and they were
compelled, by the now well-known danger of Indian hostilities, to seek
for more secret and secure hiding-places at night than their old
encampment in the ravine.

The only kind of firearms used by the backwoods hunter is the rifle.
In the use of this weapon Boone was exceedingly skillful. The following
anecdote, related by the celebrated naturalist, Audubon,[16] shows that
he retained his wonderful precision of aim till a late period of his

"Barking off squirrels is delightful sport, and, in my opinion,
requires a greater degree of accuracy than any other. I first witnessed
this manner of procuring squirrels whilst near the town of Frankfort.
The performer was the celebrated Daniel Boone. We walked out together,
and followed the rocky margins of the Kentucky River, until we reached
a piece of flat land thickly covered with black walnuts, oaks, and
hickories. As the general mast was a good one that year, squirrels were
seen gamboling on every tree around us. My companion, a stout, hale,
and athletic man, dressed in a homespun hunting-shirt, bare-legged and
moccasined, carried a long and heavy rifle, which, as he was loading it,
he said had proved efficient in all his former undertakings, and which
he hoped would not fail on this occasion, as he felt proud to show me
his skill. The gun was wiped, the powder measured, the ball patched with
six-hundred-thread linen, and the charge sent home with a hickory rod.
We moved not a step from the place, for the squirrels were so numerous
that it was unnecessary to go after them. Boone pointed to one of these
animals which had observed us, and was crouched on a branch about fifty
paces distant, and bade me mark well the spot where the ball should hit.
He raised his piece gradually, until the _bead_ (that being the name
given by the Kentuckians to the _sight_) of the barrel was brought to
a line with the spot which he intended to hit. The whip-like report
resounded through the woods and along the hills in repeated echoes.
Judge of my surprise, when I perceived that the ball had hit the piece
of the bark immediately beneath the squirrel, and shivered it into
splinters, the concussion produced by which had killed the animal, and
sent it whirling through the air, as if it had been blown up by the
explosion of a powder magazine. Boone kept up his firing, and before
many hours had elapsed, we had procured as many squirrels as we wished;
for you must know that to load a rifle requires only a moment, and that
if it is wiped once after each shot, it will do duty for hours. Since
that first interview with our veteran Boone, I have seen many other
individuals perform the same feat."

[Footnote 14: Peck. Life of Boone.]

[Footnote 15: McClung. "Western Adventures."]

[Footnote 16: Ornithological Biography, pp. 293-4.]


     Arrival of Squire Boone and a companion at the camp of Daniel
     Boone--Joyful meeting--News from home, and hunting resumed--Daniel
     Boone and Stuart surprised by the Indians, Stuart killed--Escape
     of Boone, and his return to camp--Squire Boone's companion lost
     in the woods--Residence of Daniel Boone and Squire Boone in the
     wilderness--Squire returns to North Carolina, obtains a fresh
     supply of ammunition, and again rejoins his brother at the old
     camp--Daniel Boone's own account of this remarkable period of his
     life--His return to North Carolina--His determination to settle in
     Kentucky--Other Western adventurers--The Long hunters--Washington
     in Kentucky--Bullitt's party--Floyd's party--Thompson's
     survey--First settlement of Tennessee.

In the early part of the month of January, 1770, Boone and Stuart were
agreeably surprised by the arrival of Squire Boone, the younger brother
of Daniel, accompanied by another man, whose name has not been handed
down. The meeting took place as they were hunting in the woods. The
new-comers were hailed at a distance with the usual greeting, "'Holloa!
strangers, who are you?" to which they answered, "White men and
friends." And friends indeed they were--friends in need; for they
brought a supply of ammunition, and news from Daniel Boone's home
and family on the Yadkin. They had had a weary journey through the
wilderness, and although they had met with no Indians on their way, they
had frequently come upon their traces in passing through the woods.
Their purpose in undertaking this formidable journey had been to learn
the fate of Boone and his party, whose safety was nearly despaired of by
his friends in North Carolina, to hunt for themselves, and to convey a
supply of ammunition to Boone. It is difficult to conceive the joy with
which their opportune arrival was welcomed. They informed Boone that
they had just seen the last night's encampment of Stuart and himself,
so that the joyful meeting was not wholly unanticipated by them.

Thus reinforced, the party, now consisting of four skillful hunters,
might reasonably hope for increased security, and a fortunate issue to
their protracted hunting tour. But they hunted in separate parties; and
in one of these Daniel Boone and Stuart fell in with a party of Indians,
who fired upon them. Stuart was shot dead and scalped by the Indians,
but Boone escaped in the forest, and rejoined his brother and the
remaining hunter of the party.

A few days afterward this hunter was lost in the woods, and did not
return as usual to the camp. Daniel and Squire made a long and anxious
search for him; but it was all in vain. Years afterward a skeleton was
discovered in the woods, which was supposed to be that of the lost

The two brothers were thus left in the wilderness alone, separated
by several hundred miles from home, surrounded by hostile Indians,
and destitute of every thing but their rifles. After having had such
melancholy experience of the dangers to which they were exposed, we
would naturally suppose that their fortitude would have given way, and
that they would instantly have returned to the settlements. But the most
remarkable feature in Boone's character was a calm and cold equanimity
which rarely rose to enthusiasm and never sunk to despondence.

His courage undervalued the danger to which he was exposed, and his
presence of mind, which never forsook him, enabled him, on all occasions
to take the best means of avoiding it. The wilderness, with all its
dangers and privations, had a charm for him, which is scarcely
conceivable by one brought up in a city; and he determined to remain
alone while his brother returned to Carolina for an additional supply of
ammunition, as their original supply was nearly exhausted. His situation
we should now suppose in the highest degree gloomy and dispiriting. The
dangers which attended his brother on his return were nearly equal to
his own; and each had left a wife and children, which Boone acknowledged
cost him many an anxious thought.

But the wild and solitary grandeur of the country around him, where not
a tree had been cut, nor a house erected, was to him an inexhaustible
source of admiration and delight; and he says to himself, that some
of the most rapturous moments of his life were spent in those lonely
rambles. The utmost caution was necessary to avoid the savages, and
scarcely less to escape the ravenous hunger of the wolves that prowled
nightly around him in immense numbers. He was compelled frequently to
shift his lodging, and by undoubted signs, saw that the Indians had
repeatedly visited his hut during his absence. He some times lay in
canebrakes without fire, and heard the yells of the Indians around him.
Fortunately, however, he never encountered them.[17]

Mr. Perkins, in his Annals of the West, speaking of this sojourn
of the brothers in the wilderness, says: And now commenced that most
extraordinary life on the part of these two men which has, in a great
measure, served to give celebrity to their names; we refer to their
residence, entirely alone, for more than a year, in a land filled with
the most subtle and unsparing enemies, and under the influence of no
other motive, apparently, than a love of adventure, of Nature, and of
solitude. Nor were they, during this time, always together. For three
months, Daniel remained amid the forest utterly by himself, while his
brother, with courage and capacity equal to his own, returned to North
Carolina for a supply of powder and lead; with which he succeeded in
rejoining the roamer of the wilderness in safety in July, 1770.

It is almost impossible to conceive of the skill, coolness, and sagacity
which enabled Daniel Boone to spend so many weeks in the midst of the
Indians, and yet undiscovered by them. He appears to have changed his
position continually--to have explored the whole centre of what forms
now the State of Kentucky, and in so doing must have exposed himself to
many different parties of the natives. A reader of Mr. Cooper's Last of
the Mohicans may comprehend, in some measure, the arts by which he was
preserved; but, after all, a natural gift seems to lie at the basis of
such consummate woodcraft; an instinct, rather than any exercise of
intellect, appears to have guided Boone in such matters, and made him
pre-eminent among those who were most accomplished in the knowledge
of forest life. Then we are to remember the week's captivity of the
previous year; it was the first practical acquaintance that the pioneer
had with the Western Indians, and we may be assured he spent that week
in noting carefully the whole method of his captors. Indeed, we think
it probable he remained in captivity so long that he might learn their
arts, stratagems, and modes of concealment. We are, moreover, to keep in
mind this fact: the woods of Kentucky were at that period filled with
a species of nettle of such a character that, being once bent down,
it did not recover itself, but remained prostrate, thus retaining the
impression of a foot almost like snow--even a turkey might be tracked
in it with perfect ease. This weed Boone would carefully avoid, but the
natives, numerous and fearless, would commonly pay no regard to it, so
that the white hunter was sure to have palpable signs of the presence
of his enemies, and the direction they had taken. Considering these
circumstances, it is even more remarkable that his brother should have
returned in safety, with his loaded horses, than that he remained alone
unharmed; though in the escape of both from captivity or death from
January, 1770, until their return to the Atlantic rivers in March, 1771,
there is something so wonderful that the old pioneer's phrase, that he
was "an instrument ordained to settle the wilderness," seems entirely

Daniel Boone's own account of this period of his life, contained in his
autobiography, is highly characteristic. It is as follows:

"Thus situated, many hundred miles from our families in the howling
wilderness, I believe few would have equally enjoyed the happiness we
experienced. I often observed to my brother, 'You see now how little
nature requires to be satisfied. Felicity, the companion of content,
is rather found in our own breasts than in the enjoyment of external
things; and I firmly believe it requires but a little philosophy to
make a man happy in whatsoever state he is. This consists in a full
resignation to Providence, and a resigned soul finds pleasure in a
path strewed with briers and thorns.'

"We continued not in a state of indolence, but hunted every day,
and prepared a little cottage to defend us from the winter storms. We
remained there undisturbed during the winter; and on the first of May,
1770, my brother returned home to the settlement by himself for a new
recruit of horses and ammunition, leaving me by myself, without bread,
salt, or sugar, without company of my fellow-creatures, or even a
horse or dog. I confess I never before was under greater necessity of
exercising philosophy and fortitude. A few days I passed uncomfortably.
The idea of a beloved wife and family, and their anxiety on account of
my absence and exposed situation, made sensible impressions on my heart.
A thousand dreadful apprehensions presented themselves to my view, and
had undoubtedly disposed me to melancholy if further indulged.

"One day I undertook a tour through the country, and the diversity and
beauties of Nature I met with in this charming season expelled every
gloomy and vexatious thought. Just at the close of day the gentle gales
retired, and left the place to the disposal of a profound calm. Not
a breeze shook the most tremulous leaf. I had gained the summit of a
commanding ridge, and, looking round with astonishing delight, beheld
the ample plains, the beauteous tracts below. On the other hand, I
surveyed the famous river Ohio, that rolled in silent dignity, marking
the western boundary of Kentucky with inconceivable grandeur. At a
vast distance I beheld the mountains lift their venerable brows, and
penetrate the clouds. All things were still. I kindled a fire near a
fountain of sweet water, and feasted on the loin of a buck, which a few
hours before I had killed. The fallen shades of night soon overspread
the whole hemisphere, and the earth seemed to gape after the hovering
moisture. My roving excursion this day had fatigued my body, and
diverted my imagination. I laid me down to sleep, and I awoke not until
the sun had chased away the night. I continued this tour, and in a few
days explored a considerable part of the country, each day equally
pleased as the first. I returned to my old camp, which was not disturbed
in my absence. I did not confine my lodging to it, but often reposed in
thick canebrakes to avoid the savages, who, I believe, often visited
my camp, but fortunately for me in my absence. In this situation I was
constantly exposed to danger and death. How unhappy such a situation for
a man tormented with fear, which is vain if no danger comes, and, if it
does, only augments the pain. It was my happiness to be destitute of
this afflicting passion, with which I had the greatest reason to be
affected. The prowling wolves diverted my nocturnal hours with perpetual
howlings; and the various species of animals in this vast forest in the
daytime were continually in my view.

"Thus I was surrounded with plenty in the midst of want. I was happy
in the midst of dangers and inconveniences. In such a diversity it was
impossible I should be disposed to melancholy. No populous city, with
all the varieties of commerce and stately structures, could afford so
much pleasure to my mind as the beauties of Nature I found here.

"Thus, through an uninterrupted scene of sylvan pleasures, I spent the
time until the 27th day of July following, when my brother, to my great
felicity, met me according to appointment, at our old camp. Shortly
after we left this place, not thinking it safe to stay there any longer,
and proceeded to Cumberland River, reconnoitering that part of the
country until March, 1771, and giving names to the different waters.

"Soon after, I returned home to my family, with a determination to bring
them as soon as possible to live in Kentucky, which I esteemed a second
paradise, at the risk of my life and fortune.

"I returned safe to my old habitation, and found my family in happy

This extract is taken from the autobiography of Daniel Boone, written
from his own dictation by John Filson, and published in 1784. Some
writers have censured this production as inflated and bombastic. To us
it seems simple and natural; and we have no doubt that the very words of
Boone are given for the most part. The use of glowing imagery and strong
figures is by no means confined to highly-educated persons. Those who
are illiterate, as Boone certainly was, often indulge in this style.
Even the Indians are remarkably fond of bold metaphors and other
rhetorical figures, as is abundantly proved by their speeches and

While Boone had been engaged in his late hunting tour, other adventurers
were examining the rich lands south of the Ohio.[18] Even in 1770, while
Boone was wandering solitary in those Kentucky forests, a band of forty
hunters, led by Colonel James Knox, had gathered from the valleys of
New River, Clinch, and Holston, to chase the buffaloes of the West; nine
of the forty had crossed the mountains, penetrated the desert and almost
impassable country about the heads of the Cumberland, and explored the
region on the borders of Kentucky and Tennessee. This hunting party,
from the length of time it was absent, is known in the traditions of
the West as the party of the Long Hunters. While these bold men were
penetrating the valley of the Ohio, in the region of the Cumberland Gap,
others came from Virginia and Pennsylvania, by the river; among them,
and in the same year, that the Long Hunters were abroad, (1770), came no
less noted a person than George Washington. His attention, as we have
before said, had been turned to the lands along the Ohio, at a very
early period; he had himself large claims, as well as far-reaching plans
of settlement, and he wished with his own eyes to examine the Western
lands, especially those about the mouth of the Kanawha. From the journal
of his expedition, published by Mr. Sparks, in the Appendix to the
second volume of his Washington Papers, we learn some valuable facts in
reference to the position of affairs in the Ohio valley at that time.
We learn, for instance, that the Virginians were rapidly surveying and
settling the lands south of the river as far down as the Kanawhas; and
that the Indians, notwithstanding the treaty of Fort Stanwix, were
jealous and angry at this constant invasion of their hunting-grounds.

"This jealousy and anger were not supposed to cool during the years
next succeeding, and when Thomas Bullitt and his party descended the
Ohio in the summer of 1773, he found that no settlements would be
tolerated south of the river, unless the Indian hunting-grounds were
left undisturbed. To leave them undisturbed was, however, no part of
the plan of these white men.

"This very party, which Bullitt led, and in which were the two McAfees,
Hancock, Taylor, Drennon and others, separated, and while part went up
the Kentucky River, explored the banks, and made important surveys,
including the valley in which Frankfort stands, the remainder went on to
the Falls, and laid out, in behalf of John Campbell and John Connolly,
the plan of Louisville. All this took place in the summer of 1773; and
in the autumn of that year, or early in the next, John Floyd, the deputy
of Colonel William Preston, the surveyor of Fincastle County, Virginia,
in which it was claimed that Kentucky was comprehended, also crossed the
mountains; while General Thompson of Pennsylvania, made surveys upon
the north fork of the Licking. When Boone, therefore, in September,
commenced his march for the West, (as we shall presently relate), the
choice regions which he had examined three years before, were known
to numbers, and settlers were preparing to desecrate the silent and
beautiful woods. Nor did the prospects of the English colonists stop
with the settlements of Kentucky. In 1773, General Lyman, with a number
of military adventurers, went to Natchez and laid out several townships
in that vicinity; to which point emigration set so strongly, that we are
told, four hundred families passed down the Ohio on their way thither,
during six weeks of the summer of that year."[19]

[Footnote 17: McClung.]

[Footnote 18: Perkins. "Annals of the West."]

[Footnote 19: Perkins, "Annals of the West."]


     Daniel Boone remains two years in North Carolina after his return
     from the West--He prepares to emigrate to Kentucky--Character of
     the early settlers to Kentucky--The first class, hunters--The
     second class, small farmers--The third class, men of wealth and
     government officers.

Daniel Boone had now returned to his home on the banks of the Yadkin,
after an absence of no less than two years, during which time he had
not tasted, as he remarks in his autobiography, either salt, sugar, or
bread. He must have enjoyed, in no ordinary degree, the comforts of
home. Carolina, however, was to be his home but for a short time. He had
fully determined to go with his family to Kentucky, and settle in that
lovely region. He was destined to found a State.

After Boone's return to North Carolina, more than two years passed away
before he could complete the arrangements necessary for removing his
family to Kentucky. He sold his farm on the Yadkin, which had been for
many years under cultivation, and no doubt brought him a sum amply
sufficient for the expenses of his journey and the furnishing of a new
home in the promised land. He had, of course, to overcome the natural
repugnance of his wife and children to leave the home which had become
dear to them; and he had also to enlist other adventurers to accompany
him. And here we deem it proper, before entering upon the account of his
departure, to quote from a contemporary,[20] some general remarks on
the character of the early settlers of Kentucky.

"Throughout the United States, generally, the most erroneous notions
prevail with respect to the character of the first settlers of Kentucky;
and by several of the American novelists, the most ridiculous uses have
been made of the fine materials for fiction which lie scattered over
nearly the whole extent of that region of daring adventure and romantic
incident. The common idea seems to be, that the first wanderers to
Kentucky were a simple, ignorant, low-bred, good-for-nothing set of
fellows, who left the frontiers and sterile places of the old States,
where a considerable amount of labor was necessary to secure a
livelihood, and sought the new and fertile country southeast of the Ohio
River and northwest of the Cumberland Mountains, where corn would
produce bread for them with simply the labor of planting, and where the
achievements of their guns would supply them with meat and clothing; a
set of men who, with that instinct which belongs to the beaver, built a
number of log cabins on the banks of some secluded stream, which they
surrounded with palisades for the better protection of their wives and
children, and then went wandering about, with guns on their shoulders,
or traps under their arms, leading a solitary, listless, _ruminating_
life, till aroused by the appearance of danger, or a sudden attack from
unseen enemies, when instantly they approved themselves the bravest of
warriors, and the most expert of strategists. The romancers who have
attempted to describe their habits of life and delineate their
characters, catching this last idea, and imagining things probable of
the country they were in, have drawn the one in lines the most grotesque
and absurd, and colored the other with a pencil dipped in all hues but
the right. To them the early pioneers appear to have been people of a
character demi-devil, demi-savage, not only with out the remains of
former civilization, but without even the recollection that they had
been born and bred where people were, at the least, measurably sane,
somewhat religiously inclined, and, for the most, civilly behaved.

"Both of these conceptions of the character of the Pioneer Fathers are,
to a certain extent, correct as regards _individuals_ among them; but
the pictures which have often been given us, even when held up beside
such _individuals_, will prove to be exaggerations in more respects than
one. Daniel Boone is an individual instance of a man plunging into the
depths of an unknown wilderness, shunning rather than seeking contact
with his kind, his gun and trap the only companions of his solitude,
and wandering about thus for months,"

   "'No mark upon the tree, nor print, nor track,
    To lead him forward, or to guide him back.'"

"contented and happy; yet, for all this, if those who knew him well had
any true conception of his character, Boone was a man of ambition, and
shrewdness, and energy, and fine social qualities, and extreme sagacity.
And individual instances there _may_ have been--though even this
possibility is not sustained by the primitive histories of those
times--of men who were so far _outre_ to the usual course of their
kind, as to have afforded originals for the _Sam Huggs_ the _Nimrod
Wildfires_, the _Ralph Stackpoles_, the _Tom Bruces_, and the
_Earthquakes_, which so abound in most of those fictions whose _locale_
is the Western country. But that naturalist who should attempt, by ever
so minute a description of a pied blackbird, to give his readers a
correct idea of the _Gracula Ferruginea_ of ornithologists, would not
more utterly fail of accomplishing his object, than have the authors
whose creations we have named, by delineating such individual
instances--by holding up, as it were, such _outre_ specimens of an
original class--failed to convey any thing like an accurate impression
of the habits, customs, and general character of the western pioneers.

"Daniel Boone, and those who accompanied him into the wildernesses of
Kentucky, had been little more than hunters in their original homes,
on the frontiers of North Carolina; and, with the exception of their
leader, but little more than hunters did they continue after their
emigration. The most glowing accounts of the beauty and fertility of
the country northwest of the Laurel Ridge, had reached their ears from
Finley and his companions; and they shouldered their guns, strapped
their wallets upon their backs and wandered through the Cumberland Gap
into the dense forests, and thick brakes, and beautiful plains which
soon opened upon their visions, more to indulge a habit of roving, and
gratify an excited curiosity, than from any other motive; and, arrived
upon the head-waters of the Kentucky, they built themselves rude log
cabins, and spent most of their lives in hunting and eating, and
fighting marauding bands of Indians. Of a similar character were the
earliest Virginians, who penetrated these wildernesses. The very first,
indeed, who wandered from the parent State over the Laurel Ridge, down
into the unknown regions on its northwest, came avowedly as hunters and
trappers; and such of them as escaped the tomahawk of the Indian, with
very few exceptions, remained hunters and trappers till their deaths.

"But this first class of pioneers was not either numerous enough,
or influential enough, to stamp its character upon the after-coming
hundreds; and the second class of immigrants into Kentucky was composed
of very different materials. Small farmers from North Carolina,
Virginia, and Pennsylvania, for the most part, constituted this; and
these daring adventurers brought with them intelligent and aspiring
minds, industrious and persevering habits, a few of the comforts of
civilized life, and some of the implements of husbandry. A number of
them were men who had received the rudiments of an English education,
and not a few of them had been reared up in the spirit, and a sincere
observance of the forms, of religious worship. Many, perhaps most of
them, were from the frontier settlements of the States named; and these
combined the habits of the hunter and agriculturist, and possessed, with
no inconsiderable knowledge of partially refined life, all that boldness
and energy, which subsequently became so distinctive a trait of the
character of the early settlers.

"This second class of the pioneers, or at least the mass of those who
constituted it, sought the plains and forests, and streams of Kentucky,
not to indulge any inclination for listless ramblings; nor as hunters or
trappers; nor yet for the purpose of gratifying an awakened curiosity:
they came deliberately, soberly, thoughtfully, _in search of a home_,
determined, from the outset, to win one, or perish in the attempt; they
came to cast their lot in a land that was new, to better their worldly
condition by the acquisition of demesnes, to build up a new commonwealth
in an un-peopled region; they came with their wives, and their children,
and their kindred, from places where the toil of the hand, and the sweat
of the brow, could hardly supply them with bread, to a land in which
ordinary industry would, almost at once, furnish all the necessaries of
life, and when it was plain well-directed effort would ultimately secure
its ease, its dignity, and its refinements. Poor in the past, and with
scarce a hope, without a change of place, of a better condition of
earthly existence, either for themselves or their offspring, they saw
themselves, _with_ that change, rich in the future, and looked forward
with certainty to a time when their children, if not themselves, would
be in a condition improved beyond compare.

"There was also a third class of pioneers, who in several respects
differed as much from either the first or the second class, as these
differed from each other. This class was composed, in great part, of men
who came to Kentucky after the way had been in some measure prepared for
immigrants, and yet before the setting in of that tide of population
which, a year or two after the close of the American Revolution, poured
so rapidly into these fertile regions from several of the Atlantic
States. In this class of immigrants, there were many gentlemen of
education, refinement, and no inconsiderable wealth; some of whom came
to Kentucky as surveyors, others as commissioners from the parent State,
and others again as land speculators; but most of them as _bona fide_
immigrants, determined to pitch their tents in the Great West, at once
to become _units_ of a new people, and to grow into affluence, and
consideration, and renown, with the growth of a young and vigorous

"Such were the founders of Kentucky; and in them we behold the elements
of a society inferior, in all the essentials of goodness and greatness,
to none in the world. First came the hunter and trapper, to trace the
river courses, and spy out the choice spots of the land; then came the
small farmer and the hardy adventurer, to cultivate the rich plains
discovered, and lay the nucleuses of the towns and cities, which were
so soon, and so rapidly, to spring up; and then came the surveyor, to
mark the boundaries of individual possessions and give civil shape and
strength to the unformed mass, the speculator to impart a new activity
and keenness to the minds of men, and the chivalrous and educated
gentleman, to infuse into the crude materials here collected together,
the feelings and sentiments of refined existence, and to mold them into
forms of conventional beauty and social excellence. Kentucky now began
to have a _society_, in which were the sinews of war, the power of
production, and the genius of improvement; and from this time, though
still harassed, as she had been from the beginning, by the inroads of
a brave and determined enemy on her north, her advancement was regular
and rapid."

[Footnote 20: W.D. Gallagher, "Hesperian," Vol. II., p 89.]


     Daniel Boone sets out for Kentucky with his family and his brother
     Squire Boone--Is joined by five families and forty men at Powell's
     Valley--The party is attacked by Indians and Daniel Boone's oldest
     son is killed--The party return to the settlements on Clinch
     River--Boone, at the request of Governor Dunmore, goes to the West
     and conducts a party of surveyors to Virginia--Boone receives the
     command of three garrisons and the commission of Captain--He takes
     a part in the Dunmore war--Battle of Point Pleasant and termination
     of the war.

Having completed all his arrangements for the journey, on the 25th of
September, 1774, Daniel Boone, with his wife and children, set out on
his journey to the West. He was accompanied by his brother, Squire
Boone; and the party took with them cattle and swine, with a view to
the stocking of their farms, when they should arrive in Kentucky.
Their bedding and other baggage was carried by pack-horses.

At a place called Powel's Valley, the party was reinforced by another
body of emigrants to the West consisting of five families and no less
than forty able-bodied men; well armed and provided with provisions and

They now went on in high spirits, "camping out" every night in woods,
under the shelter of rude tents constructed with poles covered with
bed-clothes. They thus advanced on their journey without accident or
alarm, until the 6th of October, when they were approaching a pass in
the mountains, called Cumberland Gap. The young men who were engaged
in driving the cattle had fallen in rear of the main body a distance
of five or six miles, when they were suddenly assailed by a party of
Indians, who killed six of their number and dispersed the cattle in the
woods. A seventh man escaped with a wound. The reports of the musketry
brought the remainder of the party to the rescue, who drove off the
Indians and buried the dead. Among the slain was the oldest son of
Daniel Boone.

A council was now held to determine on their future proceedings.
Notwithstanding the dreadful domestic misfortune which he had
experienced in the loss of his son, Daniel Boone was for proceeding to
Kentucky; in this opinion he was sustained by his brother and some of
the other emigrants; but most of them were so much disheartened by the
misfortune they had met with, that they insisted on returning; and Boone
and his brother yielding to their wishes, returned to the settlement on
the Clinch River, in the south-western part of Virginia, a distance of
forty miles from the place where they had been surprised by the Indians.

Here Boone was obliged to remain with his family for the present; but he
had by no means relinquished his design of settling in Kentucky. This
delay, however, was undoubtedly a providential one; for in consequence
of the murder of the family of the Indian chief Logan, a terrible Indian
war, called in history the Dunmore War, was impending, which broke out
in the succeeding year, and extended to that part of the West to which
Boone and his party were proceeding, when they were turned back by the
attack of the Indians.

In this war Daniel Boone was destined to take an active part. In his
autobiography, already quoted, he says:

"I remained with my family on Clinch until the 6th of June, 1774, when I
and one Michael Stoner were solicited by Governor Dunmore, of Virginia,
to go to the Falls of the Ohio, to conduct into the settlement a number
of surveyors that had been sent thither by him some months before; this
country having about this time drawn the attention of many adventurers.
We immediately complied with the governor's request, and conducted in
the surveyors, completing a tour of eight hundred miles, through many
difficulties, in sixty-two day.

"Soon after I returned home, I was ordered to take command of three
garrisons, during the campaign which Governor Dunmore carried on against
the Shawanese Indians."

These three garrisons were on the frontier contiguous to each other;
and with the command of them Boone received a commission as captain.

We quote from a contemporary an account of the leading events of this
campaign, and of the battle of Point Pleasant, which may be said to
have terminated the war. Whether Boone was present at this battle is
uncertain; but his well-known character for ability and courage, renders
it probable that he took a part in the action.

The settlers, now aware that a general warfare would be commenced by
the Indians, immediately sent an express to Williamsburg, the seat of
government in Virginia, communicating their apprehensions, and
soliciting protection.

The Legislature was in session at the time, and it was immediately
resolved upon to raise an army of about three thousand men, and march
into the heart of the Indian country.

One half of the requisite number of troops was ordered to be raised in
Virginia, and marched under General Andrew Lewis across the country to
the mouth of the Kenhawa; and the remainder to be rendezvoused at Fort
Pitt, and be commanded by Dunmore in person, who proposed to descend the
Ohio and join Lewis at the place mentioned, from where the combined
army was to march as circumstances might dictate at the time.

By the 11th of September the troops under General Lewis, numbering about
eleven hundred men, were in readiness to leave. The distance across to
the mouth of the Kenhawa, was near one hundred and sixty miles through
an unbroken wilderness. A competent guide was secured, the baggage
mounted on pack horses, and in nineteen days they arrived at the place
of destination.

The next morning after the arrival of the army at Point Pleasant, as the
point of land at the junction of the Kenhawa and the Ohio was called,
two men were out some distance from the camp, in pursuit of a deer, and
were suddenly fired upon by a large body of Indians; one was killed,
and the other with difficulty retreated back to the army; who hastily
reported "that he had seen a body of the enemy covering four acres of
ground, as closely as they could stand by the side of each other."

General Lewis was a remarkably cool and considerate man; and upon being
informed of this, "after deliberately lighting his pipe," gave orders
that the regiment under his brother, Colonel Charles Lewis, and another
under Colonel Fleming, should march and reconnoiter the enemy, while he
would place the remainder of the troops in order for battle. The two
regiments marched without delay, and had not proceeded more than four
hundred yards when they were met by the Indians, approaching for the
same purpose. A skirmish immediately ensued, and before the contest had
continued long, the colonels of the two regiments fell mortally wounded,
when a disorder in the ranks followed, and the troops began a
precipitate retreat; but almost at this moment another regiment under
Colonel Field arriving to their aid and coming up with great firmness to
the attack effectually checked the savages in the pursuit, and obliged
them in turn to give way till they had retired behind a breastwork of
logs and brush which they had partially constructed.

Lewis, on his arrival at the place, had encamped quite on the point of
land between the Ohio and Kenhawa, and having moved but a short distance
out to the attack, the distance across from river to river was still but
short. The Indians soon extending their ranks entirely across, had the
Virginians completely hemmed in, and in the event of getting the better
of them, had them at their disposal, as there could have been no chance
for escape.

Never was ground maintained with more obstinacy; for it was slowly, and
with no precipitancy, that the Indians retired to their breastwork. The
division under Lewis was first broken, although that under Fleming was
nearly at the same moment attacked. This heroic officer first received
two balls through his left wrist, but continued to exercise his command
with the greatest coolness and presence of mind. His voice was
continually heard, "Don't lose an inch of ground. Advance, outflank the
enemy, and get between them and the river." But his men were about to
be outflanked by the body that had just defeated Lewis; meanwhile the
arrival of Colonel Field turned the fortune of the day, but not without
a severe loss; Colonel Fleming was again wounded, by a shot through the
lungs; yet he would not retire, and Colonel Field was killed as he was
leading on his men. The whole line of the breastwork now became as a
blaze of fire, which lasted nearly till the close of the day. Here the
Indians under Logan, Cornstock, Elenipsico, Red-Eagle, and other mighty
chiefs of the tribes of the Shawneese, Delawares, Mingos, Wyandots,
and Cayugas, amounting, as was supposed, to fifteen hundred warriors,
fought, as men will ever do for their country's wrongs, with a bravery
which could only be equaled. The voice of the great Cornstock was often
heard during the day, above the din of strife, calling on his men in
these words: "Be strong! Be strong!" And when by the repeated charges
of the whites, some of his warriors began to waver, he is said to have
sunk his tomahawk into the head of one who was basely endeavoring to
desert. General Lewis, finding at length that every charge upon the
lines of the Indians lessened the number of his forces to an alarming
degree, and rightly judging that if the Indians were not routed before
it was dark, a day of more doubt might follow, he resolved to throw
a body, if possible, into their rear. As the good fortune of the
Virginians turned, the bank of the river favored this project, and
forthwith three companies were detached upon the enterprise, under the
three captains, Isaac Shelby (after renowned in the revolution, and
since in the war with Canada,) George Matthews, and John Stewart. These
companies got unobserved to their place of destination upon Crooked
Creek, which runs into the Kenhawa. From the high weeds upon the bank of
this little stream, they rushed upon the backs of the Indians with such
fury, as to drive them from their works with precipitation. The day was
now decided. The Indians, thus beset from a quarter they did not expect,
were ready to conclude that a reinforcement had arrived. It was about,
sunset when they fled across the Ohio, and immediately took up their
march for their towns on the Scioto.

Of the loss of both Indians and whites in this engagement, various
statements have been given. A number amounting to seventy-five killed,
and one hundred and forty wounded of the whites, has been rendered; with
a loss on part of the Indians not so great, but not correctly known.[21]
This was the severest battle ever fought with the Indians in Virginia.
Shortly after this battle the Indians sent messengers to Governor
Dunmore, suing for peace, and a treaty was accordingly concluded.
In this treaty the Indians surrendered all claim to Kentucky. The Six
Nations had already done the same thing at the Treaty of Fort Stanwix
in 1768. The Cherokees had sold their claims to Henderson's company; so
that when Boone settled in Kentucky it was effectually cleared of all
Indian titles.

[Footnote 21: "History of the Backwoods."]


     The militia discharged--Captain Boone returns to his
     family--Henderson's company--Various companies of emigrants to
     Kentucky--Bounty lands--Harrod's party builds the first log-cabin
     erected in Kentucky, and founds Harrodsburg--Proceedings of
     Henderson's company--Agency of Captain Boone--He leads a company to
     open a road to Kentucky River--Conflicts with the Indians--Captain
     Boone founds Boonesborough--His own account of this expedition--His
     letter to Henderson--Account of Colonel Henderson and the
     Transylvania Company--Failure of the scheme--Probability of Boone
     having been several years in the service of Henderson.

On the conclusion of Dunmore's war, the militia were discharged from
service, the garrisons which had been under Captain Daniel Boone's
command were broken up, and he once more returned to his family, who
were still residing on Clinch River. But he was not long permitted to
remain comparatively idle. Captain Boone's character as an able officer
and a bold pioneer, was now well known and appreciated by the public.
The marks of confidence bestowed on him by Governor Dunmore rendered
him one of the most conspicuous men in the Southern colonies, and his
services were soon to be put in requisition by the most considerable and
remarkable of all the parties of adventurers who ever sought a home in
the West. This was Henderson's company, called the Transylvania Company,
to whose proceedings we shall presently refer.

Between 1769 and 1773, various associations of men were formed, in
Virginia and North Carolina, for visiting the newly-discovered regions
and locating lands; and several daring adventurers, at different times
during this period, penetrated to the head-waters of the Licking River,
and did some surveying; but it was not till the year 1774 that the
whites obtained any permanent foothold in Kentucky. From this year,
therefore, properly dates the commencement of the early settlements of
the State.[22]

The first great impetus given to adventure in Kentucky was by the bounty
in Western land given by Virginia to the officers and soldiers of her
own troops who had served in the British army in the old war in Canada
between the English and French. These lands were to be surveyed on the
Ohio River, and its tributaries, by the claimants thus created, who
had the privilege of selecting them wherever they pleased within the
prescribed regions. The first locations were made upon the Great Kenawha
in the year 1772, and the next on the south side of the Ohio itself the
following year. During this year, likewise, extensive tracts of land
were located on the north fork of the Licking, and surveys made of
several salt-licks, and other choice spots. But 1774 was more signalized
than had been any preceding year by the arrival, in the new "land of
promise," of the claimants to portions of its territory, and the
execution of surveys. Among the hardy adventurers who descended the Ohio
this year and penetrated to the interior of Kentucky by the river of
that name, was James Harrod, who led a party of Virginians from the
shores of the Monongahela. He disembarked at a point still known as
"Harrod's Landing," and, crossing the country in a direction nearly
west, paused in the midst of a beautiful and fertile region, and _built
the first log-cabin_ ever erected in Kentucky, on or near the site of
the present town of Harrodsburg. This was in the spring, or early part
of the summer, of 1774.[23]

The high-wrought descriptions of the country north west of the Laurel
Ridge, which were given by Daniel Boone upon his return to North
Carolina after his first long visit to Kentucky, circulated with
great rapidity throughout the entire State, exciting the avarice of
speculators and inflaming the imaginations of nearly all classes of
people. The organization of several companies, for the purpose of
pushing adventure in the new regions and acquiring rights to land, was
immediately attempted; but that which commenced under the auspices of
Colonel Richard Henderson, a gentleman of education and means, soon
engaged public attention by the extent and boldness of its scheme, and
the energy of its movements; and either frightened from their purpose,
or attracted to its own ranks, the principal of those individuals who
had at first been active in endeavoring to form other associations.

The whole of that vast extent of country lying within the natural
boundaries constituted by the Ohio, Kentucky, and Cumberland rivers, was
at this time claimed by a portion of the Cherokee Indians, who resided
within the limits of North Carolina; and the scheme of Henderson's
Company was nothing less than to take possession of this immense
territory, under color of a purchase from those Indians, which they
intended to make, and the preliminary negotiations for which were opened
with the Cherokees, through the agency of Daniel Boone, as soon as the
company was fully organized. Boone's mission to the Indians having been
attended with complete success, and the result thereof being conveyed
to the company, Colonel Henderson at once started for Fort Wataga, on
a branch of the Holston River, fully authorized to effect the purchase;
and here, on the 17th of March, 1775, he met the Indians in solemn
council, delivered them a satisfactory consideration in merchandise,
and received a deed signed by their head chiefs.

The purchase made, the next important step was to take possession of the
territory thus acquired. The proprietors were not slow to do this, but
immediately collected a small company of brave and hardy men, which
they sent into Kentucky, under the direction of Daniel Boone, to open a
road from the Holston to the Kentucky River, and erect a Station at the
mouth of Otter Creek upon this latter.

After a laborious and hazardous march through the wilderness, during
which four men were killed, and five others wounded, by trailing and
skulking parties of hostile Indians, Boone and his company reached the
banks of the Kentucky on the first of April, and descending this some
fifteen miles, encamped upon the spot where Boonesborough now stands.
Here the bushes were at once cut down, the ground leveled, the nearest
trees felled, the foundations laid for a fort, and the first settlement
of Kentucky commenced.

Perhaps the reader would like to see Boone's own account of these
proceedings. Here is the passage where he mentions it in his
autobiography. He has just been speaking of Governor Dunmore's war
against the Shawanese Indians: "After the conclusion of which, he says,
the militia was discharged from each garrison, and I being relieved from
my post, was solicited by a number of North Carolina gentlemen, that
were about purchasing the lands lying on the South side of Kentucky
River from the Cherokee Indians, to attend their treaty at Wataga, in
March, 1775, to negotiate with them, and mention the boundaries of the
purchase. This I accepted; and at the request of the same gentlemen,
undertook to mark out a road in the best passage through the wilderness
to Kentucky, with such assistance as I thought necessary to employ for
such an important undertaking?

"I soon began this work, having collected a number of enterprising men,
well armed. We proceeded with all possible expedition until we came
within fifteen miles of where Boonesborough now stands, and where we
were fired upon by a party of Indians, that killed two, and wounded two
of our number; yet, although surprised and taken at a disadvantage,
we stood our ground. This was on the twentieth of March, 1775. Three
days after we were fired upon again, and had two men killed and three
wounded. Afterward we proceeded on to Kentucky River without opposition,
and on the fifth day of April began to erect the fort of Boonesborough
at a salt-lick, about sixty yards from the river, on the south side."

"On the fourth day, the Indians killed one of our men. We were busily
engaged in building the fort, until the fourteenth day of June
following, without any further opposition from the Indians."

In addition to this account by Captain Boone, we have another in a sort
of official report made by him to Colonel Richard Henderson, the head
of the company in whose service Boone was then employed. It is cited by
Peck in his Life of Boone, as follows:

"April 15th, 1775.

"Dear Colonel: After my compliments to you, I shall acquaint you with
our misfortune. On March the 25th a party of Indians fired on my company
about half an hour before day, and killed Mr. Twitty and his negro, and
wounded Mr. Walker very deeply but I hope he will recover.

"On March the 28th, as we were hunting for provisions, we found Samuel
Tate's son, who gave us an account that the Indians fired on their camp
on the 27th day. My brother and I went down and found two men killed and
scalped, Thomas McDowell and Jeremiah McPeters. I have sent a man down
to all the lower companies in order to gather them all to the mouth
of Otter Creek. My advice to you, sir, is to come or send as soon as
possible. Your company is desired greatly, for the people are very
uneasy, but are willing to stay and venture their lives with you; and
now is the time to flusterate their (the Indians) intentions, and keep
the country whilst we are in it. If we give way to them now, it will
ever be the case This day we start from the battle-ground for the mouth
of Otter Creek, where we shall immediately erect a fort, which will be
done before you can come or send; then we can send ten men to meet you
if you send for them.

"I am, sir, your most obedient,


"N.B.--We stood on the ground and guarded our baggage till day, and lost
nothing. We have about fifteen miles to Cantuck, at Otter Creek."

Colonel Henderson was one of the most remarkable men of his time.
He was born in Hanover County, Virginia, April 20th, 1735, the same year
with Boone. He studied law, and was appointed judge of the Superior
Court of North Carolina under the Colonial government. The troubled
times of the Regulators shut up the courts of justice. In 1774 he
engaged in his grand scheme of founding the republic of Transylvania,
and united with him John Williams, Leonard Hendly Bullock, of Granville;
William Johnston, James Hogg, Thomas Hart, John Lutterell, Nathaniel
Hart, and David Hart, of Orange County, in the company which made the
purchase of the immense tract of lands above referred to.

The company took possession of the lands on the 20th of April, 1775; the
Indians appointing an agent to deliver them according to law.

The Governor of North Carolina, Martin, issued his proclamation in 1775,
declaring this purchase illegal. The State subsequently granted 200,000
acres to the company in lieu of this.

The State of Virginia declared the same, but granted the company a
remuneration of 200,000 acres, bounded by the Ohio and Green rivers. The
State of Tennessee claimed the lands, but made a similar grant to the
company in Powell's Valley. Thus, though the original scheme of founding
an independent republic failed, the company made their fortunes by the
speculation. Henderson died at his seat in Granville, January 30, 1785,
universally beloved and respected.

What makes Henderson and his company particularly interesting to the
admirers of Daniel Boone is, the strong probability that the purchase of
the Cherokees was made on his representation and by his advice. This is
the opinion of Judge Hall and of Mr. Peck, who also believe that Boone
was already in the service of Henderson when he made his long journey
to Kentucky. "This theory," says Mr. Peck, "explains why his brother,
Squire Boone, came out with supplies, and why they examined the country
so fully and particularly between the Kentucky and Cumberland rivers."

[Footnote 22: Gallagher.]

[Footnote 23: Gallagher.]


     Description of the Old Fort at Boonesborough--Usual methods of
     fortification against the Indians--Arrival of more settlers at
     Boonesborough--Captain Boone returns to the Clinch River to
     bring out his family--He enlists new emigrants and starts for
     Kentucky--Reinforced by a large party at Powell's Valley--Arrival
     at Boonesborough--Arrival of many new settlers at Boonesborough and
     Harrod's settlement--Arrival of Kenton, Floyd, the McAfees, and
     other distinguished persons--Arrival of Colonel Richard Callaway.

As the old fort at Boonesborough became so celebrated in the Indian
wars which followed its erection, our readers may be curious to know
what sort of structure it was. "We have accordingly copied from a
print in Collins' Historical Sketches of Kentucky a view of the fort,
from a drawing made by Colonel Henderson himself, and the following
description: 'It was situated adjacent to the river, with one of the
angles resting on its bank near the water, and extending from it in the
form of a parallelogram. The length of the fort, allowing twenty feet
for each cabin and opening, must have been about two hundred and sixty,
and the breadth one hundred and fifty feet. In a few days after the work
was commenced, one of the men was killed by the Indians.' The houses,
being built of hewn logs, were bullet proof. They were of a square
form, and one of them projected from each corner, being connected by
stockades. The remaining space on the four sides, as will be seen by
the engraving, was filled up with cabins erected of rough logs, placed
close together. The gates were on opposite sides, made of thick slabs
of timber, and hung on wooden hinges. This was in accordance with the
fashion of the day."

"A fort, in those rude military times," says Butler,[24] "consisted of
pieces of timber sharpened at the end and firmly lodged in the ground:
rows of these pickets enclosed the desired space, which embraced the
cabins of the inhabitants. A block-house or more, of superior care and
strength, commanding the sides of the fort, with or without a ditch,
completed the fortifications or Stations, as they were called. Generally
the sides of the interior cabins formed the sides of the fort. Slight as
this advance was in the art of war, it was more than sufficient against
attacks of small arms in the hands of such desultory warriors, as their
irregular supply of provisions necessarily rendered the Indians. Such
was the nature of the military structures of the provision against their
enemies. They were ever more formidable in the canebrakes and in the
woods than before even these imperfect fortifications."

We have seen in Boone's own account that the fort at Boonesborough was
completed on the 14th of June, 1774. The buildings necessary for the
accommodation and safety of the little colony, and of the relatives and
friends by whom they expected to be joined during the summer and fall,
were completed about this time. Colonel Henderson, Mr. John Luttrell,
and Mr. Nathaniel Hart, three of the proprietors, arrived at the
station, which was now named Boonesborough, in compliment to the
intrepid pioneer. These gentlemen brought out with them between thirty
and forty new settlers, a goodly number of pack-horses, and some of
the necessaries of civilized life; and the Station, upon which various
improvements were soon made, at once became quite a bustling, life-like,
important _military_ place. Much pleased with the manner in which he had
commenced the settlement of a new commonwealth, and laid the foundations
of what he doubted not was soon to become a great city, Boone took a
part of his men and returned to the settlement on Clinch River, for the
purpose of setting an example to others by moving out his own family.

The daring pioneer was now in high spirits, and more than ever
enraptured with the deep forests and rich plains of Kentucky. He sounded
their praises without intermission among the settlers on Clinch River,
and soon induced a number of persons to agree to accompany him on his
return to Boonesborough. He then went about making his domestic
arrangements, for a final removal to Kentucky, with great energy; and
these being soon completed, in September or October he turned his back
upon his old home forever, and started with his family and a few
followers toward that which his unsurpassed daring and rude skill had
prepared for them in a new land. In Powell's Valley he found Hugh
McGary, Richard Hogan, and Thomas Denton, with their families and
followers, awaiting his arrival. His companions, as now increased,
amounted to twenty-six men, four women, and four or five boys and girls,
perhaps half grown; and placing himself at the head of this interesting
little colony, he proudly led it through the Cumberland Gap into the
wilderness beyond, where it was destined to be the germ of a great

When this party had arrived at the head of Dick's River, McGary, Denton,
and Hogan, with their families and a few followers, separated themselves
from the rest, and struck through the forest for the spot where Harrod
and his Monongahelians had built their cabin the year before. Boone,
with the main body of the party, continued his original course, and
in due time arrived safely at Boonesborough; "and Mrs. Boone and her
daughter," it is always recorded with an air of pleasant exultation by
the admirers of the old pioneer, "were the earliest white women in that
region, and the first of their sex and color that ever stood upon the
banks of the wild and beautiful Kentucky."

During the latter part of the year 1775, a great many adventurers and
surveyors, principally from Virginia and North Carolina, made their
appearance in Kentucky; and for all such, Boonesborough was a place
of general rendezvous. Some united themselves to Boone's colony, and
remained permanently at his Station: others clustered abound Harrod's
Old Cabin, and the Fort which had by this time been erected by Logan,
and made "improvements" in the vicinity of each; but most of them
returned to their several homes after having made such locations and
surveys as they thought proper. Among those by whom Boone was visited
in the course of this year, were several men who have subsequently
rendered very important services in the settlement of the West, and
attained great and deserved celebrity: such were Simon Kenton, John
Floyd, the four brothers McAfee, and others. A tolerably good road,
sufficient for the passage of pack-horses in single file, had been
opened from the settlements on the Holston to Boonesborough, by the
party which Boone led out early in the following spring; and this
now became the thoroughfare for other adventurers, a number of whom
removed their families from North Carolina to Kentucky, and settled
at Boonesborough, during the fall and winter of this year. Colonel
Richard Callaway was one of these; and there were others of equal

[Footnote 24: History of Kentucky.]


     Disturbed state of the country in 1775--Breaking out of
     the Revolutionary war--Exposed situation of the Kentucky
     settlements--Hostility of the Indians excited by the British--First
     political convention in the West--Capture of Boone's daughter and
     the daughters of Colonel Callaway by the Indians--Their rescue by a
     party led by Boone and Callaway--Increased caution of the colonists
     at Boonesborough--Alarm and desertion of the Colonies in the West
     by land speculators and other adventurers--A reinforcement of
     forty-five men from North Carolina arrive at Boonesborough--Indian
     attack on Boonesborough in April--Another attack in July--Attack
     on Logan's Fort, and siege--Attack on Harrodsburg.

The reader will not fail to remark that the period at which Daniel Boone
commenced the settlement of Kentucky, was the most eventful one in the
history of our country. In the year 1775 hostilities between Great
Britain and her American Colonies commenced at Lexington and Concord,
and the whole country was mustering in arms at the time when Boone and
the other western emigrants were forming settlements four hundred miles
beyond the frontiers of Virginia and the Carolinas. Encouraged by the
treaty of Lord Dunmore with the Indians in 1774, and knowing the Indian
titles to the lands they were occupying to have been extinguished, they
naturally counted on an unmolested possession of the region they were
settling. But in this expectation they were sorely disappointed. The
English officers and agents in the northwest were indefatigable in
stimulating the Indians to attack the American colonists in every
quarter. They supplied them with arms and ammunition, bribed them with
money, and aided and encouraged them to attack the feeble settlements in
Kentucky and Tennessee. But Providence overruled these circumstances for
the benefit of the Western country. "The settlement of Kentucky led to
the conquest of the British posts in Illinois and Indiana, in 1778, and
eventually threw the wide valleys of the West under control of the
American Union."[25]

The settlers in Kentucky in 1775, were still acting under the belief
that the claims purchased by Henderson and Company from the Cherokees
were valid, and that "the Proprietors of the Colony of Transylvania"
were really founding a political State. Under this impression they
took leases from the Company, and in the course of the year, eighteen
delegates assembled in convention at Boonesborough, and acknowledged the
Company as lawful proprietors, "established courts of justice, and rules
for proceeding therein; also a militia law, a law for the preservation
of game, and for appointing civil and militia officers."[26] This was
the first political convention ever held in the Western Valley for the
formation of a free government.[27]

The winter and spring of 1776[28] were passed by the little colony
of Boonesborough in hunting, fishing, clearing the lands immediately
contiguous to the station, and putting in a crop of corn. The colonists
were molested but once by their enemies during the winter, when one man
was killed by a small band of marauding Indians, who suddenly appeared
in the vicinity, and as suddenly departed.

In the middle summer month, an incident of a thrilling character
occurred, which cast a deep but only momentary shadow upon the little
society of Boonesborough. This was the capture, by some skulking Indians
belonging to a numerous band who were now prowling through the woods and
brakes of Kentucky, and occasionally approaching the settlements for the
purpose of plunder, of three young females, members of the families of
Boone and Callaway.

This incident, which has been taken as the ground-work of two or three
western fictions, and also had thrown around it all the warm coloring of
romance, by writers professing to deal only with the authentic, is thus
briefly related in the papers of Colonel John Floyd, as quoted by Mr.

"On the 7th of July, 1776, the Indians took out of a canoe which was
in the river, within sight of Boonesborough, Miss Betsey Callaway, her
sister Frances, and a daughter of Daniel Boone. The last two were about
thirteen or fourteen years of age, and the other grown.

"The affair happened late in the afternoon, and the spoilers left the
canoe on the opposite side of the river from us, which prevented our
getting over for some time to pursue them. Next morning by daylight we
were on the track, but found they had totally prevented our following
them by walking some distance apart through the thickest cane they could
find. We observed their course, however, and on which side they had left
their sign, and traveled upward of thirty miles. We then imagined that
they would be less cautious in traveling, and made a turn in order to
cross their trace, and had gone but a few miles before we found their
tracks in a buffalo-path.

"Pursuing this for the distance of about ten miles, we overtook them
just as they were kindling a fire to cook. Our study had been more to
get the prisoners without giving their captors time to murder them after
they should discover us, than to kill the Indians.

"We discovered each other nearly at the same time. Four of our party
fired, and then all rushed upon them, which prevented their carrying
any thing away except one shot-gun without any ammunition. Mr. Boone and
myself had a pretty fair shot, just as they began to move off. I am well
convinced I shot one through; the one he shot dropped his gun, mine had


"The place was very thick with cane; and being so much elated on
recovering the three little broken-hearted girls, prevented our making
any further search. We sent them off without moccasins, and not one of
them with so much as a knife or a tomahawk."

Although the people of the little colony of Boonesborough were not
aware of the fact at the time, the marauding Indians who thus captured
Miss Boone and the Misses Callaway, as they were amusing themselves by
paddling about the foot of the rock in the canoe, were one of the many
scouting parties of Indians who were scattered about watching all the
different settlements in Kentucky, and preparing to attack them. The
incident of the capture of the girls spread an alarm, and guards were
stationed to defend the hands who were engaged in cultivating the

Toward autumn the alarm of Indian hostilities, and the knowledge that
war was raging throughout the Colonies east of the mountains, excited
so much alarm, that some three hundred land speculators and other
adventurers deserted the Western country and returned to their old

With the exception of the capture of the young girls mentioned
above, no incident is recorded as having disturbed the tranquility of
Boonesborough during the year 1776. An occasional immigrant added a new
member to its little society, who assisted in the labors of the hardy
colonists on the surrounding grounds. But its numbers received no
considerable increase till the following summer, when (25th July, 1777,)
a party of immigrants from North Carolina, consisting of forty-five men,
arrived in the country, and took up their first abode in the wilderness
at Boonesborough.

This was a fortunate circumstance for that station, and great cause of
rejoicing among all the settlements, for there were none of them that
had not been much molested by the Indians since the opening of spring,
and one or two of them had undergone long and regular Indian sieges.

Boonesborough had been surrounded by about one hundred of the enemy,
as early as the middle of April, 1777, and fiercely attacked. But the
Indians were so warmly received by the garrison on this occasion, that
they in a very little time withdrew, having killed one of the settlers,
and wounded four others. Their own loss could not be ascertained.

Increased to two hundred warriors, this party had returned to the attack
of Boonesborough on the fourth of July.[30] On the present occasion,
having sent detachments to alarm and annoy the neighboring settlements,
in order that no reinforcements should be sent to Boonesborough, the
Indians encamped about the place, with the object of attempting its
reduction by a regular siege. After a close and vigorous attack for two
days and nights, in which they succeeded in killing but one man and
wounding four others, the Indians, losing all hope of success, suddenly,
and with great clamor, raised the siege, and disappeared in the adjacent
forest. Their own loss was seven warriors, whose fall was noted from the

After this attack, Boonesborough was disturbed no more by the Indians
during the year. Had it been after the arrival of the immigrants above
referred to, it would, in all probability, have taught its indefatigable
enemies a lesson such as they had never then received at the hands of
the Kentuckians.

But notwithstanding these two considerable attacks, and the "signs"
of Indians in the surrounding forests for the whole summer, the men
continued to clear the lands adjacent to the Station, and to cultivate
corn and garden vegetables, some always keeping a vigilant look-out
while the others labored. For supplies of meat they depended upon the
forests, each of the men taking his turn as a hunter, at great hazard.

Meantime, the other settlements in Kentucky had suffered attacks
from the Indians. Logan's Fort was invested by a force of one hundred
Indians on the 20th of May, 1777, and after sustaining a vigorous
siege for several days, was finally relieved by the timely arrival of
a reinforcement commanded by Colonel Bowman. On the 7th of March, 1777,
the fort at Harrodsburg, then called Harrodstown, was assailed by a body
of Indians, but they were speedily driven off, one of their number being
killed. The whites had four men wounded, one of whom afterward died of
his wounds.

[Footnote 25: Peck. "Life of Daniel Boone."]

[Footnote 26: Butler. "History of Kentucky."]

[Footnote 27: Peck. "Life of Daniel Boone."]

[Footnote 28: Mr. Peck mentions the spring of 1776, as the date of the
arrival at Boonesborough of Colonel Richard Callaway, and an intimate
friend of Boone, with his family, and the family of Benjamin Logan, who
had returned for them the preceding autumn.]

[Footnote 29: Peck.]

[Footnote 30: Gallagher.]


     Arrival of George Rogers Clark in Kentucky--Anecdote of his
     conversation with Ray--Clark and Jones chosen as delegates for the
     Colonies to the Virginia Legislature--Clark's important services in
     obtaining a political organization for Kentucky, and an abundant
     supply of gunpowder from the government of Virginia--Great labor
     and difficulty in bringing the powder to Harrodstown--Clark's
     expedition against Kaskaskias--Surprise and capture of their
     fort--Perilous and difficult march to Vincennes--Surprise and
     capture of that place--Extension of the Virginian
     settlements--Erection of Fort Jefferson.

Among the most celebrated pioneers of the West, was General George
Rogers Clark, who, at the time we are now writing of, bore the rank of
Major. Anxious for the protection of the Western settlements, he was
already planning his celebrated conquest of the British posts in the

He first came to Kentucky in 1775, and penetrated to Harrodsburg, which
had been reoccupied by Colonel Harrod. In this visit, from his well
known and commanding talents, he was voluntarily placed in command
of the irregular troops then in Kentucky In the fall he returned to
Virginia, and came back again to Kentucky in 1776. Mr. Butler relates
the following anecdote, received from the lips of General Ray, as having
occurred with General Clark upon his second visit: "I had come down,"
said General Ray, "to where I now live (about four miles north of
Harrodsburg), to turn some horses in the range. I had killed a small
blue-wing duck that was feeding in my spring, and had roasted it nicely
on the brow of the hill, about twenty steps east of my house. After
having taken it off to cool, I was much surprised on being suddenly
accosted by a fine soldierly-looking man, who exclaimed, 'How do you do,
my little fellow? What is your name? Ain't you afraid of being in the
woods by yourself?' On satisfying his inquiries, I invited the traveler
to partake of my duck, which he did, without leaving me a bone to pick,
his appetite was so keen, though he should have been welcome to all the
game I could have killed, when I afterward became acquainted with his
noble and gallant soul." After satisfying his questions, he inquired of
the stranger his own name and business in this remote region. "My name
is Clark," he answered, "and I have come out to see what you brave
fellows are doing in Kentucky, and to lend you a helping hand if
necessary." General Ray, then a boy of sixteen, conducted Clark to
Harrodsburg, where he spent his time in observation on the condition
and prospects of the country, natural to his comprehensive mind, and
assisting at every opportunity in its defense.

At a general meeting of the settlers at Harrodstown, on the 6th of June,
1775, General George Rogers Clark, and Gabriel John Jones, were chosen
to represent them in the Assembly of Virginia.

This, however, was not precisely the thing contemplated by Clark.[31]
He wished that the people should appoint _agents_, with general powers
to _negotiate_ with the government of Virginia, and in the event that
that commonwealth should refuse to recognize the colonists as within its
jurisdiction and under its protection, he proposed to employ the lands
of the country as a fund to obtain settlers and establish an independent
State. The election had, however, gone too far to change its object when
Clark arrived at Harrodstown, and the gentlemen elected, although aware
that the choice could give them no seat in the legislature, proceeded to
Williamsburg, at that time the seat of government. After suffering the
most severe privations in their journey through the wilderness, the
delegates found, on their arrival in Virginia, that the Legislature had
adjourned, whereupon Jones directed his steps to the settlements on the
Holston, and left Clark to attend to the Kentucky mission alone.

He immediately waited on Governor Henry, then lying sick at his
residence in Hanover County, to whom he stated the objects of his
journey. These meeting the approbation of the governor, he gave Clark a
letter to the Executive Council of the State. "With this letter in his
hand he appeared before the council, and after acquainting them fully
with the condition and circumstances of the colony, he made application
for five hundred-weight of gunpowder for the defense of the various
stations. But with every disposition to assist and promote the growth of
these remote and infant settlements, the council felt itself restrained
by the uncertain and indefinite state of the relations existing between
the colonists and the state of Virginia, from complying fully with his
demand. The Kentuckians had not yet been recognized by the Legislature
as citizens, and the proprietary claimants, Henderson & Co., were at
this time exerting themselves to obtain from Virginia, a relinquishment
of her jurisdiction over the new territory. The council, therefore,
could only afford to _lend_ the gunpowder to the colonists as
_friends_, not _give_ it to them as _fellow-citizens_."[32]

At the same time, they required Clark to be personally responsible for
its value, in the event the Legislature should refuse to recognize the
Kentuckians as citizens, and in the mean time to defray the expense of
its conveyance to Kentucky. Upon these terms he did not feel at liberty
to accept the proffered assistance. He represented to the Council, that
the emissaries of the British were employing every means to engage the
Indians in the war; that the people in the remote and exposed Stations
of Kentucky might be exterminated for the want of a supply which he, a
private individual, had at so much hazard and hardship, sought for their
relief, and that when this frontier bulwark was thus destroyed, the fury
of the savages would burst like a tempest upon the heads of their own

To these representations, however, the Council remained inexorable; the
sympathy for the frontier settlers was deep, but the assistance already
offered was a stretch of power, and they could go no further. The keeper
of the public magazine was directed to deliver the powder to Clark; but
having long reflected on the situation, prospects, and resources of the
new country, his resolution to reject the assistance, on the proposed
conditions, was made before he left the Council chamber.

He determined to repair to Kentucky, as he had at first contemplated, to
exert the resources of the country for the formation of an _independent
State_. He accordingly returned the order of the Council in a letter,
setting forth his reasons for declining to accept their powder on these
terms, and intimating his design of applying for assistance elsewhere,
adding "that a country which was not worth defending was not worth
claiming." On the receipt of this letter the Council recalled Clark to
their presence, and an order was passed on the 23d of August, 1776, for
the transmission of the gunpowder, to Pittsburg, to be there delivered
to Clark, or his order, for the use of the people of Kentucky. This was
the first act in that long and affectionate interchange of good offices
which subsisted between Kentucky and her parent State for so many years;
and obvious as the reflection is, it may not be omitted, that on the
successful termination of this negotiation hung the connection between
Virginia and the splendid domain she afterward acquired west of the
Alleghany Mountains.

At the fall session of the Legislature of Virginia, Messrs. Jones and
Clark laid the Kentucky memorial before that body. They were, of course,
not admitted to seats, though late in the session they obtained, in
opposition to the exertions of Colonels Henderson and Campbell, the
formation of the territory, which now comprises the present State of
that name, into the County of Kentucky. The first efficient political
organization of Kentucky was thus obtained through the sagacity,
influence, and exertions of George Rogers Clark, who must be ranked as
the earliest founder of that Commonwealth. This act of the Virginia
Legislature first gave it form and a political existence, and entitled
it, under the constitution of Virginia, to a representation in the
Assembly, as well as to a judicial and military establishment.

Having obtained these important advantages from their mission, they
received the intelligence that the powder was still at Pittsburg, and
they determined to take that point in their route home, and carry it
with them. The country around Pittsburg swarmed with Indians, evidently
hostile to the whites, who would no doubt seek to interrupt their

These circumstances created a necessity for the utmost caution as well
as expedition in their movements, and they accordingly hastily embarked
on the Ohio with only seven boatmen. They were hotly pursued the whole
way by Indians, but succeeded in keeping in advance until they arrived
at the mouth of Limestone Creek, at the spot where the city of Maysville
now stands. They ascended this creek a short distance with their boat,
and concealed their cargo at different places in the woods along its
banks. They then turned their boat adrift, and directed their course to
Harrodstown, intending to return with a sufficient escort to insure the
safe transportation of the powder to its destination. This in a short
time was successfully effected, and the colonists were thus abundantly
supplied with the means of defense against the fierce enemies who beset
them on all sides.[33]

It was fortunate for Virginia, says a recent writer,[34] that she had
at this time, on her western borders, an individual of rare military
genius, in the person of Colonel George Rogers Clarke, "_the Hannibal
of the West_," who not only saved her back settlements from Indian
fury, but planted her standard far beyond the Ohio. The Governor of the
Canadian settlements in the Illinois country, by every possible method,
instigated the Indians to annoy the frontier.

Virginia placed a small force of about 250 men under Clark, who,
descending the Ohio, hid their boats, and marched northwardly, with
their provisions on their backs. These being consumed, they subsisted
for two days on roots, and, in a state of famine, appeared before
Kaskaskias, unseen and unheard.

At midnight they surprised and took the town and fort, which had
resisted a much larger force; then seizing the golden moment, sent
a detachment who with equal success surprised three other towns.
Rocheblave, the obnoxious Governor, was sent to Virginia. On his person
were found written instructions from Quebec to excite the Indians to
hostilities, and reward them for the scalps of the Americans.

The settlers transferred their allegiance to Virginia, and she, as the
territory belonged to her by conquest and charter, in the autumnal
session of 1778 erected it into a county to be called Illinois.
Insulated in the heart of the Indian country, in the midst of the most
ferocious tribes, few men but Clark could have preserved this

Hamilton, the Governor of Detroit, a bold and tyrannical
personage, determined, with an overwhelming force of British and
Indians, to penetrate up the Ohio to Fort Pitt to sweep all the
principal settlements in his way, and besiege Kaskaskias. Clark
despaired of keeping possession of the country, but he resolved to
preserve this post, or die in its defense. While he was strengthening
the fortifications, he received information that Hamilton, who was at
Fort St. Vincent (Vincennes,) had weakened his force by sending some
Indians against the frontiers.

This information, to the genius of Clark, disclosed, with the rapidity
of an electric flash, not only safety but new glory. To resolve to
attack Hamilton before he could collect the Indians was the work of a
moment--the only hope of saving the country. With a band of 150 gallant
and hardy comrades, he marched across the country. It was in February,
1779. When within nine miles of the enemy, it took these intrepid men
five days to cross the drowned lands of the Wabash, having often to wade
up to their breasts in water. Had not the weather been remarkably mild,
they must have perished.

On the evening of the 23d, they landed in sight of the fort, before the
enemy knew any thing of their approach. After a siege of eighteen hours
it surrendered, without the loss of a man to the besiegers. The Governor
was sent prisoner to Williamsburg, and considerable stores fell into the
possession of the conqueror.

Other auspicious circumstances crowned this result. Clark, intercepting
a convoy from Canada, on their way to this post, took the mail, forty
prisoners, and goods to the value of $45,000; and to crown all, his
express from Virginia arrived with the thanks of the Assembly to him and
his gallant band for their reduction of the country about Kaskaskias.
This year Virginia extended her western establishments through the
agency of Colonel Clark, and had several fortifications erected, among
which was Fort Jefferson, on the Mississippi.[35]

[Footnote 31: Collins.]

[Footnote 32: Collins.]

[Footnote 33: Collins. "Historical Sketches of Kentucky."]

[Footnote 34: Howe. "Historical Collections of Virginia."]

[Footnote 35: Howe.]


     Scarcity of salt at Boonesborough--Boone goes to Blue Licks to make
     salt, and is captured by the Indians--Taken to Chillicothe--Affects
     contentment, and deceives the Indians--Taken to Detroit--Kindess of
     the British officers to him--Returns to Chillicothe--Adopted into
     an Indian family--Ceremonies of adoption--Boone sees a large force
     of Indians destined to attack Boonesborough--Escapes, and gives the
     alarm, and strengthens the fortifications at Boonesborough--News
     of delay by the Indians on account of Boone's escape--Boone goes
     on an expedition to the Scioto--Has a fight with a party of
     Indians--Returns to Boonesborough, which is immediately besieged
     by Captain Duquesne with five hundred Indians--Summons to
     surrender--Time gained--Attack commenced--Brave defense--Mines and
     countermines--Siege raised--Boone brings his family once more back
     to Boonesborough, and resumes farming.

While George Rogers Clark was engaged in his campaign against the
British posts in the northwest, Daniel Boone was a prisoner among the
Indians. The people at Boonesborough were suffering for want of salt.
It could not be obtained conveniently from the Atlantic Colonies, but it
could be manufactured at a place called the Blue Licks, from salt water,
which abounded there.

In January, 1778, accompanied by thirty men, Boone went to the Blue
Licks to make salt for the different Stations; and on the 7th of
February following, while out hunting, he fell in with one hundred
and two Indian warriors, on their march to attack Boonesborough. He
instantly fled, but being upward of fifty years old, he was unable to
outstrip the fleet young men who pursued him, and was a second time
taken prisoner. As usual, he was treated with kindness until his final
fate should be determined, and was led back to the Licks, where his
party were still encamped. Here Boone surrendered his whole party, to
the number of twenty-seven, upon a promise on the part of the Indians
of life and good treatment, both of which conditions were faithfully
observed. This step was apparently unnecessary; but the result showed
that it was a master-stroke of policy on Boone's part. He knew the
nature of the Indians, and foresaw that they would forthwith return
home with their prisoners, and thus save Boonesborough from attack.

Had the Indians gone on to that place, by showing their prisoners
and threatening to put them to the torture, they might have obtained
important results. But they did nothing of the kind. As Boone had
calculated, they went home with their prisoners and booty.

Captain Boone has been censured for the surrender of his men, which
he made at his own capture, and at a subsequent period was tried by
court-martial and acquitted. This was a just decision. The surrender
caused the Indians to return home with their prisoners instead of
attacking Boonesborough, which would almost certainly have been taken
and destroyed if this surrender had not been made.

Elated with their unexpected success, the Indians now returned at once
to old Chilicothe, the principal town of the Shawnees, on the Little
Miami, treating their prisoners, during a march of three days in very
cold and inclement weather, as well as they fared themselves, as
regarded fire and provisions. Boone and his companions were kept in
captivity by the Indians, and closely watched for several weeks, when
the old pioneer and ten of his men were conducted to Detroit, then a
British garrison, and all but Boone presented to the commandant, by whom
they were all well treated. For the old pioneer himself, the Indians had
conceived a particular liking; and they stubbornly refused to give him
up, though several gentlemen of Detroit were very anxious they should
leave him, and the commandant offered to ransom him by a liberal sum.
He was therefore compelled to accompany them back to Chillicothe, their
town on the Little Miami, which they reached after a march of fifteen

Boone was now formally adopted as a son in one of the Indian families.
"The forms of the ceremony of adoption," says Mr. Peck,[36] "were often
severe and ludicrous. The hair of the head is plucked out by a painful
and tedious operation, leaving a tuft, some three or four inches in
diameter, on the crown, for the scalp-lock, which is cut and dressed up
with ribbons and feathers. The candidate is then taken into the river in
a state of nudity, and there thoroughly washed and rubbed, 'to take all
his white blood out.' This ablution is usually performed by females. He
is then taken to the council-house, where the chief makes a speech, in
which he expatiates upon the distinguished honors conferred on him. His
head and face are painted in the most approved and fashionable style,
and the ceremony is concluded with a grand feast and smoking."

After undergoing after this fashion what was not inaptly termed the
Indian toilette, Boone was considered a regular member of the tribe, and
by judiciously accommodating himself to his new condition, he rapidly
won upon the regards of the Indians, and soon secured their confidence.
They challenged him to a trial of skill at their shooting-matches--in
which he took care not to excel them--invited him to accompany them on
their hunting excursions, bestowed particular notice upon him in various
ways, and always treated him with much consideration. As regarded merely
his physical comfort, Boone's situation was, at this time, rather
enviable than otherwise; but he felt a depressing anxiety with regard
to his wife and children, and doubted the safety and prosperity of the
Station, without his own watchfulness and superintendence. He therefore
determined to escape from his captors at the earliest possible period,
and very impatiently waited an opportunity for accomplishing this

Early in June, a party of Indians went to the Scioto Licks to make
salt. Boone was taken with them, but kept so constantly employed at
the kettles, that he found no chance of escaping. Having sufficiently
supplied themselves with the desired article, the party returned; and
at the Chillicothe town, Boone found four hundred and fifty Indian
warriors, armed well and painted in a most frightful manner, ready to
march against Boonesborough: this was on the fifteenth or sixteenth of
the month.

Boone now saw the absolute necessity of escaping at once, and determined
to make the attempt without delay. He rose at the usual time the next
morning, and went out upon a hunt. His object was to give his wary
masters the slip, in such a manner as would be least likely to excite
their suspicions, and be the longest in determining them upon a pursuit.

No sooner was he at such a distance from the town as would prevent
observations of his movements, than he struck out rapidly in the
direction of Boonesborough. So great was his anxiety, that he stopped
not to kill any thing to eat; but performed his journey--a distance of
one hundred and sixty miles--in less than five days, upon one meal,
which, before starting, he had concealed in his basket. On arriving at
Boonesborough, he found the fort, as he feared he should, in a bad state
for defense; but his activity soon strengthened it, and his courage at
once reinspired the sinking hearts of the garrison. Every thing was
immediately put in proper condition for a vigorous defense, and all
became impatient for intelligence of the movements of the enemy.

A few days after Boone's escape from the Indians, one of his
fellow-prisoners succeeded likewise in eluding their vigilance, and
made his way safely and expeditiously to Boonesborough. This man arrived
at the Station at a time when the garrison were hourly expecting the
appearance of the enemy, and reported that, on account of Boone's
elopement, the Indians had postponed their meditated invasion of the
settled regions for three weeks.[37] It was discovered, however, that
they had their spies in the country, watching the movements of the
different garrisons; and this rendered the settlers wary and active, and
gave all the Stations time and opportunity to strengthen themselves, and
make every preparation for a powerful resistance of what, they could not
but believe, was to be a long and great effort to drive them from the
land, and utterly destroy their habitations.

Week passed after week, but no enemy appeared. The state of anxiety and
watchfulness in which the garrison at Boonesborough had, for so long a
time, been kept, was becoming irksome, and the men were beginning to
relax in their vigilance. This Boone observed, and it determined him to
undertake an expedition, which he had been probably meditating for some
time. On the 1st of August, therefore, with a company of nineteen of
the brave spirits by whom he was surrounded, he left the fort with the
intention of marching against and surprising one of the Indian towns on
the Scioto. He advanced rapidly, but with great caution, and had reached
a point within four or five miles of the town destined to taste of his
vengeance, when he met its warriors, thirty in number, on their way to
join the main Indian force, then on its march toward Boonesborough.

An action immediately commenced, which terminated in the flight of the
Indians, who lost one man and had two others wounded.

Boone received no injury, but took three horses, and all the "plunder"
of the war party. He then dispatched two spies to the Indian town, who
returned with the intelligence that it was evacuated. On the receipt of
this information, he started for Boonesborough with all possible haste
hoping to reach the Station before the enemy, that he might give warning
of their approach, and strengthen its numbers. He passed the main body
of the Indians on the sixth day of his march, and on the seventh reached

On the eighth day, the enemy's force marched up, with British colors
flying, and invested the place. The Indian army was commanded by Captain
Duquesne, with eleven other Canadian Frenchmen and several distinguished
chiefs, and was the most formidable force which had yet invaded the
settlements. The commander summoned the garrison to surrender "in the
name of his Britannic Majesty."

Boone and his men, perilous as was their situation, received the
summons without apparent alarm, and requested a couple of days for
the consideration of what should be done. This was granted; and Boone
summoned his brave companions to council: _but fifty men appeared_!
Yet these fifty, after a due consideration of the terms of capitulation
proposed, and with the knowledge that they were surrounded by savage and
remorseless enemies to the number of about _five hundred_, determined,
unanimously, to "_defend the fort as long as a man of them lived!_"

The two days having expired, Boone announced this determination from one
of the bastions, and thanked the British commander for the notice given
of his intended attack, and the time allowed the garrison for preparing
to defend the Station. This reply to his summons was entirely unexpected
by Duquesne, and he heard it with evident disappointment. Other terms
were immediately proposed by him, which "sounded so gratefully in the
ears" of the garrison that Boone agreed to treat; and, with eight of
his companions, left the fort for this purpose. It was soon manifest,
however, by the conduct of the Indians, that a snare had been laid
for them; and escaping from their wily foes by a sudden effort, they
re-entered the palisades, closed the gates, and betook themselves to
the bastions.

A hot attack upon the fort now instantly commenced; but the fire of the
Indians was returned from the garrison with such unexpected briskness
and fatal precision that the besiegers were compelled to fall back.
They then sheltered themselves behind the nearest trees and stumps, and
continued the attack with more caution. Losing a number of men himself,
and perceiving no falling off in the strength or the marksmanship of
the garrison, Duquesne resorted to an expedient which promised greater

The fort stood upon the bank of the river, about sixty yards from its
margin; and the purpose of the commander of the Indians was to undermine
this, and blow up the garrison. Duquesne was pushing the mine under the
fort with energy when his operations were discovered by the besieged.
The miners precipitated the earth which they excavated into the river;
and Boone, perceiving that the water was muddy below the fort, while it
was clear above, instantly divined the cause, and at once ordered a deep
trench to be cut inside the fort, to counteract the work of the enemy.

As the earth was dug up, it was thrown over the wall of the fort, in the
face of the besieging commander. Duquesne was thus informed that his
design had been discovered; and being convinced of the futility of any
further attempts of that kind he discontinued his mining operations, and
once more renewed the attack upon the Station in the manner of a regular
Indian siege. His success, however, was no better than it had been
before; the loss appeared to be all upon his side; his stock of
provisions was nearly exhausted; having for nine days tried the bravery
of his savage force, and tasked his own ingenuity to its utmost, he
raised the siege, and abandoned the grand object of the expedition.

During this siege, "the most formidable," says Mr. Marshall, "that had
ever taken place in Kentucky from the number of Indians, the skill of
the commanders, and the fierce countenances and savage dispositions of
the warriors," only two men belonging to the Station were killed, and
four others wounded.

Duquesne lost thirty-seven men, and had many wounded, who, according to
the invariable usage of the Indians, were immediately borne from the
scene of action.

Boonesborough was never again disturbed by any formidable body of
Indians. New Stations were springing up every year between it and the
Ohio River, and to pass beyond these for the purpose of striking a blow
at an older and stronger enemy, was a piece of folly of which the
Indians were never known to be guilty.

During Boone's captivity among the Shawnees, his family, supposing that
he had been killed, had left the Station and returned to their relatives
and friends in North Carolina; and as early in the autumn as he could
well leave, the brave and hardy warrior started to move them out again
to Kentucky. He returned to the settlement with them early the next
summer, and set a good example to his companions by industriously
cultivating his farm, and volunteering his assistance, whenever it
seemed needed, to the many immigrants who were now pouring into the
country, and erecting new Stations in the neighborhood of Boonesborough.
He was a good as well as a great man in his sphere, says Mr. Gallagher,
(our chief authority for the foregoing incidents); and for his many and
important services in the early settlements of Kentucky, he well
deserved the title of Patriarch which was bestowed upon him during his
life, and all the praises that have been sung to his memory since his

[Footnote 36: "Life of Daniel Boone."]

[Footnote 37: Gallagher.]

[Footnote 38: W.D. Gallagher, in "Hesperian."]


     Captain Boone tried by court-martial--Honorably acquitted and
     promoted--Loses a large sum of money--His losses by lawsuits and
     disputes about land--Defeat of Colonel Rogers's party--Colonel
     Bowman's expedition to Chillicothe--Arrival near the town--Colonel
     Logan attacks the town--Ordered by Colonel Bowman to
     retreat--Failure of the expedition--Consequences to Bowman and to

Some complaint having been made respecting Captain Boone's surrender of
his party at the Blue Licks, and other parts of his military conduct,
his friends Colonel Richard Callaway and Colonel Benjamin Logan,
exhibited charges against him which occasioned his being tried by
court-martial. This was undoubtedly done with a view to put an end to
the calumny by disproving or explaining the charges. The result of the
trial was an honorable acquittal increased popularity of the Captain
among his fellow citizens, and his promotion to the rank of Major.[39]

While Boone had been a prisoner among the Indians, his wife and family,
supposing him to be dead, had returned to North Carolina. In the autumn
of 1778 he went after them to the house of Mrs. Boone's father on the

In 1779, a commission having been opened by the Virginia Legislature
to settle Kentucky land claims, Major Boone "laid out the chief of his
little property to procure land warrants, and having raised about twenty
thousand dollars in paper money, with which he intended to purchase
them, on his way from Kentucky to Richmond, he was robbed of the whole,
and left destitute of the means of procuring more. This heavy misfortune
did not fall on himself alone. Large sums had been entrusted to him by
his friends for similar purposes, and the loss was extensively felt."

Boone must have suffered much anxiety in consequence of this affair.
Little is known respecting it, excepting that it did not impair the
confidence of his friends in his perfect integrity.

This appears in the following extract of a letter from Colonel Thomas
Hart, late of Lexington, Kentucky, to Captain Nathaniel Hart, dated
Grayfields, August 3d, 1780.

"I observe what you say respecting our losses by Daniel Boone. [Boone
had been robbed of funds in part belonging to T. and N. Hart.] I had
heard of the misfortune soon after it happened, but not of my being
partaker before now. I feel for the poor people who, perhaps, are to
lose even their pre-emptions: but I must say, I feel more for Boone,
whose character, I am told, suffers by it. Much degenerated must the
people of this age be, when amongst them are to be found men to censure
and blast the reputation of a person so just and upright, and in whose
breast is a seat of virtue too pure to admit of a thought so base and
dishonorable. I have known Boone in times of old, when poverty and
distress had him fast by the hand: and in these wretched circumstances,
I have ever found him of a noble and generous soul, despising every
thing mean; and therefore I will freely grant him a discharge for
whatever sums of mine he might have been possessed of at the time."

Boone's ignorance of legal proceedings, and his aversion to lawsuits,
appear to have occasioned the loss of his real estate; and the loose
manner in which titles were granted, one conflicting with another,
occasioned similar losses to much more experienced and careful men at
the same period.

During the year 1779 the emigration to Kentucky was much greater than
any previous one. The settlers do not seem to have been so much annoyed
by the Indians as formerly. Yet this year is distinguished in the annals
of Kentucky for the most bloody battle ever fought between the whites
and Indians within her borders, with the single exception of that of the
Blue Licks.

It took place opposite to Cincinnati. Colonel Rogers had been down to
New Orleans to procure supplies for the posts on the Upper Mississippi
and Ohio. Having obtained them, he ascended these rivers until he
reached the place mentioned above. Here he found the Indians in their
canoes coming out of the mouth of the Little Miami, and crossing to the
Kentucky side of the Ohio. He conceived the plan of surprising them as
they landed. The Ohio was very low on the Kentucky side, so that a large
sand-bar was laid bare, extending along the shore. Upon this Rogers
landed his men, but, before they could reach the spot where they
expected to attack the enemy, they were themselves attacked by such
superior numbers that the issue of the contest was not doubtful for a
single moment. Rogers and the greater part of his men were instantly
killed. The few who were left fled toward the boats. But one of them was
already in the possession of the Indians, whose flanks were extended in
advance of the fugitives, and the few men remaining in the other pushed
off from shore without waiting to take their comrades on board. These
last now turned around upon their pursuers, and, furiously charging
them, a small number broke through their ranks and escaped to
Harrodsburg. The loss in this most lamentable affair was about sixty
men, very nearly equal to that at Blue Licks.

The Kentuckians resolved to invade the Indian country, and Chillicothe
was selected as the point to feel the weight of their vengeance. Colonel
Bowman issued a call, inviting all those who were willing to accompany
him in the expedition to rendezvous at Harrodsburg. This was the manner
of organizing such expeditions in Kentucky. An officer would invite
volunteers to participate with him in an incursion into the Indian
country. All who joined were expected to submit to his direction.

On this occasion there was no want of zeal among the people. Bowman's
reputation as a soldier was good, and three hundred men were soon
collected, among whom were Logan and Harrod; both holding the rank of
captain. It does not appear that either Boone or Kenton engaged in this
enterprise. Indeed, the first is said to have been absent in North
Carolina his family having returned there after his capture in the
preceding year, supposing him to be dead.

The expedition moved in the month of July--its destination well
known--and its march so well conducted that it approached its object
without discovery. From this circumstances, it would seem that the
Indians were but little apprehensive of an invasion from those who had
never before ventured on it, and whom they were in the habit of invading
annually; or else so secure in their own courage that they feared no
enemy, for no suspecting spy was out to foresee approaching danger.
Arrived within a short distance of the town, night approached, and
Colonel Bowman halted. Here it was determined to invest and attack the
place just before the ensuing day, and several dispositions were then
made very proper for the occasion, indicating a considerable share
of military skill and caution, which gave reasonable promise of a
successful issue. At a proper hour the little army separated, after a
movement that placed it near the town the one part, under the command of
Bowman in person--the other, under Captain Logan; to whom precise orders
had been given to march, on the one hand, half round the town; while the
Colonel, passing the other way, was to meet him, and give the signal for
an assault. Logan immediately executed his orders, and the place was
half enveloped. But he neither saw nor heard the commander-in-chief.
Logan now ordered his men to conceal themselves in the grass and weeds,
and behind such other objects as were present, as the day began to show
itself, and he had not yet received the expected order to begin the
attack nor had he been able, though anxious, to ascertain what had
intercepted or delayed his superior officer. The men, on shifting about
for hiding-places, had alarmed one of the Indians' dogs, who forthwith
set to barking with the agitation of apparent fright. This brought out
an Indian warrior, who proceeded with caution on the way that the dog
seemed to direct his own attention, and in a short time, if he had
continued his progress, might have been made a prisoner; but, at this
critical moment, one of the party with the Colonel fired his gun;
which the Indian, well understanding as coming from an enemy, gave an
instantaneous and loud whoop, and ran immediately to his cabin. The
alarm was instantly spread through the town, and preparation made for
defense. The party with Logan was near enough to hear the bustle and to
see the women and children escaping to the cover of the woods by a ridge
which ran between them and where Colonel Bowman with his men had halted.

In the mean time, the warriors equipped themselves with their military
habiliments, and repaired to a strong cabin; no doubt, designated in
their councils for the like occurrences. By this time daylight had
disclosed the whole scene, and several shots were discharged on the
one side, and returned from the other, while some of Logan's men took
possession of a few cabins, from which the Indians had retreated--or
rather perhaps it should be said, repaired to their stronghold, the more
effectually to defend themselves. The scheme was formed by Logan, and
adopted by his men in the cabins, of making a movable breastwork out of
the doors and floors--and of pushing it forward as a battery against
the cabin in which the Indians had taken post; others of them had taken
shelter from the fire of the enemy behind stumps, or logs, or the vacant
cabins, and were waiting orders; when the Colonel finding that the
Indians were on their defense, dispatched orders for a retreat. This
order, received with astonishment, was obeyed with reluctance; and what
rendered it the more distressing, was the unavoidable exposure which the
men must encounter in the open field, or prairie, which surrounded the
town: for they were apprized that from the moment they left their cover,
the Indians would fire on them, until they were beyond the reach of
their balls. A retreat, however, was deemed necessary, and every man was
to shift for himself. Then, instead of one that was orderly, commanding,
or supported--a scene of disorder, unmilitary and mortifying, took
place: here a little squad would rush out of, or break from behind a
cabin--there individuals would rise from a log, or start up from a
stump, and run with all speed to gain the neighboring wood.

At length, after the loss of several lives, the remnant of the invading
force was reunited, and the retreat continued in tolerable order, under
the painful reflection that the expedition had failed, without any
adequate cause being known. This was, however, but the introduction to
disgrace, if not of misfortune still more extraordinary and distressing.
The Indian warriors, commanded by Blackfish, sallied from the town, and
commenced a pursuit of the discomfited invaders of their forests and
firesides, which they continued for some miles, harassing and galling
the rear of the fugitives without being checked, notwithstanding the
disparity of numbers. There not being more than thirty of the savages
in pursuit. Bowman, finding himself thus pressed, at length halted his
men in a low piece of ground covered with brush; as if he sought shelter
from the enemy behind or among them. A situation more injudiciously
chosen, if chosen at all, cannot be easily imagined--since of all
others, it most favored the purposes of the Indians. In other respects
the commander seems also to have lost his understanding--he gave no
orders to fire--made no detachment to repulse the enemy, who, in a few
minutes, by the whoops, yells, and firing, were heard on all sides--but
stood as a mark to be shot at, or one panic struck. Some of the men
fired, but without any precise object, for the Indians were scattered,
and hid by the grass and bushes. What would have been the final result
it is difficult to conjecture, if Logan, Harrod, Bulger, and a few
others, had not mounted some of the pack-horses and scoured the woods,
first in one direction then in another; rushing on the Indians wherever
they could find them, until very fortunately Blackfish was killed; and
this being soon known, the rest fled. It was in the evening when this
event occurred, which being reported to the colonel, he resumed his
march at dark--taking for his guide a creek near at hand, which he
pursued all night without any remarkable occurrence--and in quiet and
safety thence returned home, with the loss of nine men killed and
another wounded: having taken two Indian scalps: which, however, was
thought a trophy of small renown.

A somewhat different account is given by some, in which Bowman is
exculpated from all blame. According to this, it was the vigorous
defense of the Indians which prevented him from fulfilling his part of
the combinations. Be this as it may, it is certain that Bowman lost
reputation by the expedition; while, on the other hand, the conduct of
Logan raised him still higher in the estimation of the people.

[Footnote 39: Peck.]


     Invasion of Kentucky by Captain Byrd's party--He captures
     the garrisons at Ruddle's Station and Martin's Fort--Colonel
     Clark's invasion of the Indian country--He ravages the Indian
     towns--Adventure of Alexander McConnell--Skirmish at
     Pickaway--Result of the expedition--Boone goes to the Blue Licks
     with his brother--Attacked by the Indians--Boone's brother
     killed--Boone promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel--Clark's
     galley--Squire Boone's Station removed to Bear's Creek--Attack by
     the Indians--Colonel Floyd's defeat--Affair of the McAfees--Attack
     on McAfee's Station repelled--Fort Jefferson evacuated--Attack on
     Montgomery Station--Rescue by General Logan.

The year 1780 was distinguished for two events of much importance;
the invasion of Kentucky by the British and Indians, under Colonel Byrd;
and General Clark's attack upon the Shawanee towns. The first of these,
was a severe and unexpected blow to Kentucky. Marshall says, that the
people in their eagerness to take up land, had almost forgotten the
existence of hostilities. Fatal security! and most fatal with such a
foe, whose enterprises were conducted with such secrecy that their
first announcement was their presence in the midst of the unprepared
settlement. In fact, the carelessness of the Western borderers is often
unaccountable, and this is not the least surprising instance of it.

That they did not anticipate an attempt to retaliate the incursion of
Bowman into the Indian country, is indeed astonishing. It was very
fortunate for the Kentuckians that their enemies were as little gifted
with perseverance, as they were with vigilance. This remark is to be
understood in a restricted sense, of both parties. When once aroused
to a sense of their danger none were more readily prepared, or more
watchful to meet it than the settlers; and on the other hand, nothing
could exceed the perseverance of the Indians in the beginning of their
enterprises, but on the slightest success (not reverse) they wished to
return to exhibit their trophies at home. Thus, on capturing Boone and
his party, instead of pushing on and attacking the settlements which
were thus weakened, they returned to display their prisoners.

The consequences were that these defects neutralized each other, and no
very decisive strokes were made by either side. But the English Governor
Hamilton, who had hitherto contented himself with stimulating the
Indians to hostilities, now aroused by the daring and success of Clark,
prepared to send a powerful expedition by way of retaliation, against
the settlements. Colonel Byrd was selected to command the forces which
amounted to six hundred men, Canadians and Indians. To render them
irresistible, they were supplied with two pieces of artillery. The posts
on the Licking were the first objects of the expedition.

In June they made their appearance before Ruddle's station; and this,
it is said, was the first intimation that the garrison had received of
their danger, though Butler states that the enemy were twelve days on
their march from the Ohio. The incidents of the invasion are few. The
fort at Ruddle's Station was in no condition to resist so powerful an
enemy backed by artillery, the defenses being nowise superior to those
we have before described.

They were summoned to surrender in the name of his Britannic Majesty,
with the promise of protection for their lives only. What could they
do? The idea of resisting such a force was vain. The question presented
itself to them thus. Whether they should surrender at once and give up
their property, or enrage the Indians by a fruitless resistance, and
lose their property and lives also. The decision was quickly made, the
post was surrendered and the enemy thronged in, eager for plunder. The
inmates of the fort were instantly seized, families were separated; for
each Indian caught the first person whom he met, and claimed him or her
as his prisoner. Three who made some resistance, were killed upon the
spot. It was in vain that the settlers remonstrated with the British
commander. He said it was impossible to restrain them. This doubtless
was true enough, but he should have thought of it before he assumed
the command of such a horde, and consented to lead them against weak

The Indians demanded to be led at once against Martin's Fort, a post
about five miles distant. Some say that the same scene was enacted over
here; but another account states that so strongly was Colonel Byrd
affected by the barbarities of the Indians, that he refused to advance
further, unless they would consent to allow him to take charge of all
the prisoners who should be taken. The same account goes on to say that
the demand was complied with, and that on the surrender of Martin's
Fort, this arrangement was actually made; the Indians taking possession
of the property and the British of the prisoners. However this may be,
the capture of this last-mentioned place, which was surrendered under
the same circumstances as Ruddle's, was the last operation of that
campaign. Some quote this as an instance of weakness; Butler, in
particular, contrasts it with the energy of Clark.

The sudden retreat of the enemy inspired the people with joy as great
as their consternation had been at the news of his unexpected advance.
Had he pressed on, there is but little doubt that all the Stations would
have fallen into his hands, for there were not men enough to spare from
them to meet him in the field. The greatest difficulty would have been
the carriage of the artillery. The unfortunate people who had fallen
into the hands of the Indians at Ruddle's Station, were obliged to
accompany their captors on their rapid retreat, heavily laden with the
plunder of their own dwellings. Some returned after peace was made, but
too many, sinking under the fatigues of the journey, perished by the

Soon after the retreat of the enemy, General Clark, who was stationed at
Fort Jefferson, called upon the Kentuckians to join him in an invasion
of the Indian country. The reputation of Clark caused the call to be
responded to with great readiness. A thousand men were collected, with
whom Clark entered and devastated the enemy's territory. The principal
towns were burned and the fields laid waste. But one skirmish was
fought, and that at the Indian village of Pickaway. The loss was the
same on both sides, seventeen men being killed in each army. Some
writers who have not the slightest objection to war, very gravely
express doubts as to whether the expedient of destroying the crops of
the Indians was justifiable. It is generally treated by these men as if
it was a wanton display of a vindictive spirit, when in reality it was
dictated by the soundest policy; for when the Indians' harvests were
destroyed, they were compelled to subsist their families altogether
by hunting, and had no leisure for their murderous inroads upon the
settlements. This result was plainly seen on this occasion, for it does
not appear that the Indians attacked any of the settlements during the
remainder of this year.

An adventure which occurred in the spring, but was passed over for
the more important operations of the campaign, claims our attention,
presenting as it does a picture of the varieties of this mode of
warfare. We quote from McClung:

"Early in the spring of 1780 Mr. Alexander McConnel, of Lexington,
Kentucky, went into the woods on foot to hunt deer. He soon killed
a large buck, and returned home for a horse in order to bring it in.
During his absence a party of five Indians, on one of their usual
skulking expeditions, accidentally stumbled on the body of the deer,
and perceiving that it had been recently killed, they naturally supposed
that the hunter would speedily return to secure the flesh. Three of
them, therefore, took their stations within close rifle-shot of the
deer, while the other two followed the trail of the hunter, and waylaid
the path by which he was expected to return. McConnel, expecting no
danger, rode carelessly along the path, which the two scouts were
watching, until he had come within view of the deer, when he was fired
upon by the whole party, and his horse killed. While laboring to
extricate himself from the dying animal, he was seized by his enemies,
instantly overpowered, and borne off as a prisoner.

"His captors, however, seemed to be a merry, good-natured set of
fellows, and permitted him to accompany them unbound; and, what was
rather extraordinary, allowed him to retain his gun and hunting
accoutrements. He accompanied them with great apparent cheerfulness
through the day, and displayed his dexterity in shooting deer for
the use of the company, until they began to regard him with great
partiality. Having traveled with them in this manner for several days,
they at length reached the banks of the Ohio River. Heretofore the
Indians had taken the precaution to bind him at night, although not
very securely; but, on that evening, he remonstrated with them on the
subject, and complained so strongly of the pain which the cords gave
him, that they merely wrapped the buffalo tug loosely around his wrists,
and having tied it in an easy knot, and attached the extremities of
the rope to their own bodies in order to prevent his moving without
awakening them, they very composedly went to sleep, leaving the
prisoner to follow their example or not, as he pleased.

"McConnel determined to effect his escape that night if possible, as
on the following night they would cross the river, which would render
it much more difficult. He therefore lay quietly until near midnight,
anxiously ruminating upon the best means of effecting his object.
Accidentally casting his eyes in the direction of his feet, they fell
upon the glittering blade of a knife, which had escaped its sheath, and
was now lying near the feet of one of the Indians. To reach it with his
hands, without disturbing the two Indians to whom he was fastened, was
impossible, and it was very hazardous to attempt to draw it up with his
feet. This, however, he attempted. With much difficulty he grasped the
blade between his toes, and, after repeated and long-continued efforts,
succeeded at length in bringing it within reach of his hands.

"To cut his cords was then but the work of a moment, and gradually and
silently extricating his person from the arms of the Indians, he walked
to the fire and sat down. He saw that his work was but half done. That
if he should attempt to return home without destroying his enemies, he
would assuredly be pursued and probably overtaken, when his fate would
be certain. On the other hand, it seemed almost impossible for a single
man to succeed in a conflict with five Indians, even although unarmed
and asleep. He could not hope to deal a blow with his knife so silently
and fatally as to destroy each one of his enemies in turn without
awakening the rest. Their slumbers were proverbially light and restless;
and, if he failed with a single one, he must instantly be overpowered by
the survivors. The knife, therefore, was out of the question.

"After anxious reflection for a few minutes, he formed his plan.
The guns of the Indians were stacked near the fire; their knives and
tomahawks were in sheaths by their sides. The latter he dared not touch
for fear of awakening their owners; but the former he carefully removed,
with the exception of two, and hid them in the woods, where he knew
the Indians would not readily find them. He then returned to the spot
where the Indians were still sleeping, perfectly ignorant of the fate
preparing for them, and, taking a gun in each hand, he rested the
muzzles upon a log within six feet of his victims, and, having taken
deliberate aim at the head of one and the heart of another, he pulled
both triggers at the same moment.

"Both shots were fatal. At the report of the guns the others sprung
to their feet and stared wildly around them. McConnel, who had run
instantly to the spot where the other rifles were hid, hastily seized
one of them and fired at two of his enemies who happened to stand in
a line with each other. The nearest fell dead, being shot through the
centre of the body; the second fell also, bellowing loudly, but quickly
recovering, limped off into the woods as fast as possible. The fifth,
and the only one who remained unhurt, darted off like a deer, with
a yell which announced equal terror and astonishment. McConnel, not
wishing to fight any more such battles, selected his own rifle from
the stack, and made the best of his way to Lexington, where he arrived
safely within two days.

"Shortly afterward, Mrs. Dunlap, of Fayette, who had been several months
a prisoner amongst the Indians on Mad River, made her escape, and
returned to Lexington. She reported that the survivor returned to his
tribe with a lamentable tale. He related that they had taken a fine
young hunter near Lexington, and had brought him safely as far as the
Ohio; that while encamped upon the bank of the river, a large party
of white men had fallen upon them in the night, and killed all his
companions, together with the poor defenseless prisoner, who lay bound
hand and foot, unable either to escape or resist."

In October, 1780, Boone, who had brought his family back to Kentucky,
went to the Blue Licks in company with his brother. They were attacked
by a party of Indians, and Daniel's brother was killed; and he himself
pursued by them with the assistance of a dog. Being hard pressed, he
shot this animal to prevent his barking from giving the alarm, and so

Kentucky having been divided into three counties, a more
perfect organization of the militia was effected. A Colonel and a
Lieutenant-Colonel were appointed for each county; those who held the
first rank were Floyd, Logan, and Todd. Pope, Trigg, and Boone held the
second. Clark was Brigadier-General, and commander-in-chief of all the
Kentucky militia; besides which he had a small number of regulars at
Fort Jefferson. Spies and scouting parties were continually employed,
and a galley was constructed by Clark's order, which was furnished with
light pieces of artillery. This new species of defense did not however
take very well with the militia, who disliked serving upon the water,
probably because they found their freedom of action too much
circumscribed. The regulars were far too few to spare a force sufficient
to man it, and it soon fell into disuse, though it is said to have been
of considerable service while it was employed. Had the Kentuckians
possessed such an auxiliary at the time of Byrd's invasion, it is
probable that it would have been repelled. But on account of the
reluctance of the militia to serve in it, this useful vessel was laid
aside and left to rot.

The campaign, if we may so term it, of 1781, began very early. In March,
several parties of Indians entered Jefferson County at different points,
and ambushing the paths, killed four men, among whom was Colonel William
Linn. Captain Whitaker, with fifteen men, pursued one of the parties.
He followed their trail to the Ohio, when supposing they had crossed
over, he embarked his men in canoes to continue the pursuit. But as
they were in the act of pushing off, the Indians, who were concealed
in their rear, fired upon them, killing or wounding nine of the party.
Notwithstanding this heavy loss, the survivors landed and put the
Indians to flight. Neither the number of the savages engaged in this
affair or their loss, is mentioned in the narrative. In April, a station
which had been settled by Squire Boone, near Shelbyville, became alarmed
by the report of the appearance of Indians. After some deliberation,
it was determined to remove to the settlement on Bear's Creek. While on
their way thither, they were attacked by a body of Indians, and defeated
with considerable loss. These are all the details of this action we have
been able to find. Colonel Floyd collected twenty-five men to pursue
the Indians, but in spite of all his caution, fell into an ambuscade,
which was estimated to consist of two hundred warriors. Half of Colonel
Floyd's men were killed, and the survivors supposed that they had slain
nine or ten of the Indians. This, however, is not probable; either the
number of the Indians engaged, or their loss, is much exaggerated.
Colonel Floyd himself had a narrow escape, being dismounted; he would
have been made prisoner, but for the gallant conduct of Captain Wells,
who gave him his horse, the colonel being exhausted, and ran by his
side, to support him in the saddle. These officers had formerly been
enemies, but the magnanimous behavior of Wells on this occasion, made
them steadfast friends.

"As if every month," says Marshall, "was to furnish its distinguishing
incident--in May, Samuel McAfee and another had set out from James
McAfee's Station for a plantation at a small distance, and when advanced
about one-fourth of a mile they were fired on; the man fell--McAfee
wheeled and ran toward the fort; in fifteen steps he met an Indian--they
each halt and present their guns, with muzzles almost touching--at the
same instant they each pull trigger, McAfee's gun makes clear fire, the
Indian's flashes in the pan--and he falls: McAfee continues his retreat,
but the alarm being given, he meets his brothers, Robert and James--the
first, though cautioned, ran along the path to see the dead Indian, by
this time several Indians had gained the path between him and the fort.
All his agility and dexterity was now put to the test--he flies from
tree to tree, still aiming to get to the fort, but is pursued by an
Indian; he throws himself over a fence, a hundred and fifty yards from
the fort, and the Indian takes a tree--Robert, sheltered by the fence,
was soon prepared for him, and while he puts his face by the side of the
tree to look for his object, McAfee fires his rifle at it, and lodged
the ball in his mouth--in this he finds his death, and McAfee escapes
to the fort."

In the mean time, James McAfee was in a situation of equal hazard and
perplexity. Five Indians, lying in ambush, fired at, but missed him; he
flies to a tree for safety, and instantly received a fire from three or
four Indians on the other side--the bullets knock the dust about his
feet, but do him no injury; he abandons the tree and makes good his
retreat to the fort. One white man and two Indians were killed. Such
were the incidents of Indian warfare--and such the fortunate escape of
the brothers.

Other events occurred in rapid succession--the Indians appear in
all directions, and with horrid yells and menacing gestures commence
a fire on the fort. It was returned with spirit; the women cast the
bullets--the men discharged them at the enemy. This action lasted about
two hours; the Indians then withdrew. The firing had been heard, and the
neighborhood roused for the fight. Major McGary, with some of his men,
and others from other stations, to the number of forty, appeared on the
ground soon after the Indians had retreated, and determined on pursuing
them. This was accordingly done with promptitude and celerity. At the
distance of a mile the enemy were overtaken, attacked, and defeated,
They fled--were pursued for several miles--and completely routed. Six
or seven Indians were seen dead, and others wounded. One Kentuckian was
killed in the action; another mortally wounded, who died after a few
days. Before the Indians entirely withdrew from the fort, they killed
all the cattle they saw, without making any use of them.

From this time McAfee's Station was never more attacked, although it
remained for several years an exposed frontier. Nor should the remark be
omitted, that for the residue of the year, there were fewer incidents
of a hostile nature than usual.

Fort Jefferson, which had been established on the Mississippi, about
five miles below the mouth of the Ohio, had excited the jealousy of
the Choctaws and Chickasaws, who claimed the territory in which it was
built. In order to appease them, it was deemed advisable to evacuate
the post.

The hostile tribes north of the Ohio had by this time found the strength
of the settlers, and saw that unless they made a powerful effort, and
that speedily, they must forever relinquish all hope of reconquering
Kentucky. Such an effort was determined upon for the next year; and in
order to weaken the whites as much as possible, till they were prepared
for it, they continued to send out small parties, to infest the

At a distance of about twelve miles from Logan's Fort, was a settlement
called the Montgomery Station. Most of the people were connected with
Logan's family. This Station was surrounded in the night. In the morning
an attack was made. Several persons were killed and others captured. A
girl who escaped spread the alarm; a messenger reached Logan's Fort, and
General Logan with a strong party pursued the Indians, defeated them and
recovered the prisoners.


     News of Cornwallis's surrender--Its effects--Captain Estill's
     defeat--Grand army of Indians raised for the conquest of
     Kentucky--Simon Girty's speech--Attack on Hoy's Station--Investment
     of Bryant's Station--Expedient of the besieged to obtain
     water--Grand attack on the fort--Repulse--Regular siege
     commenced--Messengers sent to Lexington--Reinforcements
     obtained--Arrival near the fort--Ambushed and attacked--They
     enter the fort--Narrow escape of Girty--He proposes a
     capitulation--Parley--Reynolds's answer to Girty--The siege
     raised--Retreat of the Indians.

In October, 1781, Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown. This event was
received in Kentucky, as in other parts of the country, with great joy.
The power of Britain was supposed to be broken, or at least so much
crippled, that they would not be in a condition to assist their Indian
allies, as they had previously done. The winter passed away quietly
enough, and the people were once more lulled into security, from which
they were again to be rudely awakened. Early in the spring the parties
of the enemy recommenced their forays. Yet there was nothing in these
to excite unusual apprehensions. At first they were scarcely equal in
magnitude to those of the previous year. Cattle were killed, and horses
stolen, and individuals or small parties were attacked. But in May an
affair occurred possessing more interest, in a military point of view,
than any other in the history of Indian wars.

In the month of May, a party of about twenty-five Wyandots invested
Estill's Station, on the south of the Kentucky River, killed one white
man, took a negro prisoner, and after destroying the cattle, retreated.
Soon after the Indians disappeared, Captain Estill raised a company of
twenty-five men; with these he pursued the Indians, and on Hinkston's
Fork of Licking, two miles below the Little Mountain, came within
gunshot of them. They had just crossed the creek, which in that part
is small, and were ascending one side as Estill's party descended the
other, of two approaching hills of moderate elevation. The water-course
which lay between, had produced an opening in the timber and brush,
conducing to mutual discovery, while both hills were well set with
trees, interspersed with saplings and bushes. Instantly after
discovering the Indians, some of Captain Estill's men fired at them; at
first they seemed alarmed, and made a movement like flight; but their
chief, although wounded, gave them orders to stand and fight--on which
they promptly prepared for battle by each man taking a tree and facing
his enemy, as nearly in a line as practicable. In this position they
returned the fire and entered into the battle, which they considered
as inevitable, with all the fortitude and animation of individual and
concerted bravery, so remarkable in this particular tribe.

In the mean time, Captain Estill, with due attention to what was passing
on the opposite side, checked the progress of his men at about sixty
yards distance from the foe, and gave orders to extend their lines
in front of the Indians, to cover themselves by means of the trees,
and to fire as the object should be seen--with a sure aim. This order,
perfectly adapted to the occasion, was executed with alacrity, as far as
circumstances would admit, and the desultory mode of Indian fighting was
thought to require. So that both sides were preparing and ready at the
same time for the bloody conflict which ensued, and which proved to be
singularly obstinate.

The numbers were equal; some have said, exactly twenty-five on each
side. Others have mentioned that Captain Estill, upon seeing the Indians
form for battle, dispatched one or two of his men upon the back trail to
hasten forward a small reinforcement, which he supposed was following
him; and if so, it gave the Indians the superiority of numbers without
producing the desired assistance, for the reinforcement never arrived.

Now were the hostile lines within rifle-shot, and the action became warm
and general to their extent. Never was battle more like single combat
since the use of fire-arms; each man sought his man, and fired only when
he saw his mark; wounds and death were inflicted on either side--neither
advancing nor retreating. The firing was deliberate; with caution they
looked, but look they would, for the foe, although life itself was often
the forfeit. And thus both sides firmly stood, or bravely fell, for more
than an hour; upward of one-fourth of the combatants had fallen, never
more to rise, on either side, and several others were wounded. Never,
probably, was the native bravery or collected fortitude of men put to
a test more severe. In the clangor of an ardent battle, when death is
forgotten, it is nothing for the brave to die--when even cowards die
like brave men--but in the cool and lingering expectation of death,
none but the man of the true courage can stand. Such were those engaged
in this conflict. Never was maneuvering more necessary or less
practicable. Captain Estill had not a man to spare from his line, and
deemed unsafe any movement in front with a view to force the enemy
from their ground, because in such a movement he must expose his men,
and some of them would inevitably fall before they could reach the
adversary. This would increase the relative superiority of the enemy,
while they would receive the survivors with tomahawk in hand, in the
use of which they were practiced and expert. He clearly perceived that
no advantage was to be gained over the Indians while the action was
continued in their own mode of warfare. For although his men were
probably the best _shooters_, the Indians were undoubtedly the most
expert _hiders_; that victory itself, could it have been purchased with
the loss of his last man, would afford but a melancholy consolation for
the loss of friends and comrades; but even of victory, without some
maneuvre, he could not assure himself. His situation was critical; his
fate seemed suspended upon the events of the minute; the most prompt
expedient was demanded. He cast his eyes over the scene; the creek was
before him, and seemed to oppose a charge on the enemy--retreat he
could not. On the one hand he observed a valley running from the creek
toward the rear of the enemy's line, and immediately combining this
circumstance with the urgency of his situation, rendered the more
apparently hazardous by an attempt of the Indians to extend their line
and take his in flank, he determined to detach six of his men by this
valley to gain the flank or rear of the enemy; while himself, with the
residue, maintained his position in front.

The detachment was accordingly made under the command of Lieutenant
Miller, to whom the route was shown and the order given, conformably to
the above-mentioned determination; unfortunately, however, it was not
executed. The lieutenant, either mistaking his way or intentionally
betraying his duty, his honor, and his captain, did not proceed with the
requisite dispatch; and the Indians, attentive to occurrences, finding
out the weakened condition of their adversaries, rushed upon them and
compelled a retreat, after Captain Estill and eight of his men were
killed. Four others were badly wounded, who, notwithstanding, made their
escape; so that only nine fell into the bands of the savages, who
scalped and stripped them, of course.

It was believed by the survivors of this action that one half of the
Indians were killed; and this idea was corroborated by reports from
their towns.

There is also a tradition that Miller, with his detachment, crossed the
creek, fell in with the enemy, lost one or two of his men, and had a
third or fourth wounded before he retreated.

The battle lasted two hours, and the Indian chief was himself killed
immediately after he had slain Captain Estill; at least it is so stated
in one account we have seen. This action had a very depressing effect
upon the spirits of the Kentuckians. Yet its results to the victors were
enough to make them say, with Pyrrhus, "A few more such victories, and
we shall be undone." It is very certain that the Indians would not have
been willing to gain many such victories, even to accomplish their
darling object--the expulsion of the whites from Kentucky.

The grand army, destined to accomplish the conquest of Kentucky,
assembled at Chillicothe. A detachment from Detroit reinforced them, and
before setting out, Simon Girty made a speech to them, enlarging on the
ingratitude of the Long-knives in rebelling against their Great Father
across the water. He described in glowing terms the fertility of
Kentucky, exhorting them to recover it from the grasp of the Long-knife
before he should be too strong for them. This speech met with the
cordial approbation of the company; the army soon after took up its
march for the settlements. Six hundred warriors, the flower of all the
Northwestern tribes, were on their way to make what they knew must be
their last effort to drive the intruders from their favorite

Various parties preceded the main body, and these appearing in different
places created much confusion in the minds of the inhabitants in regard
to the place where the blow was to fall. An attack was made upon the
garrison at Hoy's Station, and two boys were taken prisoners. The
Indians, twenty in number were pursued by Captain Holden, with seventeen
men. He overtook them near the Blue Licks, (that fatal spot for the
settlers,) and after a sharp conflict was obliged to retreat with the
loss of four men.

News of this disaster arrived at Bryant's Station, (a post on the
Elkhorn, near the road from Lexington to Maysville,) on the fourteenth
of August, and the garrison prepared to march to the assistance of Hoy's
Station. But in the night the main body of the enemy arrived before the
fort, it having been selected as the point for the first blow.

The water for the use of the garrison was drawn from a spring at a
considerable distance from the fort on the northwestern side. Near this
spring the greater part of the enemy stationed themselves in ambush. On
the other side of the fort a body was posted with orders to make a feint
of attacking, in order to draw the attention of the garrison to that
point, and give an opportunity for the main attack. At daylight the
garrison, consisting of forty or fifty men, were preparing to march out,
when they were startled by a heavy discharge of rifles, with an
accompaniment of such yells as come only from an Indian's throat.

"All ran hastily to the picketing," says McClung, "and beheld a small
party of Indians exposed to open view, firing, yelling, and making the
most furious gestures. The appearance was so singular, and so different
from their usual manner of fighting, that some of the more wary and
experienced of the garrison instantly pronounced it a decoy party, and
restrained the young men from sallying out and attacking them, as some
of them were strongly disposed to do. The opposite side of the fort was
instantly manned, and several breaches in the picketing rapidly
repaired. Their greatest distress arose from the prospect of suffering
for water. The more experienced of the garrison felt satisfied that a
powerful party was in ambuscade near the spring; but at the same time
they supposed that the Indians would not unmask themselves until the
firing upon the opposite side of the fort was returned with such warmth
as to induce the belief that the feint had succeeded.

"Acting upon this impression, and yielding to the urgent necessity of the
case, they summoned all the women, without exception, and explaining to
them the circumstances in which they were placed, and the improbability
that any injury would be offered them, until the firing had been
returned from the opposite side of the fort, they urged them to go in a
body to the spring, and each to bring up a bucketfull of water. Some of
the ladies, as was natural, had no relish for the undertaking, and asked
why the men could not bring water as well as themselves? Observing that
_they_ were not bullet-proof, and that the Indians made no distinction
between male and female scalps.

"To this it was answered, that women were in the habit of bringing water
every morning to the fort and that if the Indians saw them engaged
as usual, it would induce them to believe that their ambuscade was
undiscovered, and that they would not unmask themselves for the sake of
firing at a few women, when they hoped, by remaining concealed a few
moments longer, to obtain complete possession of the fort. That if men
should go down to the spring, the Indians would immediately suspect that
something was wrong, would despair of succeeding by ambuscade, and would
instantly rush upon them, follow them into the fort, or shoot them down
at the spring. The decision was soon over.

"A few of the boldest declared their readiness to brave the danger; and
the younger and more timid rallying in the rear of these veterans, they
all marched down in a body to the spring, within point-blank shot of
more than five hundred Indian warriors. Some of the girls could not help
betraying symptoms of terror, but the married women, in general, moved
with a steadiness and composure which completely deceived the Indians.
Not a shot was fired. The party were permitted to fill their buckets,
one after another, without interruption; and although their steps became
quicker and quicker, on their return, and when near the gate of the
fort, degenerated into a rather unmilitary celerity, attended with some
little crowding in passing the gate, yet not more than one-fifth of the
water was spilled, and the eyes of the youngest had not dilated to more
than double their ordinary size.

"Being now amply supplied with water, they sent out thirteen young men
to attack the decoy party, with orders to fire with great rapidity, and
make as much noise as possible, but not to pursue the enemy too far,
while the rest of the garrison took post on the opposite side of the
fort, cocked their guns, and stood in readiness to receive the ambuscade
as soon as it was unmasked. The firing of the light parties on the
Lexington road was soon heard, and quickly became sharp and serious,
gradually becoming more distant from the fort. Instantly, Girty sprung
up at the head of his five hundred warriors, and rushed rapidly upon the
western gate, ready to force his way over the undefended palisades.
Into this immense mass of dusky bodies, the garrison poured several
rapid volleys of rifle balls with destructive effect. Their consternation
may be imagined. With wild cries they dispersed on the right and left,
and in two minutes not an Indian was to be seen. At the same time, the
party who had sallied out on the Lexington road, came running into the
fort at the opposite gate, in high spirits, and laughing heartily at the
success of their maneuvre."

After this repulse, the Indians commenced the attack in regular form,
that is regular Indian form, for they had no cannon, which was a great
oversight, and one which we would not have expected them to make, after
witnessing the terror with which they had inspired the Kentuckians in
Byrd's invasion.

Two men had left the garrison immediately upon discovering the Indians,
to carry the news to Lexington and demand succor. On arriving at that
place they found the men had mostly gone to Hoy's Station. The couriers
pursued, and overtaking them, quickly brought them back. Sixteen
horsemen, and forty or fifty on foot, started to the relief of Bryant's
Station, and arrived before that place at two o'clock in the afternoon.

To the left of the long and narrow lane, where the Maysville and
Lexington road now runs, there were more than one hundred acres of green
standing corn. The usual road from Lexington to Bryant's, ran parallel
to the fence of this field, and only a few feet distant from it. On
the opposite side of the road was a thick wood. Here, more than three
hundred Indians lay in ambush, within pistol-shot of the road, awaiting
the approach of the party. The horsemen came in view at a time when
the firing had ceased, and every thing was quiet. Seeing no enemy, and
hearing no noise, they entered the lane at a gallop, and were instantly
saluted with a shower of rifle balls, from each side, at the distance
of ten paces.

At the first shot, the whole party set spurs to their horses, and rode
at full speed through a rolling fire from either side, which continued
for several hundred yards, but owing partly to the furious rate at which
they rode, partly to the clouds of dust raised by the horses' feet, they
all entered the fort unhurt. The men on foot were less fortunate. They
were advancing through the corn-field, and might have reached the fort
in safety, but for their eagerness to succor their friends. Without
reflecting, that from the weight and extent of the fire, the enemy
must have been ten times their number, they ran up with inconsiderate
courage, to the spot where the firing was heard, and there found
themselves cut off from the fort, and within pistol-shot of more than
three hundred savages.

Fortunately the Indians' guns had just been discharged, and they had not
yet had leisure to reload. At the sight of this brave body of footmen,
however, they raised a hideous yell, and rushed upon them, tomahawk in
hand. Nothing but the high corn and their loaded rifles, could have
saved them from destruction. The Indians were cautious in rushing upon
a loaded rifle with only a tomahawk, and when they halted to load their
pieces, the Kentuckians ran with great rapidity, turning and dodging
through the corn in every direction. Some entered the wood and escaped
through the thickets of cane, some were shot down in the corn-field,
others maintained a running fight, halting occasionally behind trees and
keeping the enemy at bay with their rifles; for, of all men, the Indians
are generally the most cautious in exposing themselves to danger.
A stout, active, young fellow, was so hard pressed by Girty and several
savages, that he was compelled to discharge his rifle, (however
unwilling, having no time to reload it,) and Girty fell.

It happened, however, that a piece of thick sole-leather was in his
shot-pouch at the time, which received the ball, and preserved his life,
although the force of the blow felled him to the ground. The savages
halted upon his fall, and the young man escaped. Although the skirmish
and the race lasted more than an hour, during which the corn-field
presented a scene of turmoil and bustle which can scarcely be conceived,
yet very few lives were lost. Only six of the white men were killed and
wounded, and probably still fewer of the enemy, as the whites never
fired until absolutely necessary, but reserved their loads as a check
upon the enemy. Had the Indians pursued them to Lexington, they might
have possessed themselves of it without resistance, as there was no
force there to oppose them; but after following the fugitives for a few
hundred yards, they returned to the hopeless siege of the fort.[40]

The day was nearly over, and the Indians were discouraged. They had
made no perceptible impression upon the fort, but had sustained a
severe loss; the country was aroused, and they feared to find themselves
outnumbered in their turn. Girty determined to attempt to frighten them
into a capitulation. For this purpose he cautiously approached the works,
and suddenly showed himself on a large stump, from which he addressed
the garrison. After extolling their valor, he assured them that their
resistance was useless, as he expected his artillery shortly, when their
fort would be crushed without difficulty. He promised them perfect
security for their lives if they surrendered, and menaced them with the
usual inflictions of Indian rage if they refused. He concluded by asking
if they knew him. The garrison of course gave no credit to the promises
of good treatment contained in this speech. They were too well
acquainted with the facility with which such pledges were given
and violated; but the mention of cannon was rather alarming, as the
expedition of Colonel Byrd was fresh in the minds of all. None of
the leaders made any answer to Girty, but a young man by the name of
Reynolds, took upon himself to reply to it. In regard to the question
of Girty, "Whether the garrison knew him?" he said:

"'That he was very well known; that he himself had a worthless dog, to
which he had given the name of 'Simon Girty,' in consequence of his
striking resemblance to the man of that name; that if he had either
artillery or reinforcements, he might bring them up and be d----d; that
if either himself, or any of the naked rascals with him, found their way
into the fort, they would disdain to use their guns against them, but
would drive them out again with switches, of which they had collected
a great number for that purpose alone; and finally he declared, that
they also expected reinforcements; that the whole country was marching
to their assistance; that if Girty and his gang of murderers remained
twenty-four hours longer before the fort, their scalps would be found
drying in the sun upon the roofs of their cabins.'"[41]

Girty affected much sorrow for the inevitable destruction which he
assured the garrison awaited them, in consequence of their obstinacy.
All idea of continuing the siege was now abandoned. The besiegers
evacuated their camp that very night; and with so much precipitation,
that meat was left roasting before the fires. Though we cannot wonder
at this relinquishing of a long-cherished scheme when we consider the
character of the Indians, yet it would be impossible to account for the
appearance of precipitancy, and even terror, with which their retreat
was accompanied, did we not perceive it to be the first of a series
of similar artifices, designed to draw on their enemies to their own
destruction. There was nothing in the circumstances to excite great
apprehensions. To be sure, they had been repulsed in their attempt on
the fort with some loss, yet this loss (thirty men) would by no means
have deterred a European force of similar numbers from prosecuting the

Girty and his great Indian army retired toward Ruddle's and Martin's
Stations, on a circuitous route, toward Lower Blue Licks. They expected,
however, to be pursued, and evidently desired it, as they left a broad
trail behind them, and marked the trees which stood on their route with
their tomahawks.[42]

[Footnote 40: McClung.]

[Footnote 41: McClung.]

[Footnote 42: Frost: "Border Wars of the West." Peck: "Life of Boone."
McClung: "Western Adventure."]


     Arrival of reinforcements at Bryant's Station--Colonel
     Daniel Boone, his son and brother among them--Colonels
     Trigg, Todd, and others--Great number of commissioned
     officers--Consultation--Pursuit commenced without waiting for
     Colonel Logan's reinforcement--Indian trail--Apprehensions
     of Boone and others--Arrival at the Blue Licks--Indians
     seen--Consultation--Colonel Boone's opinion--Rash conduct of Major
     McGary--Battle of Blue Licks commenced--Fierce encounter with the
     Indians--Israel Boone, Colonels Todd and Trigg, and Majors Harland
     and McBride killed--Attempt of the Indians to outflank the
     whites--Retreat of the whites--Colonel Boone nearly surrounded
     by Indians--Cuts his way through them, and returns to Bryant's
     Station--Great slaughter--Bravery of Netherland--Noble conduct of
     Reynolds in saving Captain Patterson--Loss of the whites--Colonel
     Boone's statement--Remarks on McGary's conduct--The fugitives meet
     Colonel Logan with his party--Return to the field of battle--Logan
     returns to Bryant's Station.

The intelligence of the siege of Bryant's Station had spread far and
wide, and the whole region round was in a state of intense excitement.
The next morning after the enemy's retreat, reinforcements began to
arrive, and in the course of the day successive bodies of militia
presented themselves, to the number of one hundred and eighty men.

Among this number was Colonel Daniel Boone, his son Israel, and his
brother Samuel, with a strong party of men from Boonesborough. Colonel
Stephen Trigg led a similar corps from Harrodsburg; and Colonel John
Todd headed the militia from Lexington. Majors Harland, McGary, McBride,
and Levi Todd were also among the arrivals.[43]

It is said that nearly one-third of the whole force assembled at
Bryant's Station were commissioned officers, many of whom had hurried
to the relief of their countrymen. This superior activity is to be
accounted for by the fact that the officers were generally selected
from the most active and skillful of the pioneers.

A consultation was held in a tumultuous manner, and it was determined
to pursue the enemy at once. The Indians had retreated by way of the
Lower Blue Licks. The pursuit was commenced without waiting for the
junction of Colonel Logan, who was known to be coming up with a strong
reinforcement. The trail of the enemy exhibited a degree of carelessness
very unusual in an Indian retreat. Various articles were strewn along
the path, as if in terror they had been abandoned. These symptoms, while
they increased the ardor of the young men, excited the apprehensions
of the more experienced borderers, and Boone in particular. He noticed
that, amid all the signs of disorder so lavishly displayed, the Indians
seemed to take even unusual care to conceal their numbers by contracting
their camp. It would seem that the Indians had rather overdone their
stratagem. It was very natural to those not much experienced in Indian
warfare to suppose that the articles found strewn along the road had
been abandoned in the hurry of flight; but when they found that the
utmost pains had been taken to point out the way to them by chopping the
trees, one would have thought that the rawest among them, who had only
spent a few months on the border, could have seen through so transparent
an artifice. But these indications were disregarded in the desire felt
to punish the Indians for their invasion.

Nothing was seen of the enemy till the Kentuckians reached the Blue
Licks. Here, just as they arrived at Licking River, a few Indians were
seen on the other side, retreating without any appearance of alarm.
The troops now made a halt, and the officers held a consultation to
determine on the course to be pursued. Colonel Daniel Boone, on being
appealed to as the most experienced person present, gave his opinion as

"That their situation was critical and delicate: that the force opposed
to them was undoubtedly numerous and ready for battle, as might readily
be seen from the leisurely retreat of the few Indians who had appeared
upon the crest of the hill; that he was well acquainted with the ground
in the neighborhood of the Licks, and was apprehensive that an ambuscade
was formed at the distance of a mile in advance, where two ravines, one
upon each side of the ridge, ran in such a manner that a concealed enemy
might assail them at once both in front and flank before they were
apprized of the danger.

"It would be proper, therefore, to do one of two things. Either to await
the arrival of Logan, who was now undoubtedly on his march to join them;
or, if it was determined to attack without delay, that one-half of their
number should march up the river, which there bends in an elliptical
form, cross at the rapids, and fall upon the rear of the enemy, while
the other division attacked them in front. At any rate, he strongly
urged the necessity of reconnoitering the ground carefully before the
main body crossed the river."[44]

McClung, in his "Western Adventures," doubts whether the plan of
operation proposed by Colonel Boone would have been more successful than
that actually adopted; suggesting that the enemy would have cut them off
in detail, as at Estill's defeat.

But before the officers could come to any conclusion, Major McGary
dashed into the river on horseback, calling on all who were not cowards
to follow. The next moment the whole of the party were advancing to the
attack with the greatest ardor, but without any order whatever. Horse
and foot struggled through the river together, and, without waiting to
form, rushed up the ascent from the shore.

"Suddenly," says McClung, "the van halted. They had reached the spot
mentioned by Boone, where the two ravines head, on each side of the
ridge. Here a body of Indians presented themselves, and attacked the
van. McGary's party instantly returned the fire, but under great
disadvantage. They were upon a bare and open ridge; the Indians in a
bushy ravine. The centre and rear, ignorant of the ground, hurried up
to the assistance of the van, but were soon stopped by a terrible fire
from the ravine which flanked them. They found themselves enclosed as
if in the wings of a net, destitute of proper shelter, while the enemy
were in a great measure covered from their fire. Still, however, they
maintained their ground. The action became warm and bloody. The parties
gradually closed, the Indians emerged from the ravine, and the fire
became mutually destructive. The officers suffered dreadfully. Todd and
Trigg in the rear, Harland, McBride, and young Israel Boone in front,
were already killed."

"The Indians gradually extended their line to turn the right of the
Kentuckians, and cut off their retreat. This was quickly perceived by
the weight of the fire from that quarter, and the rear instantly fell
back in disorder, and attempted to rush through their only opening to
the river. The motion quickly communicated itself to the van, and a
hurried retreat became general. The Indians instantly sprung forward
in pursuit, and, falling upon them with their tomahawks, made a cruel
slaughter. From the battle-ground to the river the spectacle was
terrible. The horsemen, generally, escaped; but the foot, particularly
the van, which had advanced furthest within the wings of the net, were
almost totally destroyed. Colonel Boone, after witnessing the death of
his son and many of his dearest friends, found himself almost entirely
surrounded at the very commencement of the retreat."

"Several hundred Indians were between him and the ford, to which the
great mass of the fugitives were bending their flight, and to which the
attention of the savages was principally directed. Being intimately
acquainted with the ground, he, together with a few friends, dashed into
the ravine which the Indians had occupied, but which most of them had
now left to join in the pursuit. After sustaining one or two heavy
fires, and baffling one or two small parties who pursued him for a short
distance, he crossed the river below the ford by swimming, and, entering
the wood at a point where there was no pursuit, returned by a circuitous
route to Bryant's Station. In the mean time, the great mass of the
victors and vanquished crowded the bank of the ford."

"The slaughter was great in the river. The ford was crowded with horsemen
and foot and Indians, all mingled together. Some were compelled to seek
a passage above by swimming; some who could not swim were overtaken and
killed at the edge of the water. A man by the name of Netherland, who
had formerly been strongly suspected of cowardice, here displayed a
coolness and presence of mind equally noble and unexpected. Being finely
mounted, he had outstripped the great mass of fugitives, and crossed
the river in safety. A dozen or twenty horsemen accompanied him, and,
having placed the river between them and the enemy, showed a disposition
to continue their flight, without regard to the safety of their friends
who were on foot, and still struggling with the current."

"Netherland instantly checked his horse, and in a loud voice, called
upon his companions to halt, fire upon the Indians, and save those who
were still in the stream. The party instantly obeyed; and facing about,
poured a close and fatal discharge of rifles upon the foremost of the
pursuers. The enemy instantly fell back from the opposite bank, and gave
time for the harassed and miserable footmen to cross in safety. The
check, however, was but momentary. Indians were seen crossing in great
numbers above and below, and the flight again became general. Most of
the foot left the great buffalo track, and plunging into the thickets,
escaped by a circuitous route to Bryant's Station."

The pursuit was kept up for twenty miles, though with but little
success. In the flight from the scene of action to the river, young
Reynolds, (the same who replied to Girty's summons at Bryant's Station,)
on horseback, overtook Captain Patterson on foot. This officer had not
recovered from the effects of wounds received on a former occasion, and
was altogether unable to keep up with the rest of the fugitives.

Reynolds immediately dismounted, and gave the captain his horse.
Continuing his flight on foot, he swam the river, but was made prisoner
by a party of Indians. He was left in charge of a single Indian, whom he
soon knocked down, and so escaped. For the assistance he so gallantly
rendered him, Captain Patterson rewarded Reynolds with a present of two
hundred acres of land.

Sixty whites were killed in this battle of the Blue Licks, and seven
made prisoners. Colonel Boone, in his Autobiography, says that he was
informed that the Indian loss in killed, was four more than that of the
Kentuckians, and that the former put four of the prisoners to death,
to make the numbers equal. But this account does not seem worthy of
credit, when we consider the vastly superior numbers of the Indians,
their advantage of position, and the disorderly manner in which the
Kentuckians advanced. If this account is true, the loss of the Indians
in the actual battle must have been much greater than that of their
opponents, many of the latter having been killed in the pursuit.

As the loss of the Kentuckians on this occasion, the heaviest they had
ever sustained, was undoubtedly caused by rashness, it becomes our duty,
according to the established usage of historians, to attempt to show
where the fault lies. The conduct of McGary, which brought on the
action, appears to be the most culpable. He never denied the part which
is generally attributed to him, but justified himself by saying that
while at Bryant's Station, he had advised waiting for Logan, but was
met with the charge of cowardice. He believed that Todd and Trigg were
jealous of Logan, who was the senior Colonel, and would have taken the
command had he come up. This statement he made to a gentleman several
years after the battle took place. He said also to the same person, that
when he found them hesitating in the presence of the enemy, he "burst
into a passion," called them cowards, and dashed into the river as
before narrated. If this account be true, it may somewhat palliate, but
certainly not justify the action.

Before the fugitives reached Bryant's Station, they met Logan advancing
with his detachment. The exaggerated accounts he received of the
slaughter, induced him to return to the above-mentioned place. On the
next morning all who had escaped from the battle were assembled, when
Logan found himself at the head of four hundred and fifty men. With this
force, accompanied by Colonel Boone, he set out for the scene of action,
hoping that the enemy, encouraged by their success, would await his
arrival. But when he reached the field, he found it deserted. The bodies
of the slain Kentuckians, frightfully mangled, were strewed over the
ground. After collecting and interring these, Logan and Boone, finding
they could do nothing more, returned to Bryant's Station, where they
disbanded the troops.

"By such rash men as McGary," says Mr. Peck,[45] "Colonel Boone was
charged with want of courage, when the result proved his superior wisdom
and fore-sight. All the testimony gives Boone credit for his sagacity
and correctness in judgment before the action, and his coolness and
self-possession in covering the retreat. His report of this battle to
Benjamin Harrison, Governor of Virginia, is one of the few documents
that remain from his pen."

"Boone's Station, Fayette County, August 30th, 1782.

"Sir: Present circumstances of affairs cause me to write to your
Excellency as follows. On the 16th instant, a large number of Indians,
with some white men, attacked one of our frontier Stations, known by the
name of Bryant's Station. The siege continued from about sunrise till
about ten o'clock the next day, when they marched off. Notice being
given to the neighboring Stations, we immediately raised one hundred and
eighty-one horse, commanded by Colonel John Todd, including some of the
Lincoln County militia, commanded by Colonel Trigg, and pursued about
forty miles.

"On the 19th instant, we discovered the enemy lying in wait for us.
On this discovery, we formed our columns into one single line, and
marched up in their front within about forty yards, before there was
a gun fired. Colonel Trigg commanded on the right, myself on the left,
Major McGary in the centre, and Major Harlan the advanced party in
front. From the manner in which we had formed, it fell to my lot to
bring on the attack. This was done with a very heavy fire on both sides,
and extended back of the line to Colonel Trigg, where the enemy were so
strong they rushed up and broke the right wing at the first fire. Thus
the enemy got in our rear, with the loss of seventy-seven of our men,
and twelve wounded. Afterward we were reinforced by Colonel Logan,
which made our force four hundred and sixty men. We marched again to
the battle-ground; but finding the enemy had gone, we proceeded to bury
the dead.

"We found forty-three on the ground, and many lay about, which we could
not stay to find, hungry and weary as we were, and somewhat dubious that
the enemy might not have gone off quite. By the signs, we thought that
the Indians had exceeded four hundred; while the whole of this militia
of the county does not amount to more than one hundred and thirty. From
these facts your Excellency may form an idea of our situation.

"I know that your own circumstances are critical; but are we to be
wholly forgotten? I hope not. I trust about five hundred men may be sent
to our assistance immediately. If these shall be stationed as our county
lieutenants shall deem necessary, it may be the means of saving our part
of the country; but if they are placed under the direction of General
Clark, they will be of little or no service to our settlement. The Falls
lie one hundred miles west of us, and the Indians northeast; while our
men are frequently called to protect them. I have encouraged the people
in this county all that I could; but I can no longer justify them or
myself to risk our lives here under such extraordinary hazards. The
inhabitants of this county are very much alarmed at the thoughts of
the Indians bringing another campaign into our country this fall.
If this should be the case, it will break up these settlements. I hope,
therefore, your Excellency will take the matter into consideration, and
send us some relief as quick as possible.

"These are my sentiments, without consulting any person. Colonel Logan
will, I expect, immediately send you an express, by whom I humbly
request your Excellency's answer. In the meanwhile, I remain,"


[Footnote 43: Peck.]

[Footnote 44: McClung.]

[Footnote 45: "Life of Boone," p. 130.]


     The Indians return home from the Blue Licks--They attack
     the settlements in Jefferson County--Affair at Simpson's
     Creek--General Clark's expedition to the Indian country--Colonel
     Boone joins it--Its effect--Attack of the Indians on the
     Crab Orchard settlement--Rumor of intended invasion by
     the Cherokees--Difficulties about the treaty with Great
     Britain--Hostilities of the Indians generally stimulated by
     renegade whites--Simon Girty--Causes of his hatred of the
     whites--Girty insulted by General Lewis--Joins the Indians
     at the battle of Point Pleasant--Story of his rescuing Simon
     Kenton--Crawford's expedition, and the burning of Crawford--Close
     of Girty's career.

Most of the Indians who had taken part in the battle of the Blue Licks,
according to their custom, returned home to boast of their victory,
thus abandoning all the advantages which might have resulted to them
from following up their success. Some of them, however, attacked the
settlements in Jefferson County but they were prevented from doing much
mischief by the vigilance of the inhabitants. They succeeded, however,
in breaking up a small settlement on Simpson's Creek. This they attacked
in the night, while the men, wearied by a scout of several days, were
asleep. The enemy entered the houses before their occupants were fully
aroused. Notwithstanding this, several of the men defended themselves
with great courage. Thomas Randolph killed several Indians before his
wife and infant were struck down at his side, when he escaped with his
remaining child through the roof. On reaching the ground he was assailed
by two of the savages, but he beat them off, and escaped. Several women
escaped to the woods, and two were secreted under the floor of a cabin,
where they remained undiscovered. Still the Indians captured quite a
number of women and children, some of whom they put to death on the road
home. The rest were liberated the next year upon the conclusion of peace
with the English.

General George Rogers Clark proposed a retaliatory expedition into
the Indian country, and to carry out the plan, called a council of the
superior officers. The council agreed to his plan, and preparations
were made to raise the requisite number of troops by drafting, if there
should be any deficiency of volunteers. But it was not found necessary
to resort to compulsory measures, both men and supplies for the
expedition were raised without difficulty. The troops to the number of
one thousand, all mounted, assembled at Bryant's Station, and the Falls
of the Ohio, from whence the two detachments marched under Logan and
Floyd to the mouth of the Licking, where general Clark assumed the
command. Colonel Boone took part in this expedition; but probably as
a volunteer. He is not mentioned as having a separate command.

The history of this expedition, like most others of the same nature,
possesses but little interest. The army with all the expedition they
could make, and for which the species of force was peculiarly favorable,
failed to surprise the Indians. These latter opposed no resistance of
importance to the advance of the army. Occasionally, a straggling party
would fire upon the Kentuckians, but never waited to receive a similar
compliment in return. Seven Indians were taken prisoners, and three or
four killed; one of them an old chief, too infirm to fly, was killed
by Major McGary. The towns of the Indians were burnt, and their fields
devastated. The expedition returned to Kentucky with the loss of four
men, two of whom were accidentally killed by their own comrades.

This invasion, though apparently so barren of result, is supposed to
have produced a beneficial effect, by impressing the Indians with the
numbers and courage of the Kentuckians. They appear from this time to
have given up the expectation of reconquering the country, and confined
their hostilities to the rapid incursions of small bands.

During the expedition of Clark, a party of Indians penetrated to the
Crab Orchard settlement. They made an attack upon a single house,
containing only a woman, a negro man, and two or three children. One of
the Indians, who had been sent in advance to reconnoitre, seeing the
weakness of the garrison, thought to get all the glory of the
achievement to himself.

He boldly entered the house and seized the negro, who proving strongest,
threw him on the floor, when the woman dispatched him with an axe. The
other Indians coming up, attempted to force open the door which had been
closed by the children during the scuffle. There was no gun in the
house, but the woman seized an old barrel of one, and thrust the muzzle
through the logs, at which the Indians retreated.

The year 1783 passed away without any disturbance from the Indians, who
were restrained by the desertion of their allies the British. In 1784,
the southern frontier of Kentucky was alarmed by the rumor of an
intended invasion by the Cherokees, and some preparations were made for
an expedition against them, which fell through, however, because there
was no authority to carry it on. The report of the hostility of the
Cherokees proved to be untrue.

Meanwhile difficulties arose in performance of the terms of the treaty
between England and the United States. They appear to have originated
in a dispute in regard to an article contained in the treaty, providing
that the British army should not carry away with them any negroes or
other property belonging to the American inhabitants. In consequence of
what they deemed an infraction of this article, the Virginians refused
to comply with another, which stipulated for the repeal of acts
prohibiting the collection of debts due to British subjects. The British,
on the other hand, refused to evacuate the western posts till this
article was complied with. It was natural that the intercourse which had
always existed between the Indians and the garrisons of these posts,
during the period they had acted as allies, should continue, and it did.

In the unwritten history of the difficulties of the United States
Government with the Indian tribes within her established boundaries,
nothing appears clearer than this truth: that the fierce and sanguinary
resistance of the aborigines to the encroachments of the Anglo-Americans
has ever been begun and continued more through the instigations of
outlawed white men, who had sought protection among them from the arm
of the law or the knife of individual vengeance, and been adopted into
their tribes, than from the promptings of their own judgments, their
disregard of death, their thirst for the blood of their oppressors,
or their love of country.[46]

That their sense of wrong has at all times been keen, their hate deadly,
and their bravery great, is a fact beyond dispute; and that they have
prized highly their old hunting-grounds, and felt a warm and lively
attachment to their beautiful village-sites, and regarded with especial
veneration the burial-places of their fathers, their whole history
attests; but of their own weakness in war, before the arms and numbers
of their enemies, they must have been convinced at a very early period:
and they were neither so dull in apprehension, nor so weak in intellect,
as not soon to have perceived the utter hopelessness, and felt the mad
folly, of a continued contest with their invaders. Long before the
settlement of the whites upon this continent, the Indians had been
subject to bloody and exterminating wars among themselves; and such
conflicts had generally resulted in the flight of the weaker party
toward the West, and the occupancy of their lands by the conquerors.
Many of the tribes had a tradition among them, and regarded it as their
unchangeable destiny, that they were to journey from the rising to the
setting sun, on their way to the bright waters and the green forests of
the "Spirit Land;" and the working out of this destiny seems apparent,
if not in the location, course, and character of the tumult and other
remains of the great aboriginal nations of whom even tradition furnishes
no account, certainly in what we know of the history of the tribes found
on the Atlantic coast by the first European settlers.

It seems fairly presumable, from our knowledge of the history and
character of the North American Indians, that had they been left to
the promptings of their own judgments, and been influenced only by the
deliberations of their own councils, they would, after a brief, but
perhaps most bloody, resistance to the encroachments of the whites, have
bowed to what would have struck their untutored minds as an inevitable
destiny, and year after year flowed silently, as the European wave
pressed upon them, further and further into the vast wildernesses
of the mighty West. But left to their own judgments, or their own
deliberations, they never have been. Early armed by renegade white men
with European weapons, and taught the improvement of their own rude
instruments of warfare, and instigated not only to oppose the strides
of their enemies after territory, but to commit depredations upon their
settlements, and to attempt to chastise them at their very thresholds,
they drew down upon themselves the wrath of a people which is not slow
to anger, nor easily appeased; and as far back as the Revolution,
if not as the colonizing of Massachusetts, their breasts were filled
with a hatred of the whites, deadly and unslumbering. Through all our
subsequent transactions with them, this feeling has been increasing in
magnitude and intensity: and recent events have carried it to a pitch
which will render it enduring forever, perhaps not in its activity, but
certainly in its bitterness. Whether more amicable relations with the
whites, during the first settlements made upon this continent by the
Europeans, would have changed materially the ultimate destiny of the
aboriginal tribes, is a question about which diversities of opinion
may well be entertained; but it is not to be considered here.

The fierce, and bloody, and continuous opposition which the Indians
have made from the first to the encroachments of the Anglo-Americans,
is matter of history; and close scrutiny will show, that the great
instigators of that opposition have always, or nearly so, been _renegade
white men_. Scattered through the tribes east of the Alleghanies,
before and during the American Revolution, there were many such
miscreants. Among the Western tribes, during the early settlement of
Kentucky and Ohio, and at the period of the last war with Great Britain,
there were a number, some of them men of talent and great activity.
One of the boldest and most notorious of these latter, was one whom we
have had frequent occasion to mention, SIMON GIRTY--for many years the
scourge of the infant settlements in the West, the terror of women, and
the bugaboo of children. This man was an adopted member of the great
Wyandot nation, among whom he ranked high as an expert hunter, a brave
warrior, and a powerful orator. His influence extended through all the
tribes of the West, and was generally exerted to incite the Indians to
expeditions against the "Stations" of Kentucky, and to acts of cruelty
to their white prisoners. The bloodiest counsel was usually his; his
was the voice which was raised loudest against his countrymen, who were
preparing the way for the introduction of civilization and Christianity
into this glorious region; and in all great attacks upon the frontier
settlements he was one of the prime movers, and among the prominent

Of the causes of that venomous hatred, which rankled in the bosom of
Simon Girty against his countrymen, we have two or three versions:
such as, that he early imbibed a feeling of contempt and abhorrence of
civilized life, from the brutality of his father, the lapse from virtue
of his mother, and the corruptions of the community in which he had his
birth and passed his boyhood; that, while acting with the whites against
the Indians on the Virginia border, he was stung to the quick, and
deeply offended by the appointment to a station over his head, of one
who was his junior in years, and had rendered nothing like his services
to the frontiers; and that, when attached as a scout to Dunmore's
expedition, an indignity was heaped upon him which thoroughly soured his
nature, and drove him to the Indians, that he might more effectually
execute a vengeance which he swore to wreak. The last reason assigned
for his defection and animosity is the most probable of the three, rests
upon good authority, and seems sufficient, his character considered, to
account for his desertion and subsequent career among the Indians.

The history of the indignity alluded to, as it has reached the
writer[47] from one who was associated with Girty and a partaker in it,
is as follows: The two were acting as scouts in the expedition set on
foot by Governor Dunmore, of Virginia, in the year 1774, against the
Indian towns of Ohio. The two divisions of the force raised for this
expedition, the one commanded by Governor Dunmore in person, the other
by General Andrew Lewis, were by the orders of the governor to form a
junction at Point Pleasant, where the Great Kenhawa empties into the
Ohio. At this place, General Lewis arrived with his command on the
eleventh or twelfth of September; but after remaining here two or three
weeks in anxious expectation of the approach of the other division, he
received dispatches from the governor, informing him that Dunmore had
changed his plan, and determined to march at once against the villages
on the Scioto, and ordering him to cross the Ohio immediately and join
him as speedily as possible. It was during the delay at the Point that
the incident occurred which is supposed to have had such a tremendous
influence upon Girty's after-life. He and his associate scout had
rendered some two or three months' services, for which they had as
yet drawn no part of their pay; and in their present idleness they
discovered means of enjoyment, of which they had not money to avail
themselves. In this strait, they called upon Gen. Lewis in person,
at his quarters, and demanded their pay. For some unknown cause this
was refused, which produced a slight murmuring on the part of the
applicants, when General Lewis cursed them, and struck them several
severe blows over their heads with his cane. Girty's associate was not
much hurt; but he himself was so badly wounded on the forehead or temple
that the blood streamed down his cheek and side to the floor. He quickly
turned to leave the apartment; but, on reaching the door, wheeled round,
planted his feet firmly upon the sill, braced an arm against either
side of the frame, fixed his keen eyes unflinchingly upon the general,
uttered the exclamation, "_By God, sir, your quarters shall swim in
blood for this_!" and instantly disappeared beyond pursuit.

General Lewis was not much pleased with the sudden and apparently
causeless change which Governor Dunmore had made in the plan of the
expedition. Nevertheless, he immediately prepared to obey the new
orders, and had given directions for the construction of rafts upon
which to cross the Ohio, when, before daylight on the morning of the
10th of October, some of the scouts suddenly entered the encampment
with the information that an immense body of Indians was just at hand,
hastening upon the Point. This was the force of the brave and skillful
chief Cornstalk, whose genius and valor were so conspicuous on that day,
throughout the whole of which raged the hardly-contested and moat bloody
_Battle of the Point_. Girty had fled from General Lewis immediately to
the chief Cornstalk, forsworn his white nature, and leagued himself with
the Redman forever; and with the Indians he was now advancing, under
the cover of night, to surprise the Virginian camp. At the distance of
only a mile from the Point, Cornstalk was met by a detachment of the
Virginians, under the command of Colonel Charles Lewis, a brother of the
general; and here, about sunrise on the 10th of October, 1774, commenced
one of the longest, severest, and bloodiest battles ever fought upon the
Western frontiers. It terminated, as we have seen, about sunset, with
the defeat of the Indians it is true, but with a loss to the whites
which carried mourning into many a mansion of the Old Dominion, and
which was keenly felt throughout the country at the time, and
remembered with sorrow long after.

Girty having thrown himself among the Indians, as has been related,
and embraced their cause, now retreated with them into the interior
of Ohio, and ever after followed their fortunes without swerving. On
arriving at the towns of the Wyandots, he was adopted into that tribe,
and established himself at Upper Sandusky. Being active, of a strong
constitution, fearless in the extreme, and at all times ready to
join their war parties, lie soon became very popular among his new
associates, and a man of much consequence. He was engaged in most of
the expeditions against the frontier settlements of Pennsylvania and
Virginia--always brave and always cruel--till the year 1778, when
occurred an incident which, as it is the only bright spot apparent
on the whole dark career of the renegade, shall be related with some

Girty happened to be at Lower Sandusky this year, when Kenton--known at
that period as Simon Butler--was brought in to be executed by a party
of Indians who had made him a prisoner on the banks of the Ohio.
Years before, Kenton and Girty had been bosom companions at Fort Pitt,
and served together subsequently in the commencement of Dunmore's
expedition; but the victim was already blackened for the stake, and the
renegade failed to recognize in him his former associate. Girty had at
this time but just returned from an expedition against the frontier of
Pennsylvania, which had been less successful than he had anticipated,
and was enraged by disappointment. He, therefore, as soon as Kenton was
brought into the village, began to give vent to a portion of his spleen
by cuffing and kicking the prisoner, whom he eventually knocked down.
He knew that Kenton had come from Kentucky; and this harsh treatment was
bestowed in part, it is thought, to frighten the prisoner into answers
of such questions as he might wish to ask him. He then inquired how many
men there were in Kentucky. Kenton could not answer this question, but
ran over the names and ranks of such of the officers as he at the time
recollected. "Do you know William Stewart?" asked Girty. "Perfectly
well," replied Kenton; "he is an old and intimate acquaintance."
"Ah! what is _your_ name, then?" "Simon Butler," answered Kenton; and
on the instant of this announcement the hardened renegade caught his
old comrade by the hand, lifted him from the ground, pressed him to his
bosom, asked his forgiveness for having treated him so brutally, and
promised to do every thing in his power to save his life, and set him
at liberty. "Syme!" said he, weeping like a child, "you are condemned
to die, but it shall go hard with me, I tell you, but I will save you
from _that_."

There have been various accounts given of this interesting scene, and
all agree in representing Girty as having been deeply affected, and
moved for the moment to penitence and tears. The foundation of McClung's
detail of the speeches made upon the occasion was a manuscript dictated
by Kenton himself a number of years before his death. From this writer
we therefore quote:

"As soon as Girty heard the name he became strongly agitated; and,
springing from his seat, he threw his arms around Kenton's neck, and
embraced him with much emotion. Then turning to the assembled warriors,
who remained astonished spectators of this extraordinary scene, he
addressed them in a short speech, which the deep earnestness of his
tone, and the energy of his gesture, rendered eloquent. He informed
them that the prisoner, whom they had just condemned to the stake, was
his ancient comrade and bosom friend; that they had traveled the same
war-path, slept upon the same blanket, and dwelt in the same wigwam.
He entreated them to have compassion on his feelings--to spare him the
agony of witnessing the torture of an old friend by the hands of his
adopted brothers, and not to refuse so trifling a favor as the life of
a white man to the earnest intercession of one who had proved, by three
years' faithful service, that he was sincerely and zealously devoted to
the cause of the Indians.

"The speech was listened to in unbroken silence. As soon as he had
finished, several chiefs expressed their approbation by a deep guttural
interjection, while others were equally as forward in making known their
objections to the proposal. They urged that his fate had already been
determined in a large and solemn council, and that they would be acting
like squaws to change their minds every hour. They insisted upon the
flagrant misdemeanors of Kenton--that he had not only stolen their
horses, but had flashed his gun at one of their young men--that it was
vain to suppose that so bad a man could ever become an Indian at heart,
like their brother Girty--that the Kentuckians were all alike--very bad
people--and ought to be killed as fast as they were taken--and finally,
they observed that many of their people had come from a distance, solely
to assist at the torture of the prisoner, and pathetically painted the
disappointment and chagrin with which they would hear that all their
trouble had been for nothing.

"Girty listened with obvious impatience to the young warriors who had
so ably argued against a reprieve--and starting to his feet, as soon
as the others had concluded, he urged his former request with great
earnestness. He briefly, but strongly recapitulated his own services,
and the many and weighty instances of attachment he had given. He asked
if _he_ could be suspected of partiality to the whites? When had he ever
before interceded for any of that hated race? Had he not brought seven
scalps home with him from the last expedition? and had he not submitted
seven white prisoners that very evening to their discretion? Had he ever
expressed a wish that a single captive should be saved? _This_ was his
first and should be his last request: for if they refused to _him_, what
was never refused to the intercession of one of their natural chiefs,
he would look upon himself as disgraced in their eyes, and considered
as unworthy of confidence. Which of their own natural warriors had
been more zealous than himself? From what expedition had he ever
shrunk?--what white man had ever seen his back? Whose tomahawk had been
bloodier than his? He would say no more. He asked it as a first and last
favor, as an evidence that they approved of his zeal and fidelity, that
the life of his bosom friend might be spared. Fresh speakers arose upon
each side, and the debate was carried on for an hour and a half with
great heat and energy.

"During the whole of this time, Kenton's feelings may readily
be imagined. He could not understand a syllable of what was said.
He saw that Girty spoke with deep earnestness, and that the eyes of
the assembly were often turned upon himself with various expressions.
He felt satisfied that his friend was pleading for his life, and that
he was violently opposed by a large part of the council. At length the
war-club was produced, and the final vote taken. Kenton watched its
progress with thrilling emotion--which yielded to the most rapturous
delight, as he perceived that those who struck the floor of the
council-house, were decidedly inferior in number to those who passed it
in silence. Having thus succeeded in his benevolent purpose, Girty lost
no time in attending to the comfort of his friend. He led him into his
own wigwam, and from his own store gave him a pair of moccasins and
leggins, a breech-cloth, a hat, a coat, a handkerchief for his neck,
and another for his head."

In the course of a few weeks, and after passing through some
further difficulties, in which the renegade again stood by him
faithfully, Kenton was sent to Detroit, from which place he effected
his escape and returned to Kentucky. Girty remained with the Indians,
retaining his old influence, and continuing his old career; and four
years after the occurrences last detailed, in 1782, we find him a
prominent figure in one of the blackest tragedies that have ever
disgraced the annals of mankind. It is generally believed, by the old
settlers and their immediate descendants, that the influence of Girty
at this period, over the confederate tribes of the whole northwest,
was almost supreme. He had, it is true, no delegated authority, and
of course was powerless as regarded the final determination of any
important measure; but his voice was permitted in council among the
chiefs, and his inflaming harangues were always listened to with delight
by the young warriors. Among the sachems and other head-men, he was what
may well be styled a "power behind the throne;" and as it is well known
that this unseen power is often "greater than the throne itself," it may
reasonably be presumed that Girty's influence was in reality all which
it is supposed to have been. The horrible event alluded to above, was
the _Burning of Crawford_; and as a knowledge of this dark passage in
his life, is necessary to a full development of the character of the
renegade, an account of the incident, as much condensed as possible,
will be given from the histories of the unfortunate campaign of that

The frontier settlements of Pennsylvania and Virginia, had been
greatly harassed by repeated attacks from bands of Indians under Girty
and some of the Wyandot and Shawnee chiefs, during the whole period
of the Revolutionary War; and early in the spring of 1782, these savage
incursions became so frequent and galling, and the common mode of
fighting the Indians on the line of frontier, when forced to do so
in self-defense, proved so inefficient, that it was found absolutely
necessary to carry the war into the country of the enemy. For this
purpose an expedition against the Wyandot towns on the Sandusky, was
gotten up in May, and put under the command of Colonel William Crawford,
a brave soldier of the Revolution. This force, amounting to upward
of four hundred mounted volunteers, commenced its march through the
wilderness northwest of the Ohio River, on the 25th of May, and
reached the plains of the Sandusky on the 5th of June. A spirit of
insubordination had manifested itself during the march, and on one
occasion a small body of the volunteers abandoned the expedition and
returned to their homes. The disaffection which had prevailed on the
march, continued to disturb the commander and divide the ranks, after
their arrival upon the very site (now deserted temporarily) of one of
the enemy's principal towns; and the officers, yielding to the wishes of
their men, had actually determined, in a hasty council, to abandon the
objects of the expedition and return home, if they did not meet with the
Indians in large force in the course of another day's march. Scarcely
had this determination been announced, however, when Colonel Crawford
received intelligence from his scouts, of the near approach of a large
body of the enemy. Preparations were at once made for the engagement,
which almost instantly commenced. It was now about the middle of the
afternoon; and from this time till dusk the firing was hot and galling
on both sides. About dark the Indians drew off their force, when the
volunteers encamped upon the battle-ground, and slept on their arms.

The next day, the battle was renewed by small detachments of the
enemy, but no general engagement took place. The Indians had suffered
severely from the close firing which ensued upon their first attack,
and were now maneuvering and awaiting the arrival of reinforcements.
No sooner had night closed upon this madly spent day, than the officers
assembled in council. They were unanimous in the opinion that the enemy,
already as they thought more numerous than their own force, was rapidly
increasing in numbers. They therefore determined, without a dissenting
voice, to retreat that night, as rapidly as circumstances would permit.
This resolution was at once announced to the whole body of volunteers,
and the arrangements necessary to carry it into effect were immediately
commenced. By nine or ten o'clock every thing was in readiness--the
troops properly disposed--and the retreat begun in good order. But
unfortunately, says McClung, "they had scarcely moved an hundred paces,
when the report of several rifles was heard in the rear, in the
direction of the Indian encampment. The troops instantly became very
unsteady. At length a solitary voice, in the front rank, called out that
their design was discovered, and that the Indians would soon be upon
them. Nothing more was necessary. The cavalry were instantly broken;
and, as usual, each man endeavored to save himself as he best could.
A prodigious uproar ensued, which quickly communicated to the enemy that
the white men had routed themselves, and that they had nothing to do but
pick up stragglers." A scene of confusion and carnage now took place,
which almost beggars description. All that night and for the whole of
the next day, the work of hunting out, running down, and butchering,
continued without intermission. But a relation of these sad occurrences
does not properly belong to this narrative. The brief account of the
expedition which has been given, was deemed necessary as an introduction
to the event which now claims attention.

Among the prisoners taken by the Indians, were Colonel Crawford,
the commander, and Dr. Knight of Pittsburg, who had gone upon the
expedition as surgeon. On the 10th of June, these gentlemen were
marched toward the principal town of the Wyandots, where they arrived
the next day. Here they beheld the mangled bodies of some of their late
companions, and were doomed to see others, yet living, butchered before
their eyes. Here, likewise, they saw Simon Girty, who appeared to take
an infernal delight in gazing upon the dead bodies, and viewing the
tortures which were inflicted upon the living. The features of this
wretch, who had known Colonel Crawford at Fort Pitt, were clad in
malicious smiles at beholding the brave soldier in his present strait;
and toward Dr. Knight he conducted himself with insolence as well as
barbarity. The Colonel was soon stripped naked, painted black, and
commanded to sit down by a large fire which was blazing close at hand;
and in this situation he was surrounded by all the old women and young
boys of the town, and severely beaten with sticks and clubs. While this
was going on, the Indians were sinking a large stake in the ground, and
building a circle of brushwood and hickory sticks around it, with a
diameter of some twelve or fifteen feet. These preparations completed,
Crawford's hands were tied firmly behind his back, and by his wrists
he was bound to the stake. The pile was then fired in several places,
and the quick flames curled into the air. Girty took no part in these
operations, but sat upon his horse at a little distance, observing them
with a malignant satisfaction. Catching his eye at the moment the pile
was fired, Crawford inquired of the renegade if the savages really
meant to burn him. Girty coldly answered "Yes," and the Colonel calmly
resigned himself to his fate. The whole scene is minutely described
in the several histories which have been written of this unfortunate
expedition; but the particulars are too horrible to be dwelt upon
here For more than two hours did the gallant soldier survive at that
flame-girdled stake; and during the latter half of this time, he was
put to every torture which savage ingenuity could devise, and hellish
vengeance execute. Once only did a word escape his lips. In the
extremity of his agony he again caught the eye of Girty; and he is
reported to have exclaimed at this time, "Girty! Girty! shoot me through
the heart! Do not refuse me! quick!--quick!" And it is said that the
monster merely replied, "Don't you see I have no gun, Colonel?" then
burst into a loud laugh and turned away. Crawford said no more; he sank
repeatedly beneath the pain and suffocation which he endured, and was
as often aroused by a new torture; but in a little while the "vital
spark" fled, and the black and swollen body lay senseless at the foot
of the stake.

Dr. Knight was now removed from the spot, and placed under the charge
of a Shawanee warrior to be taken to Chillicothe, where he was to share
in the terrible fate of his late companion. The Doctor, however, was
fortunate enough to effect his escape; and after wandering through the
wilderness for three weeks, in a state bordering on starvation, he
reached Pittsburg. He had been an eye-witness of all the tortures
inflicted upon the Colonel, and subsequently published a journal of the
expedition; and it is from this that the particulars have been derived
of the several accounts which have been published of the _Burning of

It was not to be expected that such a man as Simon Girty could, for a
great many years, maintain his influence among a people headed by chiefs
and warriors like Black-Hoof, Buckongahelas, Little Turtle, Tarhé, and
so forth. Accordingly we find the ascendancy of the renegade at its
height about the period of the expedition against Bryant's Station,
already described; and not long after this it began to wane, when,
discontent and disappointment inducing him to give way to his natural
appetites, he partook freely of all intoxicating liquors, and in the
course of a few years became a beastly drunkard. It is believed that
he at one time seriously meditated an abandonment of the Indians, and a
return to the whites; and an anecdote related by McClung, in his notice
of the emigration to Kentucky, by way of the Ohio River, in the year
1785, would seem to give color to this opinion. But if the intention
ever was seriously indulged, it is most likely that fear of the
treatment he would receive on being recognized in the frontier
settlements, on account of his many bloody enormities, prevented him
from carrying it into effect. He remained with the Indians in Ohio till
Wayne's victory, when he forsook the scenes of his former influence and
savage greatness, and established himself somewhere in Upper Canada.
He fought in the bloody engagement which terminated in the defeat and
butchery of St. Clair's army in 1791, and was at the battle of the
Fallen Timbers in 1794; but he had no command in either of those
engagements, and was not at this time a man of any particular influence.

In Canada, Girty was something of a trader, but gave himself up almost
wholly to intoxicating drinks, and became a perfect sot. At this time
he suffered much from rheumatism and other diseases; but he had grown
a great braggart, and amidst his severest pains he would entertain his
associates, and all who were willing to listen, with stories of his past
pranks and cruelty. He had now the most exaggerated notions of the honor
attaching to the character of a great warrior; and for some years before
his death his constantly-expressed wish was, that he might find an
opportunity of signalizing his last years by some daring action, and
die upon the field of battle. Whether sincere in this wish or not, the
opportunity was afforded him. He fought with the Indians at Proctor's
defeat on the Thames in 1814, and was among those who were here cut
down and trodden under foot by Colonel Johnson's regiment of mounted

Of the birth-place and family of Simon Girty we have not been able to
procure any satisfactory information. It is generally supposed, from
the fact that nearly all of his early companions were Virginians, that
he was a native of the Old Dominion; but one of the early pioneers,
(yet living in Franklin County,) who knew Girty at Pittsburg before his
defection, thinks that his native State was Pennsylvania. This venerable
gentleman is likewise of the opinion, that it was the disappointment
of not getting an office to which he aspired that first filled Girty's
breast with hatred of the whites, and roused in him those dark thoughts
and bitter feelings which subsequently, on the occurrence of the first
good opportunity, induced him to desert his countrymen and league
himself with the Indians. That Girty was an applicant or candidate
for some office, and was defeated in his efforts to obtain it by an
individual who was generally considered less deserving of it than he,
my informant has distinct recollections; and also remembers that his
defeat was occasioned principally through the exertions, in behalf of his
opponent, of Colonel William Crawford. This affords a key to the cause
of Girty's fiend-like conduct toward the Colonel when, some ten years
afterward, the latter was bound to the stake at one of the Wyandot
towns, and in the extremity of his agony besought the renegade to put
an end to his misery by shooting him through the heart: it offers no
apology, however, for Girty's brutality on that occasion.

The career of the renegade, commenced by treason and pursued through
blood to the knee, affords a good lesson, which might well receive some
remark; but this narrative has already extended to an unexpected length,
and must here close. It is a dark record; but the histories of all new
countries contain somewhat similar passages, and their preservation in
this form may not be altogether without usefulness.[49]

[Footnote 46: Gallagher: "Hesperian," vol. i., p. 343.]

[Footnote 47: Gallagher.]

[Footnote 48: Gallagher.]

[Footnote 49: Gallagher.]


     Season of repose--Colonel Boone buys land--Builds a log-house and
     goes to farming--Kentucky organized on a new basis--The three
     Counties united in one district, and Courts established--Colonel
     Boone surprised by Indians--Escapes by a bold stratagem--Increase
     of emigration--Transportation of goods commences--Primitive manners
     and customs of the settlers--Hunting--The autumn hunt--The hunting
     camp-Qualifications of a good hunter--Animals hunted--The process
     of building and furnishing a cabin--The house-warming.

After the series of Indian hostilities recorded in the chapters
immediately preceding this, Kentucky enjoyed a season of comparative
repose. The cessation of hostilities between the United States and
Great Britain in 1783, and the probable speedy cession of the British
posts on the Northwestern frontier, discouraged the Indians, stopped
their customary incursions on the Kentuckians, and gave them leisure
to acquire and cultivate new tracts of land.

Colonel Boone, notwithstanding the heavy loss of money (which has been
already mentioned) as he was on his journey to North Carolina, was now
able to purchase several locations of land. He had been compensated for
his military services by the Commonwealth of Virginia, to which Kentucky
still belonged. On one of his locations he built a comfortable log-house
and recommenced farming, with his usual industry and perseverance,
varying the pursuits of agriculture with occasional indulgence in his
favorite sport of hunting.

In 1783 Kentucky organized herself on a new basis, Virginia having
united the three counties into one district, having a court of common
law and chancery for the whole territory which now forms the State of
Kentucky. The seat of justice at first was at Harrodsburg; but for want
of convenient accommodations for the sessions of the courts, they were
subsequently removed to Danville, which, in consequence, became for a
season the centre and capital of the State.[50]

A singular and highly characteristic adventure, in which Boone was
engaged about this time, is thus narrated by Mr. Peck:

"Though no hostile attacks from Indians disturbed the settlements, still
there were small parties discovered, or _signs_ seen on the frontier
settlements. On one occasion, about this period, four Indians came to
the farm of Colonel Boone, and nearly succeeded in taking him prisoner.
The particulars are given as they were narrated by Boone himself, at the
wedding of a granddaughter, a few months before his decease, and they
furnish an illustration of his habitual self-possession and tact with
Indians. At a short distance from his cabin he had raised a small patch
of tobacco to supply his neighbors, (for Boone never used the 'filthy
weed' himself,) the amount, perhaps, of one hundred and fifty hills.

"As a shelter for curing it, he had built an enclosure of rails, a dozen
feet in height, and covered it with cane and grass. Stalks of tobacco
are usually split and strung on sticks about four feet in length. The
ends of these are laid on poles, placed across the tobacco house, and in
tiers, one above the other to the roof. Boone had fixed his temporary
shelter in such a manner as to have three tiers. He had covered the
lower tier, and the tobacco had become dry, when he entered the shelter
for the purpose of removing the sticks to the upper tier, preparatory
to gathering the remainder of the crop. He had hoisted up the sticks
from the lower to the second tier, and was standing on the poles that
supported it while raising the sticks to the upper tier, when four stout
Indians, with guns, entered the low door and called him by name. 'Now,
Boone, we got you. You no get away more. We carry you off to Chillicothe
this time. You no cheat us any more.' Boone looked down upon their
up-turned faces, saw their loaded guns pointed at his breast, and
recognizing some of his old friends, the Shawanees, who had made him
prisoner near the Blue Licks in 1778, coolly and pleasantly responded,
'Ah! old friends, glad to see you.' Perceiving that they manifested
impatience to have him come down, he told them he was quite willing to
go with them, and only begged they would wait where they were, and watch
him closely, until he could finish removing his tobacco."

While parleying with them, inquiring after old acquaintances, and
proposing to give them his tobacco when cured, he diverted their
attention from his purpose, until he had collected together a number of
sticks of dry tobacco, and so turned them as to fall between the poles
directly in their faces. At the same instant, he jumped upon them with
as much of the dry tobacco as he could gather in his arms, filling their
mouths and eyes with its pungent dust; and blinding and disabling them
from following him, rushed out and hastened to his cabin, where he had
the means of defense. Notwithstanding the narrow escape, he could not
resist the temptation, after retreating some fifteen or twenty yards, to
look round and see the success of his achievement. The Indians blinded
and nearly suffocated, were stretching out their hands and feeling about
in different directions, calling him by name and cursing him for a
rogue, and themselves for fools. The old man, in telling the story,
imitated their gestures and tones of voice with great glee.

Emigration to Kentucky was now rapidly on the increase, and many
new settlements were formed. The means of establishing comfortable
homesteads increased. Horses, cattle, and swine were rapidly in creasing
in number; and trading in various commodities became more general. From
Philadelphia, merchandise was transported to Pittsburg on pack-horses,
and thence taken down the Ohio River in flat-boats and distributed among
the settlements on its banks. Country stores, land speculators, and
paper money made their appearance, affording a clear augury of the
future activity of the West in commercial industry and enterprise.


Most of the settlers came from the interior of North Carolina and
Virginia; and brought with them the manners and customs of those
States. These manners and customs were primitive enough. The following
exceedingly graphic description, which we transcribe from "Doddridge's
Notes," will afford the reader a competent idea of rural life in the
times of Daniel Boone.

"HUNTING.--This was an important part of the employment of the early
settlers of this country. For some years the woods supplied them with
the greater amount of their subsistence, and with regard to some
families, at certain times, the whole of it; for it was no uncommon
thing for families to live several months without a mouthful of bread.
It frequently happened that there was no breakfast until it was obtained
from the woods. Fur and peltry were the people's money. They had nothing
else to give in exchange for rifles, salt, and iron, on the other side
of the mountains.

"The fall and early part of the winter was the season for hunting deer,
and the whole of the winter, including part of the spring, for bears and
fur-skinned animals. It was a customary saying that fur is good during
every month in the name of which the letter R occurs.

"The class of hunters with whom I was best acquainted, were those
whose hunting ranges were on the eastern side of the river, and at the
distance of eight or nine miles from it. As soon as the leaves were
pretty well down, and the weather became rainy, accompanied with light
snows, these men, after acting the part of husbandmen, so far as the
state of warfare permitted them to do so, soon began to feel that
they were hunters. They became uneasy at home. Every thing about them
became disagreeable. The house was too warm. The feather-bed too soft,
and even the good wife was not thought, for the time being, a proper
companion. The mind of the hunter was wholly occupied with the camp
and chase.

"I have often seen them get up early in the morning at this season,
walk hastily out, and look anxiously to the woods and snuff the autumnal
winds with the highest rapture, then return into the house and cast a
quick and attentive look at the rifle, which was always suspended to
a joist by a couple of buck horns, or little forks. His hunting dog,
understanding the intentions of his master, would wag his tail, and by
every blandishment in his power express his readiness to accompany him
to the woods.

"A day was soon appointed for the march of the little cavalcade to the
camp. Two or three horses furnished with pack-saddles were loaded with
flour, Indian meal, blankets, and every thing else requisite for the use
of the hunter.

"A hunting camp, or what was called a half-faced cabin, was of the
following form; the back part of it was sometimes a large log; at the
distance of eight or ten feet from this, two stakes were set in the
ground a few inches apart, and at the distance of eight or ten feet
from these, two more, to receive the ends of the poles for the sides of
the camp. The whole slope of the roof, was from the front to the back.
The covering was made of slabs, skins, or blankets, or, if in the spring
of the year, the bark of hickory or ash trees. The front was entirely
open. The fire was built directly before this opening. The cracks
between the logs were filled with moss. Dry leaves served for a bed.
It is thus that a couple of men, in a few hours will construct for
themselves a temporary, but tolerably comfortable defense, from the
inclemencies of the weather. The beaver, otter, muskrat and squirrel are
scarcely their equals in dispatch in fabricating for themselves a covert
from the tempest!

"A little more pains would have made a hunting camp a defense against
the Indians. A cabin ten feet square, bullet proof, and furnished with
port-holes would have enabled two or three hunters to hold twenty
Indians at bay for any length of time. But this precaution I believe was
never attended to; hence the hunters were often surprised and killed in
their camps.

"The site for the camp was selected with all the sagacity of the
woodsman, so as to have it sheltered by the surrounding hills from
every wind, but more especially from those of the north and west.

"An uncle of mine, of the name of Samuel Teter, occupied the same camp
for several years in succession. It was situated on one of the southern
branches of Cross Creek. Although I lived for many years not more than
fifteen miles from the place, it was not till within a very few years
ago that I discovered its situation. It was shown me by a gentleman
living in the neighborhood. Viewing the hills round about it I soon
perceived the sagacity of the hunter in the site for his camp. Not a
wind could touch him; and unless by the report of his gun or the sound
of his axe, it would have been by mere accident if an Indian had
discovered his concealment.

"Hunting was not a mere ramble in pursuit of game, in which there was
nothing of skill and calculation; on the contrary, the hunter, before he
set out in the morning, was informed, by the state of the weather, in
what situation he might reasonably expect to meet with his game; whether
on the bottoms, sides or tops of the hills. In stormy weather, the deer
always seek the most sheltered places, and the leeward side of the
hills. In rainy weather, in which there is not much wind, they keep in
the open woods on the highest ground.

"In every situation it was requisite for the hunter to ascertain the
course of the wind, so as to get the leeward of the game. This he
effected by putting his finger in his mouth, and holding it there until
it became warm, then holding it above his head, the side which first
becomes cold shows which way the wind blows.

"As it was requisite too for the hunter to know the cardinal points,
he had only to observe the trees to ascertain them. The bark of an aged
tree is thicker and much rougher on the north than on the south side.
The same thing may be said of the moss: it is much thicker and stronger
on the north than on the south side of the trees.

"The whole business of the hunter consists of a succession of intrigues.
From morning till night he was on the alert to _gain the_ wind of his
game, and approach them without being discovered. If he succeeded in
killing a deer, he skinned it, and hung it up out of the reach of the
wolves, and immediately resumed the chase till the close of the evening,
when he bent his course toward the camp; when he arrived there he
kindled up his fire, and together with his fellow hunter, cooked his
supper. The supper finished, the adventures of the day furnished the
tales for the evening. The spike buck, the two and three-pronged buck,
the doe and barren doe, figured through their anecdotes with great
advantage. It should seem that after hunting awhile on the same ground,
the hunters became acquainted with nearly all the gangs of deer within
their range, so as to know each flock of them when they saw them. Often
some old buck, by the means of his superior sagacity and watchfulness,
saved his little gang from the hunter's skill, by giving timely notice
of his approach. The cunning of the hunter and that of the old buck were
staked against each other, and it frequently happened that at the
conclusion of the hunting season, the old fellow was left the free
uninjured tenant of his forest; but if his rival succeeded in bringing
him down, the victory, was followed by no small amount of boasting on
the part of the conqueror.

"When the weather was not suitable for hunting, the skins and carcasses
of the game were brought in and disposed of.

"Many of the hunters rested from their labors on the Sabbath day; some
from a motive of piety; others said that whenever they hunted on Sunday,
they were sure to have bad luck on the rest of the week.

"THE HOUSE-WARMING.--I will proceed to state the usual manner of
settling a young couple in the world.

"A spot was selected on a piece of land of one of the parents, for
their habitation. A day was appointed shortly after their marriage, for
commencing the work of building their cabin. The fatigue-party consisted
of choppers, whose business it was to fell the trees and cut them off
at proper lengths. A man with a team for hauling them to the place
and arranging them, properly assorted, at the sides and ends of the
building; a carpenter, if such he might be called, whose business it
was to search the woods for a proper tree for making clapboards for the
roof. The tree for this purpose must be straight-grained, and from three
to four feet in diameter. The boards were split four feet long, with
a large frown, and as wide as the timber would allow. They were used
without planing or shaving Another division were employed in getting
puncheons for the floor of the cabin; this was done by splitting trees,
about eighteen inches in diameter, and hewing the faces of them with a
broad-axe. They were half the length of the floor they were intended
to make. The materials for the cabin were mostly prepared on the first
day, and sometimes the foundation laid in the evening. The second day
was allotted for the raising.

"In the morning of the next day the neighbors collected for the raising.
The first thing to be done was the election of four corner men, whose
business it was to notch and place the logs. The rest of the company
furnished them with the timbers. In the meantime the boards and
puncheons were collecting for the floor and roof, so that by the time
the cabin was a few rounds high, the sleepers and floor began to be
laid. The door was made by sawing or cutting the logs in one side so as
to make an opening about three feet wide. This opening was secured by
upright pieces of timber about three inches thick, through which holes
were bored into the ends of the logs for the purpose of pinning them
fast. A similar opening, but wider, was made at the end for the chimney.
This was built of logs, and made large, to admit of a back and jambs of
stone. At the square, two end logs projected a foot or eighteen inches
beyond the wall, to receive the butting poles, as they were called,
against which the ends of the first row of clapboards was supported.
The roof was formed by making the end logs shorter, until a single log
formed the comb of the roof, on these logs the clapboards were placed,
the ranges of them lapping some distance over those next below them,
and kept in their places by logs, placed at proper distances upon them.

"The roof, and sometimes the floor, were finished on the same day of the
raising. A third day was commonly spent by a few carpenters in leveling
off the floor, making a clapboard door and a table. This last was made
of a split slab, and supported by four round legs set in auger-holes.
Some three-legged stools were made in the same manner. Some pins stuck
in the logs at the back of the house, supported some clapboards which
served for shelves for the table furniture. A single fork, placed with
its lower end in a hole in the floor, and the upper end fastened to a
joist, served for a bedstead, by placing a pole in the fork with one
end through a crack between the logs of the wall. This front pole was
crossed by a shorter one within the fork, with its outer end through
another crack. From the front pole, through a crack between the logs of
the end of the house, the boards were put on which formed the bottom of
the bed. Sometimes other poles were pinned to the fork a little distance
above these, for the purpose of supporting the front and foot of the
bed, while the walls were the supports of its back and head. A few
pegs around the walls for a display of the coats of the women, and
hunting-shirts of the men, and two small forks or buck-horns to a
joist for the rifle and shot-pouch, completed the carpenter work.

"In the mean time masons were at work. With the heart pieces of the
timber of which the clapboards were made, they made billets for chunking
up the cracks between the logs of the cabin and chimney; a large bed of
mortar was made for daubing up these cracks; a few stones formed the
back and jambs of the chimney.

"The cabin being finished, the ceremony of house-warming took place,
before the young couple were permitted to move into it.

"The house-warming was a dance of a whole night's continuance, made up
of the relations of the bride and groom and their neighbors. On the day
following the young couple took possession of their new mansion."

[Footnote 50: Perkins. Peck.]


     Condition of the early settlers as it respects the
     mechanic arts--Want of skilled mechanics--Hominy block and
     hand-mill--Sweeps--Gunpowder--Water mills Clothing--Leather--Farm
     tools--Wooden ware--Sports--Imitating birds--Throwing the
     tomahawk--Athletic sports--Dancing--Shooting at marks--Emigration of
     the present time compared with that of the early settlers--Scarcity
     of iron--Costume--Dwellings--Furniture--Employments--The women--Their
     character--Diet--Indian corn--The great improvements in facilitating
     the early settlement of the West--Amusements.

Before having the subject of the actual condition of the early
settlers in the West, we take another extract from "Doddridge's Notes,"
comprising his observations on the state of the mechanic arts among
them, and an account of some of their favorite sports.

"MECHANIC ARTS.--In giving the history of the state of the mechanic
arts as they were exercised at an early period of the settlement of this
country, I shall present a people, driven by necessity to perform works
of mechanical skill, far beyond what a person enjoying all the advantages
of civilization would expect from a population placed in such destitute

"My reader will naturally ask, where were their mills for grinding
grain? Where their tanners for making leather? Where their smiths'
shops for making and repairing their farming utensils? Who were their
carpenters, tailors, cabinet-workmen, shoemakers, and weavers? The
answer is, those manufacturers did not exist; nor had they any
tradesmen, who were professedly such. Every family were under the
necessity of doing every thing for themselves as well as they could.
The hominy block and hand-mills were in use in most of our houses.
The first was made of a large block of wood about three feet long, with
an excavation burned in one end, wide at the top and narrow at the bottom,
so that the action of the pestle on the bottom threw the corn up to the
sides toward the top of it, from whence it continually fell down into
the centre.

"In consequence of this movement, the whole mass of the grain was pretty
equally subjected to the strokes of the pestle. In the fall of the year,
while the Indian corn was soft, the block and pestle did very well for
making meal for johnny-cake and mush; but were rather slow when the corn
became hard.

"The sweep was sometimes used to lessen the toil of pounding grain into
meal. This was a pole of some springy, elastic wood, thirty feet long
or more; the butt end was placed under the side of a house, or a large
stump; this pole was supported by two forks, placed about one-third
of its length from the butt end, so as to elevate the small end about
fifteen feet from the ground; to this was attached, by a large mortise
a piece of sapling about five or six inches in diameter, and eight or
ten feet long. The lower end of this was shaped so as to answer for a
pestle. A pin of wood was put through it, at a proper height, so that
two persons could work at the sweep at once. This simple machine very
much lessened the labor and expedited the work.

"I remember that when a boy I put up an excellent sweep at my father's.
It was made of a sugar-tree sapling. It was kept going almost constantly
from morning till night by our neighbors for a period of several weeks."

In the Greenbriar country, where they had a number of saltpeter caves,
the first settlers made plenty of excellent gunpowder by the means of
those sweeps and mortars.

"A machine, still more simple than the mortar and pestle, was used for
making meal while the corn was too soft to be beaten. It was called a
grater. This was a half-circular piece of tin, perforated with a punch
from the concave side, and nailed by its edges to a block of wood. The
ears of corn were rubbed on the rough edge of the holes, while the meal
fell through them on the board or block, to which the grater was nailed,
which, being in a slanting direction, discharged the meal into a cloth
or bowl placed for its reception. This, to be sure, was a slow way of
making meal; but necessity has no law.

"The hand-mill was better than the mortar and grater. It was made of
two circular stones, the lowest of which was called the bed-stone,
the upper one the runner. These were placed in a hoop, with a spout for
discharging the meal. A staff was let into a hole in the upper surface
of the runner, near the outer edge, and its upper end through a hole in
a board fastened to a joist above, so that two persons could be employed
in turning the mill at the same time. The grain was put into the opening
in the runner by hand. The mills are still in use in Palestine, the
ancient country of the Jews. To a mill of this sort our Saviour alluded
when, with reference to the destruction of Jerusalem, he said: 'Two
women shall be grinding at a mill, the one shall be taken and the other

"This mill is much preferable to that used at present in upper Egypt for
making the dhourra bread. It is a smooth stone, placed on an inclined
plane, upon which the grain is spread, which is made into meal by
rubbing another stone up and down upon it.

"Our first water mills were of that description denominated tub-mills.
It consists of a perpendicular shaft, to the lower end of which an
horizontal wheel of about four or five feet diameter is attached, the
upper end passes through the bedstone and carries the runner after the
manner of a trundlehead. These mills were built with very little expense,
and many of them answered the purpose very well.

"Instead of bolting cloths, sifters were in general use. These were made
of deer skins in the state of parchment, stretched over a hoop and
perforated with a hot wire.

"Our clothing was all of domestic manufacture. We had no other resource
for clothing, and this, indeed, was a poor one. The crops of flax often
failed, and the sheep were destroyed by the wolves. Linsey, which is
made of flax and wool, the former the chain and the latter the filling,
was the warmest and most substantial cloth we could make. Almost every
house contained a loom, and almost every woman was a weaver.

"Every family tanned their own leather. The tan vat was a large trough
sunk to the upper edge in the ground. A quantity of bark was easily
obtained every spring in clearing and fencing land. This, after drying,
was brought in, and in wet days was shaved and pounded on a block of
wood with an axe or mallet. Ashes were used in place of lime for taking
off the hair. Bears' oil, hogs' lard, and tallow answered the place of
fish oil. The leather, to be sure, was coarse; but it was substantially
good. The operation of currying was performed by a drawing-knife with
its edge turned, after the manner of a currying-knife. The blocking for
the leather was made of soot and hogs' lard.

"Almost every family contained its own tailors and shoemakers. Those who
could not make shoes, could make shoepacks. These, like moccasins, were
made of a single piece on the top of the foot. This was about two inches
broad, and circular at the lower end. To this the main piece of leather
was sewed, with a gathering stitch. The seam behind was like that of a
moccasin. To the shoepack a sole was sometimes added. The women did the
tailor-work. They could all cut-out, and make hunting-shirts, leggins,
and drawers.

"The state of society which exists in every country at an early period
of its settlements, is well calculated to call into action every native
mechanical genius. So it happened in this country. There was in almost
every neighborhood, some one whose natural ingenuity enabled him to do
many things for himself and his neighbors, far above what could have
been reasonably expected. With the few tools which they brought with
them into the country, they certainly performed wonders. Their plows,
harrows with their wooden teeth, and sleds, were in many instances well
made. Their cooper-ware, which comprehended every thing for holding milk
and water, was generally pretty well executed. The cedar-ware, by having
alternately a white and red stave, was then thought beautiful; many of
their puncheon floors were very neat, their joints close, and the top
even and smooth. Their looms, although heavy, did very well. Those who
could not exercise these mechanic arts, were under the necessity of
giving labor or barter to their neighbors, in exchange for the use of
them, so far as their necessities required.

"Sports.--One important pastime of our boys, was that of imitating the
noise of every bird and beast in the woods. This faculty was not merely
a pastime, but a very necessary part of education, on account of its
utility in certain circumstances. The imitations of the gobbling,
and other sounds of wild turkeys, often brought those keen-eyed, and
ever-watchful tenants of the forest within the reach of their rifle.
The bleating of the fawn, brought its dam to her death in the same way.
The hunter often collected a company of mopish owls to the trees about
his camp, and amused himself with their hoarse screaming; his howl would
raise and obtain responses from a pack of wolves, so as to inform him of
their neighborhood, as well as guard him against their depredations.

"This imitative faculty was sometimes requisite as a measure of
precaution in war. The Indians, when scattered about in a neighborhood,
often collected together, by imitating turkeys by day, and wolves or
owls by night. In similar situations, our people did the same. I have
often witnessed the consternation of a whole settlement, in consequence
of a few screeches of owls. An early and correct use of this imitative
faculty was considered as an indication that its possessor would become,
in due time, a good hunter and valiant warrior. Throwing the tomahawk
was another boyish sport, in which many acquired considerable skill.
The tomahawk, with its handle of a certain length, will make a given
number of turns in a given distance. Say in five steps, it will strike
with the edge, the handle downward; at the distance of seven and a half,
it will strike with the edge, the handle upward, and so on. A little
experience enabled the boy to measure the distance with his eye, when
walking through the woods, and strike a tree with his tomahawk in any
way he chose.

"The athletic sports of running, jumping, and wrestling, were the
pastimes of boys, in common with the men.

"A well-grown boy, at the age of twelve or thirteen years, was furnished
with a small rifle and shot-pouch. He then became a fort-soldier, and
had his port hole assigned him. Hunting squirrels, turkeys, and
raccoons, soon made him expert in the use of his gun.

"Dancing was the principal amusement of our young people of both sexes.
Their dances, to be sure, were of the simplest form. Three and
four-handed reels and jigs. Country dances, cotillions, and minuets,
were unknown. I remember to have seen, once or twice, a dance which was
called 'The Irish Trot,' but I have long since forgotten its figure."

"Shooting at marks was a common diversion among the men, when their
stock of ammunition would allow it; this, however, was far from being
always the case. The present mode of shooting off-hand was not then in
practice. This mode was not considered as any trial of the value of a
gun, nor indeed, as much of a test of the skill of a marksman. Their
shooting was from a rest, and at as great a distance as the length and
weight of the barrel of the gun would throw a ball on a horizontal
level. Such was their regard to accuracy, in those sportive trials of
their rifles, and of their own skill in the use of them, that they often
put moss, or some other soft substance on the log or stump from which
they shot, for fear of having the bullet thrown from the mark, by the
spring of the barrel. When the rifle was held to the side of a tree for
a rest, it was pressed against it as lightly as possible, for the same

"Rifles of former times were different from those of modern date; few
of them carried more than forty five bullets to the pound. Bullets of
a less size were not thought sufficiently heavy for hunting or war."

Our readers will pardon the length of these extracts from Doddridge,
as they convey accurate pictures of many scenes of Western life in the
times of Daniel Boone. We add to them a single extract from "Ramsay's
Annals of Tennessee." The early settlement of that State took place
about the same time with that of Kentucky, and was made by emigrants
from the same region. The following remarks are therefore perfectly
applicable to the pioneers of Kentucky.

"The settlement of Tennessee was unlike that of the present new country
of the United States. Emigrants from the Atlantic cities, and from most
points in the Western interior, now embark upon steamboats or other
craft, and carrying with them all the conveniences and comforts of
civilized life--indeed, many of its luxuries--are, in a few days,
without toil, danger, or exposure, transported to their new abodes,
and in a few months are surrounded with the appendages of home, of
civilization, and the blessings of law and of society. The wilds of
Minnesota and Nebraska by the agency of steam, or the stalwart arms
of Western boatmen, are at once transformed into the settlements of a
commercial and civilized people. Independence and St. Paul, six months
after they are laid off, have their stores and their workshops, their
artisans, and their mechanics. The mantua-maker and the tailor arrive
in the same boat with the carpenter and mason. The professional man
and the printer quickly follow. In the succeeding year the piano, the
drawing-room, the restaurant, the billiard-table, the church bell, the
village and the city in miniature, are all found, while the neighboring
interior is yet a wilderness and a desert. The town and comfort, taste
and urbanity are first; the clearing, the farm-house, the wagon-road and
the improved country, second. It was far different on the frontier in
Tennessee. At first a single Indian trail was the only entrance to the
eastern border of it and for many years admitted only of the hunter and
the pack-horse It was not till the year 1776 that a wagon was seen in
Tennessee. In consequence of the want of roads--as well as of the great
distance from sources of supply--the first inhabitants were without
tools, and, of course, without mechanics--much more, without the
conveniences of living and the comforts of house-keeping. Luxuries were
absolutely unknown. Salt was brought on pack-horses from Augusta and
Richmond, and readily commanded ten dollars a bushel. The salt gourd, in
every cabin, was considered as a treasure. The sugar-maple furnished the
only article of luxury on the frontier; coffee and tea being unknown, or
beyond the reach of the settlers, sugar was seldom made, and was only
used for the sick, or in the preparation of a _sweetened dram_ at a
wedding, or the arrival of a new-comer. The appendages of the kitchen,
the cupboard, and the table were scanty and simple.

"Iron was brought, at great expense, from the forges east of the
mountain, on pack-horses, and was sold at an enormous price. Its use
was, for this reason, confined to the construction and repair of plows
and other farming utensils. Hinges, nails, and fastenings of that
material, were seldom seen.

"The costume of the first settlers corresponded well with the style of
their buildings and the quality of their furniture. The hunting-shirt
of the militiaman and the hunter was in general use. The rest of their
apparel was in keeping with it--plain, substantial, and well adapted for
comfort, use, and economy. The apparel of the pioneer's family was all
home-made, and in a whole neighborhood there would not be seen, at the
first settlement of the country, a single article of dress of foreign
growth or manufacture. Half the year, in many families, shoes were not
worn. Boots, a fur hat, and a coat with buttons on each side, attracted
the gaze of the beholder, and sometimes received censure and rebuke. A
stranger from the old States chose to doff his ruffles, his broadcloth,
and his queue, rather than endure the scoff and ridicule of the

The dwelling-house, on every frontier in Tennessee, was the log-cabin.
A carpenter and a mason were not needed to build them--much less the
painter, the glazier, or the upholsterer. Every settler had, besides his
rifle, no other instrument but an axe, a hatchet, and a butcher-knife. A
saw, an auger, a froe, and a broad-axe would supply a whole settlement,
and were used as common property in the erection of the log-cabin. The
floor of the cabin was sometimes the earth. No saw-mill was yet erected;
and, if the means or leisure of the occupant authorized it, he split
out puncheons for the floor and for the shutter of the entrance to his
cabin. The door was hung with wooden hinges and fastened by a wooden

"Such was the habitation of the pioneer Tennessean. Scarcely can one of
these structures, venerable for their years and the associations which
cluster around them, be now seen, in Tennessee. Time and improvement
have displaced them. Here and there in the older counties, may yet
be seen the old log house, which sixty years ago sheltered the first
emigrant, or gave, for the time, protection to a neighborhood, assembled
within its strong and bullet-proof walls. Such an one is the east end of
Mr. Martin's house, at Campbell's Station, and the centre part of the
mansion of this writer, at Mecklenburg, once Gilliam's Station, changed
somewhat, it is true, in some of its aspects, but preserving even yet,
in the height of the story and in its old-fashioned and capacious
fire-place, some of the features of primitive architecture on the
frontier. Such, too, is the present dwelling-house of Mr. Tipton, on
Ellejoy, in Blount County, and that of Mr. Glasgow Snoddy, in Sevier
County. But these old buildings are becoming exceedingly rare, and soon
not one of them will be seen. Their unsightly proportions and rude
architecture will not much longer offend modern taste, nor provoke the
idle and irreverent sneer of the fastidious and the fashionable. When
the last one of these pioneer houses shall have fallen into decay and
ruins, the memory of their first occupants will still be immortal and

"The interior of the cabin was no less unpretending and simple. The
whole furniture, of the one apartment--answering in these primitive
times the purposes of the kitchen, the dining-room, the nursery
and the dormitory--were a plain home-made bedstead or two, some
split-bottomed chairs and stools; a large puncheon, supported on four
legs, used, as occasion required, for a bench or a table, a water shelf
and a bucket; a spinning-wheel, and sometimes a loom, finished the
catalogue. The wardrobe of the family was equally plain and simple.
The walls of the house were hung round with the dresses of the females,
the hunting-shirts, clothes, and the arms and shot-pouches of the men.

"The labor and employment of a pioneer family were distributed in
accordance with surrounding circumstances. To the men was assigned the
duty of procuring subsistence and materials for clothing, erecting the
cabin and the station, opening and cultivating the farm, hunting the
wild beasts, and repelling and pursuing the Indians. The women spun
the flax, the cotton and wool, wove the cloth, made them up, milked,
churned, and prepared the food, and did their full share of the duties
of house-keeping. Another thus describes them: 'There we behold woman
in her true glory; not a doll to carry silks and jewels; not a puppet
to be dandled by fops, an idol of profane adoration, reverenced to-day,
discarded to-morrow; admired, but not respected; desired, but not
esteemed; ruling by passion, not affection; imparting her weakness,
not her constancy, to the sex she should exalt; the source and mirror
of vanity. We see her as a wife, partaking of the cares, and guiding
the labors of her husband, and by her domestic diligence spreading
cheerfulness all around; for his sake, sharing the decent refinements
of the world, without being fond of them; placing all her joy, all her
happiness, in the merited approbation of the man she loves. As a mother,
we find her the affectionate, the ardent instructress of the children
she has reared from infancy, and trained them up to thought and virtue,
to meditation and benevolence; addressing them as rational beings, and
preparing them to become men and women in their turn.

"'Could there be happiness or comfort in such dwellings and such a state
of society? To those who are accustomed to modern refinements, the truth
appears like fable. The early occupants of log-cabins were among the
most happy of mankind. Exercise and excitement gave them health; they
were practically equal; common danger made them mutually dependant;
brilliant hopes of future wealth and distinction led them on; and as
there was ample room for all, and as each new-comer increased individual
and general security, there was little room for that envy, jealousy,
and hatred which constitute a large portion of human misery in older
societies. Never were the story, the joke, the song, and the laugh
better enjoyed than upon the hewed blocks, or puncheon stools, around
the roaring log fire of the early Western settler. The lyre of Apollo
was not hailed with more delight in primitive Greece than the advent of
the first fiddler among the dwellers of the wilderness; and the polished
daughters of the East never enjoyed themselves half so well, moving to
the music of a full band, upon the elastic floor of their ornamented
ball-room, as did the daughters of the emigrants, keeping time to a
self-taught fiddler, on the bare earth or puncheon floor of the
primitive log-cabin. The smile of the polished beauty is the wave of the
lake, where the breeze plays gently over it, and her movement is the
gentle stream which drains it; but the laugh of the log-cabin is the
gush of nature's fountain, and its movement, its leaping water.'"[51]

"On the frontier the diet was necessarily plain and homely, but
exceedingly abundant and nutritive. The Goshen of America[52] furnished
the richest milk, the finest butter, and the most savory and delicious
meats. In their rude cabins, with their scanty and inartificial
furniture, no people ever enjoyed in wholesome food a greater variety,
or a superior quality of the necessaries of life. For bread, the Indian
corn was exclusively used. It was not till 1790 that the settlers on the
rich bottoms of Cumberland and Nollichucky discovered the remarkable
adaptation of the soil and climate of Tennessee to the production of
this grain. Emigrants from James River, the Catawba, and the Santee,
were surprised at the amount and quality of the corn crops, surpassing
greatly the best results of agricultural labor and care in the Atlantic
States. This superiority still exists, and Tennessee, by the census of
1850, was _the_ corn State. Of all the farinacea, corn is best adapted
to the condition of a pioneer people; and if idolatry is at all
justifiable, Ceres, or certainly the Goddess of Indian corn, should have
had a temple and a worshipers among the pioneers of Tennessee. Without
that grain, the frontier settlements could not have been formed and
maintained. It is the most certain crop--requires the least preparation
of the ground--is most congenial to a virgin soil--needs not only the
least amount of labor in its culture, but comes to maturity in the
shortest time. The pith of the matured stalk of the corn is esculent
and nutritious; and the stalk itself, compressed between rollers,
furnishes what is known as corn-stalk molasses."

"This grain requires, also, the least care and trouble in preserving
it. It may safely stand all winter upon the stalk without injury from
the weather or apprehension of damage by disease, or the accidents to
which other grains are subject. Neither smut nor rust, nor weavil nor
snow-storm, will hurt it. After its maturity, it is also prepared for
use or the granary with little labor. The husking is a short process,
and is even advantageously delayed till the moment arrives for using
the corn. The machinery for converting it into food is also exceedingly
simple and cheap. As soon as the ear is fully formed, it may be roasted
or boiled, and forms thus an excellent and nourishing diet. At a later
period it may be grated, and furnishes, in this form, the sweetest
bread. The grains boiled in a variety of modes, either whole or broken
in a mortar, or roasted in the ashes, or popped in an oven, are well
relished. If the grain is to be converted into meal, a simple tub-mill
answers the purpose best, as the meal _least perfectly ground_ is
always preferred. A bolting-cloth is not needed, as it diminishes the
sweetness and value of the flour. The catalogue of the advantages of
this meal might be extended further. Boiled in water, it forms the
frontier dish called _mush_, which was eaten with milk, with honey,
molasses, butter or gravy. Mixed with cold water, it is, at once, ready
for the cook; covered with hot ashes, the preparation is called the ash
cake; placed upon a piece of clapboard, and set near the coals, it forms
the journey-cake; or managed in the same way, upon a helveless hoe,
it forms the hoe-cake; put in an oven, and covered over with a heated
lid, it is called, if in a large mass, a pone or loaf; if in smaller
quantities, dodgers. It has the further advantage, over all other flour,
that it requires in its preparation few culinary utensils, and neither
sugar, yeast, eggs, spices, soda, potash, or other _et ceteras_, to
qualify or perfect the bread. To all this, it may be added, that it
is not only cheap and well tasted, but it is unquestionably the most
wholesome and nutritive food. The largest and healthiest people in the
world have lived upon it exclusively. It formed the principal bread of
that robust race of men--giants in miniature--which, half a century
since, was seen on the frontier.

"The dignity of history is not lowered by this enumeration of the
pre-eminent qualities of Indian corn. The rifle and the axe have
had their influence in subduing the wilderness to the purposes of
civilization, and they deserve their eulogists and trumpeters. Let
paeans be sung all over the mighty West to Indian corn--without it,
the West would have still been a wilderness. Was the frontier suddenly
invaded? Without commissary or quartermaster, or other sources of
supply, each soldier parched a peck of corn; a portion of it was put
into his pockets, the remainder in his wallet, and, throwing it upon his
saddle, with his rifle on his shoulder, he was ready, in half an hour,
for the campaign. Did a flood of emigration inundate the frontier with
an amount of consumers disproportioned to the supply of grain? The
facility of raising the Indian corn, and its early maturity, gave
promise and guaranty that the scarcity would be temporary and tolerable.
Did the safety of the frontier demand the services of every adult
militiaman? The boys and women could, themselves, raise corn and furnish
ample supplies of bread. The crop could be gathered next year. Did an
autumnal intermittent confine the whole family or the entire population
to the sick bed? This certain concomitant of the clearing, and
cultivating the new soil, mercifully withholds its paroxysms till the
crop of corn is made. It requires no further labor or care afterward.
Paeans, say we, and a temple and worshipers, to the Creator of Indian
corn. The frontier man could gratefully say: 'He maketh me to lie down
in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. Thou
_preparest a table before me in presence of mine enemies_.'

"The sports of the frontier men were manly, athletic, or warlike--the
chase, the bear hunt, the deer drive, shooting at the target, throwing
the tomahawk, jumping, boxing and wrestling, foot and horse-racing.
Playing marbles and pitching dollars, cards and backgammon, were little
known, and were considered base or effeminate. The bugle, the violin,
the fife and drum, furnished all the musical entertainments. These were
much used and passionately admired. Weddings, military trainings,
house-raisings, chopping frolics, were often followed with the fiddle,
and dancing, and rural sports."

[Footnote 51: Kendall.]

[Footnote 52: Butler.]


     Indian hostilities resumed--Expedition of Davis, Caffre and
     McClure--Murder of Elliot--Marshall's river adventure--Attack
     on Captain Ward's boat--Affair near Scaggs' Creek--Growth of
     Kentucky--Population--Trade--General Logan calls a meeting at
     Danville--Danger of the country from Indian hostilities, and
     necessity of defense considered--Convention called--Separation from
     Virginia proposed--Other conventions-Virginia consents--Kentucky
     admitted as an independent State of the Union--Indian
     hostilities--Expedition and death of Colonel Christian--Attack
     on Higgins' Fort--Expedition of General Clark--Its utter
     failure--Expedition of General Logan--Surprises and destroys
     a Shawanese town--Success of Captain Hardin--Defeat of
     Hargrove--Affairs in Bourbon County--Exploits of Simon
     Kenton--Affairs at the Elkhorn settlements--Treaty--Harman's
     expedition--Final pacification of the Indians after Wayne's

Kentucky was not yet entirely freed from Indian hostilities. There was
no formidable invasion, such as to call for the exertions of Boone,
Kenton and the other warriors of the border, but there were several
occurrences which occasioned considerable alarm.

In the spring of 1784, a number of families started down the Ohio from
Louisville in two flat boats. They were pursued by Indians in canoes,
but awed by the determined aspect of the whites, they drew off, without
so much as a gun being fired on either side.

This same spring a party of southern Indians stole some horses from
Lincoln County. Three young men, Davis, Caffre and McClure, pursued
them, but failing to overtake them, concluded to make reprisals on the
nearest Indian settlement. Not far from the Tennessee River, they fell
in with an equal number of Indians. The two parties saluted each other
in a very friendly manner, and agreed to journey in company. The
whites, however, were by no means convinced of the sincerity of their
companions, and, seeing them talking together very earnestly, became
assured of their hostile intentions. It being determined to anticipate
the Indians' attack; Caffre undertook to capture one of them, while his
companions shot the other two. Accordingly he sprung upon the nearest
Indian, and bore him to the ground; Davis's gun missed fire but McClure
shot his man dead. The remaining Indian sprung to a tree from which
shelter he shot Caffre, who was still struggling with the Indian he had
grappled. He, in his turn was immediately shot by McClure. The Indian
whom Caffre had attacked, extricated himself from the grasp of his
dying antagonist, and seizing his rifle presented it at Davis, who was
coming to the assistance of his friend. Davis took to flight, his rifle
not being in good order, and was pursued by the Indian into the wood.
McClure, loading his gun, followed them, but lost sight of both.
Davis was never heard of afterward.

McClure now concluded to retreat, but he had not proceeded far, before
he met an Indian on horseback attended by a boy on foot. The warrior
dismounted, and seating himself on a log, offered his pipe to McClure.
Soon other Indians were seen advancing in the distance, when McClure's
sociable friend, informed him that when his companions came up, they
would take him (McClure) and put him on a horse, tying his feet under
its belly. In order to convey to his white brother an adequate idea of
the honor intended him, the Indian got astride the log and locked his
feet together. McClure took this opportunity of shooting his amiable but
rather eccentric companion, and then ran off into the woods and escaped.

This affair the reader will bear in mind, was with southern Indians, not
with those of the north-western tribes, from whom the Kentuckians had
suffered most. The only demonstration of hostility made by these, this
year, appears to have been the pursuit of the boats mentioned before.
In March, 1785, a man of the name of Elliot, who had emigrated to the
country near the mouth of the Kentucky River, was killed by Indians,
and his house destroyed and family dispersed.

As Colonel Thomas Marshall from Virginia was descending the Ohio, in a
flat boat, he was hailed from the northern shore by a man, who announced
himself as James Girty, and said that he had been placed by his brother
Simon, to warn all boats of the danger of being attacked by the Indians.
He told them that efforts would be made to decoy them ashore by means of
renegade white men, who would represent themselves as in great distress.
He exhorted them to steel their hearts against all such appeals, and to
keep the middle of the river. He said that his brother regretted the
injuries he had inflicted upon the whites, and would gladly repair them
as much as possible, to be re-admitted to their society, having lost all
his influence among the Indians. This repentance on the part of Girty
seems to have been of short duration, as he remained among the Indians
till his death, which according to some took place at the battle of the
Thames, though others deny it.

However sincere or lasting Girty's repentance had been, he could never
have lived in safety among the whites; he had been too active, and if
common accounts are to be credited, too savage in his hostility to them,
to admit of forgiveness; and it is probable that a knowledge of this
prevented him from abandoning the Indians.

"About the same time," says McClung, "Captain James Ward, at present a
highly-respectable citizen of Mason County, Kentucky, was descending the
Ohio, under circumstances which rendered a rencontre with the Indians
peculiarly to be dreaded. He, together with half a dozen others, one of
them his nephew, embarked in a crazy boat, about forty-five feet long,
and eight feet wide, with no other bulwark than a single pine plank,
above each gunnel. The boat was much encumbered with baggage, and seven
horses were on board. Having seen no enemy for several days, they had
become secure and careless, and permitted the boat to drift within
fifty yards of the Ohio shore. Suddenly, several hundred Indians showed
themselves on the bank, and running down boldly to the water's edge,
opened a heavy fire upon the boat. The astonishment of the crew may be

Captain Ward and his nephew were at the oars when the enemy appeared,
and the captain knowing that their safety depended upon their agility
to regain the middle of the river, kept his seat firmly, and exerted
his utmost powers at the oar, but his nephew started up at sight of
the enemy, seized his rifle, and was in the act of leveling it, when
he received a ball in the breast, and fell dead in the bottom of the
boat. Unfortunately, his oar fell into the river, and the Captain,
having no one to pull against him, rather urged the boat nearer to the
hostile shore than otherwise. He quickly seized a plank, however, and
giving his oar to another of the crew, he took the station which his
nephew had held, and unhurt by the shower of bullets which flew around
him, continued to exert himself until the boat had reached a more
respectable distance. He then, for the first time, looked around him
in order to observe the condition of the crew.

His nephew lay in his blood, perfectly lifeless; the horses had been
all killed or mortally wounded. Some had fallen overboard; others were
struggling violently, and causing their frail bark to dip water so
abundantly as to excite the most serious apprehensions. But the crew
presented the most singular spectacle. A captain, who had served with
reputation in the continental army, seemed now totally bereft of his
faculties. He lay upon his back in the bottom of the boat, with hands
uplifted, and a countenance in which terror was personified, exclaiming
in a tone of despair, "Oh Lord! Oh Lord." A Dutchman, whose weight
might amount to about three hundred pounds, was anxiously engaged in
endeavoring to find shelter for his bulky person, which, from the
lowness of the gunnels, was a very difficult undertaking. In spite of
his utmost efforts, a portion of his posterior luxuriance appeared above
the gunnel, and afforded a mark to the enemy, which brought a constant
shower of balls around it.

"In vain he shifted his position. The hump still appeared, and the balls
still flew around it, until the Dutchman losing all patience, raised
his head above the gunnel, and in a tone of querulous remonstrance,
called out, 'Oh now! quit tat tamned nonsense, tere, will you!' Not
a shot was fired from the boat. At one time, after they had partly
regained the current, Captain Ward attempted to bring his rifle to
bear upon them, but so violent was the agitation of the boat, from the
furious struggles of the horses, that he could not steady his piece
within twenty yards of the enemy, and quickly laying it aside, returned
to the oar. The Indians followed them down the river for more than an
hour, but having no canoes they did not attempt to board; and as the
boat was at length transferred to the opposite side of the river, they
at length abandoned the pursuit and disappeared. None of the crew, save
the young man already mentioned, were hurt, although the Dutchman's
seat of honor served as a target for the space of an hour; and the
continental captain was deeply mortified at the sudden, and, as he said,
'unaccountable' panic which had seized him. Captain Ward himself was
protected by a post, which had been fastened to the gunnel, and behind
which he sat while rowing."[53]

"In October, a party of emigrants were attacked near Scagg's Creek, and
six killed. Mrs. McClure, with four children, ran into the woods, where
she might have remained concealed, if it had not been for the cries of
her infant, whom she could not make up her mind to abandon. The Indians
guided to her hiding-place by these cries, cruelly tomahawked the three
oldest children, but made her prisoner with her remaining child. Captain
Whitley, with twenty-one men, intercepted the party on its return, and
dispersed them, killing two, and wounding the same number. The prisoners
were rescued. A few days after, another party of emigrants were
attacked, and nine of them killed. Captain Whitley again pursued the
Indians. On coming up with them, they took to flight. Three were killed
in the course of the pursuit; two by the gallant Captain himself. Some
other depredations were committed this year, but none of as much
importance as those we have mentioned."

These acts of hostility on the part of the Indians led to the adoption
of measures for the defense of the Colony, to which we shall presently
call the reader's attention.

"Although," says Perkins,[54] "Kentucky grew rapidly during the year
1784, the emigrants numbering twelve, and the whole population thirty
thousand; although a friendly meeting was held by Thomas J. Dalton, with
the Piankeshaws, at Vincennes, in April; and though trade was extending
itself into the clearings and among the canebrakes--Daniel Brodhead
having opened his store at Louisville the previous year, and James
Wilkinson having come to Lexington in February, as the leader of a large
commercial company, formed in Philadelphia, still the cool and sagacious
mind of Logan led him to prepare his fellow-citizens for trial and
hardships. He called, in the autumn of 1784, a meeting of the people
at Danville, to take measures for defending the country, and at this
meeting the whole subject of the position and danger of Kentucky was
examined and discussed, and it was agreed that a convention should meet
in December to adopt some measures for the security of the settlements
in the wilderness. Upon the 27th of that month it met, nor was it long
before the idea became prominent that Kentucky must ask to be severed
from Virginia, and left to her own guidance and control. But as no such
conception was general, when the delegates to this first convention
were chosen, they deemed it best to appoint a second, to meet during
the next May, at which was specially to be considered the topic most
interesting to those who were called on to think and vote--a complete
separation from the parent State--political independence."

Several other conventions took place, in which the subject of a
separation from Virginia was considered. In 1786 the Legislature of
Virginia enacted the necessary preliminary provisions for the separation
and erection of Kentucky into an independent State, with the condition
that Congress should receive it into the Union, which was finally
effected in the year 1792.

Previously to this event, Indian hostilities were again renewed.

"A number of Indians in April, 1786, stole some horses from the
Bear Grass settlement, with which they crossed the Ohio. Colonel
Christian pursued them into the Indian country, and, coming up with
them, destroyed the whole party. How many there were is not stated. The
whites lost two men, one of whom was the Colonel himself whose death was
a severe loss to Kentucky. The following affair, which took place the
same year, is given in the language of one who participated in it:

"'After the battle of the Blue Licks, and in 1786 our family removed
to Higgins' block-house on Licking River, one and a half miles above
Cynthiana. Between those periods my father had been shot by the Indians,
and my mother married Samuel Van Hook, who had been one of the party
engaged in the defense at Ruddell's Station in 1780, and on its
surrender was carried with the rest of the prisoners to Detroit.

"'Higgins' Fort, or block-house, had been built at the bank of the
Licking, on precipitous rocks, at least thirty feet high, which served
to protect us on every side but one. On the morning of the 12th of June,
at daylight, the fort, which consisted of six or seven houses, was
attacked by a party of Indians, fifteen or twenty in number. There was
a cabin outside, below the fort, where William McCombs resided, although
absent at that time. His son Andrew, and a man hired in the family,
named Joseph McFall, on making their appearance at the door to wash
themselves, were both shot down--McCombs through the knee, and McFall
in the pit of the stomach. McFall ran to the block-house, and McCombs
fell, unable to support himself longer, just after opening the door of
his cabin, and was dragged in by his sisters, who barricaded the door
instantly. On the level and only accessible side there was a corn-field,
and the season being favorable, and the soil rich as well as new, the
corn was more than breast high. Here the main body of the Indians lay
concealed, while three or four who made the attack attempted thereby to
decoy the whites outside of the defenses. Failing in this, they set fire
to an old fence and corn-crib, and two stables, both long enough built
to be thoroughly combustible. These had previously protected their
approach in that direction. Captain Asa Reese was in command of our
little fort. 'Boys,' said he, 'some of you must run over to Hinkston's
or Harrison's.' These were one and a half and two miles off, but in
different directions. Every man declined. I objected, alleging as my
reason that he would give up the fort before I could bring relief; but
on his assurance that he would hold out, I agreed to go. I jumped off
the bank through the thicket of trees, which broke my fall, while they
scratched my face and limbs. I got to the ground with a limb clenched in
my hands, which I had grasped unawares in getting through. I recovered
from the jar in less than a minute, crossed the Licking, and ran up a
cow-path on the opposite side, which the cows from one of those forts
had beat down in their visits for water. As soon as I had gained the
bank I shouted to assure my friends of my safety, and to discourage the
enemy. In less than an hour I was back, with a relief of ten horsemen,
well armed, and driving in full chase after the Indians. But they had
decamped immediately upon hearing my signal, well knowing what it meant,
and it was deemed imprudent to pursue them with so weak a party--the
whole force in Higgins' block-house hardly sufficing to guard the women
and children there. McFall, from whom the bullet could not be extracted,
lingered two days and nights in great pain, when he died, as did
McCombs, on the ninth day, mortification then taking place.'

"While these depredations were going on, most of the Northwestern tribes
were ostensibly at peace with the country, treaties having recently
been made. But the Kentuckians, exasperated by the repeated outrages,
determined to have resort to their favorite expedient of invading the
Indian country. How far they were justified in holding the tribes
responsible for the actions of these roving plunderers, the reader
must judge for himself. We may remark, however, that it does not seem
distinctly proved that the Indians engaged in these attacks belonged
to any of the tribes against whom the attack was to be made. But the
backwoodsmen were never very scrupulous in such matters. They generally
regarded the Indian race as a unit: an offense committed by one warrior
might be lawfully punished on another. We often, in reading the history
of the West, read of persons who, having lost relations by Indians of
one tribe, made a practice of killing all whom they met, whether in
peace or war. It is evident, as Marshall says, that no authority but
that of Congress could render an expedition of this kind lawful. The
Governor of Virginia had given instructions to the commanders of the
counties to take the necessary means for defense; and the Kentuckians,
giving a free interpretation to these instructions, decided that the
expedition was necessary and resolved to undertake it.

"General Clark was selected to command it, and to the standard of
this favorite officer volunteers eagerly thronged. A thousand men
were collected at the Falls of the Ohio, from whence the troops marched
by land to St. Vincennes, while the provisions and other supplies
were conveyed by water. The troops soon became discouraged. When the
provisions reached Vincennes, after a delay of several days on account
of the low water, it was found that a large proportion of them were
spoiled. In consequence of this, the men were placed upon short
allowance, with which, of course, they were not well pleased. In the
delay in waiting for the boats, much of the enthusiasm of the men had
evaporated; and it is said by some that General Clark dispatched a
messenger to the towns, in advance of the troops, to offer them the
choice of peace or war, which greatly lessened the chances of the
success of the expedition. Though this measure would be only complying
with the requirements of good faith, it is very doubtful if it was
adopted, so utterly at variance would it be with the usual manner
of conducting these expeditions.

"At any rate, when the army arrived within two days' march of the Indian
towns, no less than three hundred of the men refused to proceed, nor
could all the appeals of Clark induce them to alter their determination.
They marched off in a body; and so discouraged were the others by this
desertion, and the unfavorable circumstances in which they were placed,
that a council held the evening after their departure concluded to
relinquish the undertaking."

The whole of the troops returned to Kentucky in a very disorderly
manner. Thus did this expedition, begun under the most favorable
auspices--for the commander's reputation was greater than any other in
the West, and the men were the elite of Kentucky--altogether fail of its
object, the men not having even seen the enemy. Marshall, in accounting
for this unexpected termination, says that Clark was no longer the man
he had been; that he had injured his intellect by the use of spirituous
liquors. Colonel Logan had at first accompanied Clark, but he soon
returned to Kentucky to organize another expedition; that might, while
the attention of the Indians was altogether engrossed by the advance of
Clark, fall upon some unguarded point. He raised the requisite number
of troops without difficulty, and by a rapid march completely surprised
one of the Shawanee towns, which he destroyed, killing several of the
warriors, and bringing away a number of prisoners. In regard to the
results of the measures adopted by the Kentuckians, we quote from

"In October of this year, a large number of families traveling by land
to Kentucky, known by the name of McNitt's company, were surprised in
camp, at night, by a party of Indians, between Big and Little Laurel
River, and totally defeated, with the loss of twenty-one persons killed;
the rest dispersed, or taken prisoners.

"About the same time, Captain Hardin, from the south-western part of
the district, with a party of men, made an excursion into the Indian
country, surrounding the Saline; he fell in with a camp of Indians whom
he attacked and defeated, killing four of them, without loss on his

"Some time in December, Hargrove and others were defeated at the mouth
of Buck Creek, on the Cumberland River. The Indians attacked in the
night, killed one man, and wounded Hargrove; who directly became engaged
in a rencontre with an Indian, armed with his tomahawk; of this he was
disarmed, but escaped, leaving the weapon with Hargrove, who bore it
off, glad to extricate himself. In this year also, Benjamin Price was
killed near the three forks of Kentucky.

"Thus ended, in a full renewal of the war, the year whose beginning had
happily witnessed the completion of the treaties of peace.

"By this time, one thing must have been obvious to those who had
attended to the course of events--and that was, that if the Indians came
into the country, whether for peace or war, hostilities were inevitable."

'If the white people went into their country, the same consequences
followed. The parties were yet highly exasperated against each other;
they had not cooled since the peace, if peace it could be called; and
meet where they would, bloodshed was the result.'

"Whether the Indians to the north and west had ascertained, or not, that
the two expeditions of this year were with or without the consent of
Congress, they could but think the treaties vain things; and either made
by those who had no right to make them, or no power to enforce them.
With Kentuckians, it was known that the latter was the fact. To the
Indians, the consequence was the same. They knew to a certainty, that
the British had not surrendered the posts on the lakes--that it was from
them they received their supplies; that they had been deceived, as to
the United States getting the posts, and they were easily persuaded to
believe, that these posts would not be transferred; and that in truth,
the British, not the United States, had been the conquerors in the late

"Such were the reflections which the state of facts would have
justified, and at the same time have disposed them for war. The invasion
of their country by two powerful armies from Kentucky, could leave no
doubt of a disposition equally hostile on her part Congress, utterly
destitute of the means for enforcing the treaties, either on the one
side or the other, stood aloof, ruminating on the inexhaustible abundance
of her own want of resources--and the abuse of herself for not possessing

After this year, we hear of but few independent expeditions from
Kentucky. Their militia were often called out to operate with the United
States troops, and in Wayne's campaign were of much service; but this
belongs to the general history of the United States. All that we have to
relate of Kentucky now, is a series of predatory attacks by the Indians,
varied occasionally by a spirited reprisal by a small party of whites.
It is estimated that fifteen hundred persons were either killed or made
prisoners in Kentucky after the year 1783.

"On the night of the 11th of April, 1787," says McClung, "the house of
a widow, in Bourbon County, became the scene of an adventure which we
think deserves to be related. She occupied what is generally called a
double cabin, in a lonely part of the country, one room of which was
tenanted by the old lady herself, together with two grown sons, and a
widowed daughter, at that time suckling an infant, while the other was
occupied by two unmarried daughters, from sixteen to twenty years of
age, together with a little girl not more than half grown. The hour was
eleven o'clock at night. One of the unmarried daughters was still busily
engaged at the loom, but the other members of the family, with the
exception of one of the sons, had retired to rest. Some symptoms of an
alarming nature had engaged the attention of the young man for an hour
before any thing of a decided character took place.

"The cry of owls was heard in the adjoining wood, answering each other
in rather an unusual manner. The horses, which were enclosed as usual in
a pound near the house, were more than commonly excited and by repeated
snorting and galloping, announced the presence of some object of terror.
The young man was often upon the point of awakening his brother, but was
as often restrained by the fear of incurring ridicule and the reproach
of timidity, at that time an unpardonable blemish in the character of a
Kentuckian. At length hasty steps were heard in the yard, and quickly
afterward, several loud knocks at the door, accompanied by the usual
exclamation, 'Who keeps house?' in very good English. The young man,
supposing from the language that some benighted settlers were at the
door, hastily arose, and was advancing to withdraw the bar which secured
it, when his mother, who had long lived upon the frontiers, and had
probably detected the Indian tone in the demand for admission, instantly
sprung out of bed, and ordered her son not to admit them, declaring that
they were Indians.

"She instantly awakened her other son, and the two young men seized
their guns, which were always charged, prepared to repel the enemy. The
Indians, finding it impossible to enter under their assumed characters,
began to thunder at the door with great violence, but a single shot from
a loop-hole compelled them to shift the attack to some less exposed
point and, unfortunately, they discovered the door of the other cabin,
containing the three daughters. The rifles of the brothers could not be
brought to bear upon this point, and by means of several rails taken
from the yard fence, the door was forced from its hinges, and the three
girls were at the mercy of the savages. One was instantly secured, but
the eldest defended herself desperately with a knife which she had been
using at the loom, and stabbed one of the Indians to the heart before
she was tomahawked.

"In the mean time the little girl, who had been overlooked by the enemy
in their eagerness to secure the others, ran out into the yard, and
might have effected her escape, had she taken advantage of the darkness
and fled; but instead of that, the terrified little creature ran around
the house wringing her hands, and crying out that her sisters were
killed. The brothers, unable to hear her cries without risking every
thing for her rescue, rushed to the door and were preparing to sally
out to her assistance, when their mother threw herself before them and
calmly declared that the child must be abandoned to its fate; that the
sally would sacrifice the lives of all the rest, without the slightest
benefit to the little girl. Just then the child uttered a loud scream,
followed by a few faint moans, and all was again silent. Presently the
crackling of flames was heard, accompanied by a triumphant yell from
the Indians, announcing that they had set fire to that division of the
house which had been occupied by the daughters, and of which they held
undisputed possession.

"The fire was quickly communicated to the rest of the building, and it
became necessary to abandon it or perish in the flames. In the one case
there was a possibility that some might escape; in the other, their fate
would be equally certain and terrible. The rapid approach of the flames
cut short their momentary suspense. The door was thrown open, and the
old lady, supported by her eldest son, attempted to cross the fence
at one point, while her daughter, carrying her child in her arms, and
attended by the younger of the brothers, ran in a different direction.
The blazing roof shed a light over the yard but little inferior to that
of day, and the savages were distinctly seen awaiting the approach of
their victims. The old lady was permitted to reach the stile unmolested,
but in the act of crossing received several balls in her breast and fell
dead. Her son, providentially, remained unhurt, and by extraordinary
agility effected his escape.

"The other party succeeded also in reaching the fence unhurt, but
in the act of crossing, were vigorously assailed by several Indians,
who, throwing down their guns, rushed upon them with their tomahawks.
The young man defended his sister gallantly, firing upon the enemy as
they approached, and then wielding the butt of his rifle with a fury
that drew their whole attention upon himself, and gave his sister an
opportunity of effecting her escape. He quickly fell, however, under the
tomahawks of his enemies, and was found at daylight, scalped and mangled
in a shocking manner. Of the whole family consisting of eight persons,
when the attack commenced, only three escaped. Four were killed upon the
spot, and one (the second daughter) carried off as a prisoner.

"The neighborhood was quickly alarmed, and by daylight about thirty men
were assembled under the command of Colonel Edwards. A light snow had
fallen during the latter part of the night, and the Indian trail could
be pursued at a gallop. It led directly into the mountainous country
bordering upon Licking, and afforded evidences of great hurry and
precipitation on the part of the fugitives. Unfortunately a hound had
been permitted to accompany the whites, and as the trail became fresh
and the scent warm, she followed it with eagerness, baying loudly and
giving the alarm to the Indians. The consequences of this imprudence
were soon displayed. The enemy finding the pursuit keen, and perceiving
that the strength of the prisoner began to fail, instantly sunk their
tomahawks in her head and left her, still warm and bleeding, upon the

As the whites came up, she retained strength enough to waive her
hand in token of recognition, and appeared desirous of giving them
some information, with regard to the enemy, but her strength was too
far gone. Her brother sprung from his horse and knelt by her side,
endeavoring to stop the effusion of blood, but in vain. She gave him her
hand, muttered some inarticulate words, and expired within two minutes
after the arrival of the party. The pursuit was renewed with additional
ardor, and in twenty minutes the enemy was within view. They had taken
possession of a steep narrow ridge and seemed desirous of magnifying
their numbers in the eyes of the whites, as they ran rapidly from tree
to tree, and maintained a steady yell in their most appalling tones.
The pursuers, however, were too experienced to be deceived by so common
an artifice, and being satisfied that the number of the enemy must be
inferior to their own, they dismounted, tied their horses, and flanking
out in such a manner as to enclose the enemy, ascended the ridge as
rapidly as was consistent with a due regard to the shelter of their

The firing quickly commenced, and now for the first time they discovered
that only two Indians were opposed to them. They had voluntarily
sacrificed themselves for the safety of the main body, and succeeded in
delaying pursuit until their friends could reach the mountains. One of
them was instantly shot dead, and the other was badly wounded, as was
evident from the blood upon his blanket, as well as that which filled
his tracks in the snow for a considerable distance. The pursuit was
recommenced, and urged keenly until night, when the trail entered a
running stream and was lost. On the following morning the snow had
melted, and every trace of the enemy was obliterated. This affair must
be regarded as highly honorable to the skill, address, and activity
of the Indians; and the self-devotion of the rear guard, is a lively
instance of that magnanimity of which they are at times capable, and
which is more remarkable in them, from the extreme caution, and tender
regard for their own lives, which usually distinguished their warriors.

From this time Simon Kenton's name became very prominent as a leader.
This year, at the head of forty-six men, he pursued a body of Indians,
but did not succeed in overtaking them, which he afterward regarded as a
fortunate circumstance, as he ascertained that they were at least double
the number of his own party. A man by the name of Scott, having been
carried off by the Indians, Kenton followed them over the Ohio, and
released him.

As early as January, 1783, the Indians entered Kentucky, two of them
were captured near Crab Orchard by Captain Whitley. The same month, a
party stole a number of horses from the Elkhorn settlements; they were
pursued and surprised in their camp. Their leader extricated his hand,
by a singular stratagem. Springing up before the whites could fire, he
went through a series of the most extraordinary antics, leaping and
yelling as if frantic. This conduct absorbing the attention of the
whites, his followers took advantage of the opportunity to escape.
As soon as they had all disappeared, the wily chief plunged into the
woods and was seen no more. The attacks were continued in March. Several
parties and families suffered severely. Lieutenant McClure, following
the trail of a marauding party of Indians, fell in with an other body,
and in the skirmish that ensued, was mortally wounded.

In 1789, a conference was held at the mouth of the Muskingum, with most
of the northwestern tribes, the result of which was the conclusion of
another treaty. The Shawanese were not included in this pacification.
This tribe was the most constant in its enmity to the whites, of all
the Western Indians. There was but little use in making peace with the
Indians unless all were included; for as long as one tribe was at war,
restless spirits among the others were found to take part with them,
and the whites, on the other hand, were not particular to distinguish
between hostile and friendly Indians.

Though the depredations continued this year, no affair of unusual
interest occurred; small parties of the Indians infested the
settlements, murdering and plundering the inhabitants. They were
generally pursued, but mostly without success. Major McMillan was
attacked by six or seven Indians, but escaped unhurt after killing two
of his assailants.

A boat upon the Ohio was fired upon, five men killed, and a woman
made prisoner. In their attacks upon boats, the Indians employed the
stratagem of which the whites had been warned by Girty. White men would
appear upon the shore, begging the crew to rescue them from the Indians,
who were pursuing them. Some of these were renegades, and others
prisoners compelled to act this part, under threats of death in its most
dreadful form if they refused.

The warning of Girty is supposed to have saved many persons from this
artifice; but too often unable to resist the many appeals, emigrants
became victims to the finest feelings of our nature.

Thus in March, 1790, a boat descending the river was decoyed ashore, and
no sooner had it reached the bank than it was captured by fifty Indians,
who killed a man and a woman, and made the rest prisoners. An expedition
was made against the Indians on the Sciota by General Harmer, of the
United States army, and General Scott, of the Kentucky militia, but
nothing of consequence was achieved. In May a number of people
returning from Divine service, on Bear Grass Creek, were attacked, and
one man killed, and a woman made prisoner, who was afterward tomahawked.
Three days after, a boat containing six men and several families was
captured by sixteen Indians without loss. The whites were all carried
off by the Indians, who intended, it is said, to make them slaves; one
of the men escaped and brought the news to the settlements.

In the fall Harmer made a second expedition, which was attended with
great disasters. Several marauding attacks of the Indians ensued; nor
was peace finally restored until after the treaty of Greenville, which
followed the subjugation of the Indians by General Wayne in 1794.

[Footnote 53: McClung.]

[Footnote 54: "Western Annals."]


     Colonel Boone meets with the loss of all his land in Kentucky,
     and emigrates to Virginia--Resides on the Kenhawas, near Point
     Pleasant--Hears of the fertility of Missouri, and the abundance of
     game there--Emigrates to Missouri--Is appointed commandant of a
     district under the Spanish Government--Mr. Audubon's narrative of
     a night passed with Boone, and the narratives made by him during
     the night--Extraordinary power of his memory.

A period of severe adversity for Colonel Boone now ensued. His aversion
to legal technicalities and his ignorance of legal forms were partly
the cause of defects in the titles to the lands which he had long ago
acquired, improved, and nobly defended. But the whole system of land
titles in Kentucky at that early period was so utterly defective, that
hundreds of others who were better informed and more careful than the
old pioneer, lost their lands by litigation and the arts and rogueries
of land speculators, who made it their business to hunt up defects in
land titles.

The Colonel lost all his land--even his beautiful farm near
Boonesborough, which ought to have been held sacred by any men possessed
of a particle of patriotism or honest feeling, was taken from him. He
consequently left Kentucky and settled on the Kenhawa River in Virginia,
not far from Point Pleasant. This removal appears to have taken place in
the year 1790. He remained in this place several years, cultivating a
farm, raising stock, and at the proper seasons indulging in his favorite
sport of hunting.

Some hunters who had been pursuing their sport on the western shores of
the Missouri River gave Colonel Boone a very vivid description of that
country, expatiating on the fertility of the land, the abundance of
game, and the great herds of buffalo ranging over the vast expanse of
the prairies. They also described the simple manners of the people, the
absence of lawyers and lawsuits, and the Arcadian happiness which was
enjoyed by all in the distant region, in such glowing terms that Boone
resolved to emigrate and settle there, leaving his fourth son Jesse in
the Kenhawa valley, where he had married and settled, and who did not
follow him till several years after.[55]

Mr. Peck fixes the period of this emigration in 1795. Perkins, in his
"Western Annals," places it in 1797. His authority is an article of
Thomas J. Hinde in the "American Pioneer," who says: "I was 'neighbor to
Daniel Boone, the first white man that fortified against the. Indians in
Kentucky. In October, 1797, I saw him on pack-horses take up his journey
for Missouri, then Upper Louisiana."

Mr. Peck says:[56] "At that period, and for several years after,
the country of his retreat belonged to the Crown of Spain. His fame
had reached this remote region before him; and he received of the
Lieutenant-Governor, who resided at St. Louis, 'assurance that ample
portions of land should be given to him and his family.' His first
residence was in the Femme Osage settlement, in the District of St.
Charles, about forty-five miles west of St. Louis. Here he remained
with his son Daniel M. Boone until 1804, when he removed to the residence
of his youngest son, Nathan Boone, with whom he continued till about
1810, when he went to reside with his son-in-law, Flanders Callaway.
A commission from Don Charles D. Delassus, Lieutenant-Governor, dated
July 11th, 1800, appointing him commandant of the Femme Osage District,
was tendered and accepted. He retained this command, which included both
civil and military duties and he continued to discharge them with credit
to himself, and to the satisfaction of all concerned, until the transfer
of the government to the United States. The simple manners of the
frontier people of Missouri exactly suited the peculiar habits and
temper of Colonel Boone."

It was during his residence in Missouri that Colonel Boone was visited
by the great naturalist, J.J. Audubon, who passed a night with him. In
his Ornithological Biography, Mr. Audubon gives the following narrative
of what passed on that occasion:

"Daniel Boone, or, as he was usually called in the Western country,
Colonel Boone, happened to spend a night with me under the same roof,
more than twenty years ago.[57] We had returned from a shooting
excursion, in the course of which his extraordinary skill in the
management of the rifle had been fully displayed. On retiring to the
room appropriated to that remarkable individual and myself for the
night, I felt anxious to know more of his exploits and adventures than
I did, and accordingly took the liberty of proposing numerous questions
to him. The stature and general appearance of this wanderer of the
Western forests approached the gigantic. His chest was broad and
prominent; his muscular powers displayed themselves in every limb;
his countenance gave indication of his great courage, enterprise, and
perseverance; and when he spoke, the very motion of his lips brought
the impression that whatever he uttered could not be otherwise than
strictly true. I undressed, whilst he merely took off his hunting-shirt,
and arranged a few folds of blankets on the floor, choosing rather to
lie there, as he observed, than on the softest bed. When we had both
disposed of ourselves, each after his own fashion, he related to me the
following account of his powers of memory, which I lay before you, kind
reader, in his own words, hoping that the simplicity of his style may
prove interesting to you:"

"'I was once,' said he, 'on a hunting expedition on the banks of the
Green River, when the lower parts of this State (Kentucky) were still
in the hands of Nature, and none but the sons of the soil were looked
upon as its lawful proprietors. We Virginians had for some time been
waging a war of intrusion upon them, and I, amongst the rest, rambled
through the woods in pursuit of their race, as I now would follow the
tracks of any ravenous animal. The Indians outwitted me one dark night,
and I was as unexpectedly as suddenly made a prisoner by them. The trick
had been managed with great skill; for no sooner had I extinguished
the fire of my camp, and laid me down to rest, in full security, as
I thought, than I felt myself seized by an indistinguishable number
of hands, and was immediately pinioned, as if about to be led to the
scaffold for execution. To have attempted to be refractory would have
proved useless and dangerous to my life; and I suffered myself to be
removed from my camp to theirs, a few miles distant, without uttering
even a word of complaint. You are aware, I dare say, that to act in this
manner was the best policy, as you understand that by so doing I proved
to the Indians at once that I was born and bred as fearless of death as
any of themselves.

"'When we reached the camp, great rejoicings were exhibited. Two squaws
and a few papooses appeared particularly delighted at the sight of me,
and I was assured, by very unequivocal gestures and words, that, on the
morrow, the mortal enemy of the Redskins would cease to live. I never
opened my lips but was busy contriving some scheme which might enable me
to give the rascals the slip before dawn. The women immediately fell a
searching about my hunting-shirt for whatever they might think valuable,
and, fortunately for me, soon found my flask tilled with _Monongahela_
(that is, reader, strong whisky). A terrific grin was exhibited on
their murderous countenances, while my heart throbbed with joy at the
anticipation of their intoxication. The crew immediately began to beat
their bellies and sing, as they passed the bottle from mouth to mouth.
How often did I wish the flask ten times its size, and filled with
aquafortis! I observed that the squaws drank more freely than the
warriors, and again my spirits were about to be depressed, when the
report of a gun was heard at a distance. The Indians all jumped on their
feet. The singing and drinking were both brought to a stand, and I saw,
with inexpressible joy, the men walk off to some distance and talk to
the squaws. I knew that they were consulting about me, and I foresaw
that in a few moments the warriors would go to discover the cause of the
gun having been fired so near their camp. I expected that the squaws
would be left to guard me. Well, sir, it was just so. They returned;
the men took up their guns, and walked away. The squaws sat down again,
and in less than five minutes had my bottle up to their dirty mouths,
gurgling down their throats the remains of the whisky.

"'With what pleasure did I see them becoming more and more drunk, until
the liquor took such hold of them that it was quite impossible for these
women to be of any service. They tumbled down, rolled about, and began
to snore; when I, having no other chance of freeing myself from the
cords that fastened me, rolled over and over toward the fire, and, after
a short time, burned them asunder. I rose on my feet, stretched my
stiffened sinews, snatched up my rifle, and, for once in my life spared
that of Indians. I now recollect how desirous I once or twice felt to
lay open the skulls of the wretches with my tomahawk; but when I again
thought upon killing beings unprepared and unable to defend themselves,
it looked like murder without need, and I gave up the idea.

"'But, sir, I felt determined to mark the spot, and walking to a thrifty
ash sapling I cut out of it three large chips, and ran off. I soon
reached the river soon crossed it, and threw myself deep into the
canebrakes, imitating the tracks of an Indian with my feet, so that no
chance might be left for those from whom I had escaped to overtake me.

"'It is now nearly twenty years since this happened, and more than five
since I left the whites' settlements, which I might probably never have
visited again had I not been called on as a witness in a lawsuit that
was pending in Kentucky, and which I really believe would never have
been settled had I not come forward and established the beginning of
a certain boundary line. This is the story, sir:

"'Mr. ---- moved from Old Virginia into Kentucky, and having a large
tract granted to him in the new State, laid claim to a certain parcel
of land adjoining Green River, and, as chance would have it, took for
one of his corners the very ash tree on which I had made my mark, and
finished his survey of some thousands of acres, beginning, as it is
expressed in the deed, at an ash marked by three distinct notches of
the tomahawk of a white man."

"'The tree had grown much, and the bark had covered the marks; but,
somehow or other, Mr. ---- heard from some one all that I have already
said to you, and thinking that I might remember the spot alluded to in
the deed, but which was no longer discoverable, wrote for me to come
and try at least to find the place or the tree. His letter mentioned
that all my expenses should be paid, and not caring much about once
more going back to Kentucky I started and met Mr. ----. After some
conversation, the affair with the Indians came to my recollection.
I considered for a while, and began to think that after all I could
find the very spot, as well as the tree, if it was yet standing.

"'Mr. ---- and I mounted our horses, and off we went to the Green River
Bottoms. After some difficulties--for you must be aware, sir, that great
changes have taken place in those woods--I found at last the spot where
I had crossed the river, and, waiting for the moon to rise, made for the
course in which I thought the ash tree grew. On approaching the place,
I felt as if the Indians were there still, and as if I was still a
prisoner among them. Mr. ---- and I camped near what I conceived the
spot, and waited until the return of day.

"'At the rising of the sun I was on foot, and, after a good deal of
musing, thought that an ash tree then in sight must be the very one on
which I had made my mark, I felt as if there could be no doubt of it,
and mentioned my thought to Mr. ----. 'Well, Colonel Boone,' said he, 'if
you think so, I hope it may prove true, but we must have some witnesses;
do you stay here about, and I will go and bring some of the settlers
whom I know.' I agreed. Mr. ---- trotted off, and I, to pass the time,
rambled about to see if a deer was still living in the land. But ah!
sir, what a wonderful difference thirty years make in the country! Why,
at the time when I was caught by the Indians, you would not have walked
out in any direction for more than a mile without shooting a buck or a
bear. There were then thousands of buffaloes on the hills in Kentucky;
the land looked as if it never would become poor: and to hunt in those
days was a pleasure indeed. But when I was left to myself on the banks
of Green River, I dare say for the last time in my life, a few _signs_
only of deer were to be seen, and, as to a deer itself, I saw none.

"'Mr. ---- returned, accompanied by three gentlemen. They looked upon me
as if I had been Washington himself, and walked to the ash tree which
I now called my own, as if in quest of a long-lost treasure. I took an
axe from one of them, and cut a few chips off the bark. Still no signs
were to be seen. So I cut again until I thought it was time to be
cautious, and I scraped and worked away with my butcher-knife until
I _did_ come to where my tomahawk had left an impression in the wood.
We now went regularly to work, and scraped at the tree with care until
three hacks, as plain as any three notches ever were, could be seen.
Mr. ---- and the other gentlemen were astonished, and I must allow I was
as much surprised as pleased myself. I made affidavit of this remarkable
occurrence in presence of these gentlemen. Mr. ---- gained his cause.
I left Green River forever, and came to where we now are; and sir I wish
you a good-night.'"

[Footnote 55: Peck.]

[Footnote 56: Life of Boone.]

[Footnote 57: This would be about the year 1810.]


     Colonel Boone receives a large grant of land from the Spanish
     Government of Upper Louisiana--He subsequently loses it by
     neglecting to secure the formal title--His law suits in his
     new home--Character of the people--Sketch of the history of
     Missouri--Colonel Boone's hunting--He pays his debts by the
     sale of furs--Hunting excursions continued--In danger from the
     Indians--Taken sick in his hunting camp--His relatives settled in
     his neighborhood--Colonel Boone applies to Congress to recover his
     land--The Legislature of Kentucky supports his claim--Death of
     Mrs. Boone--Results of the application to Congress--He receives
     one-eleventh part of his just claim--He ceases to hunt--Occupations
     of his declining years--Mr. Harding paints his portrait.

In consideration of his official services as Syndic, ten thousand
arpents[58] of excellent land were given to Colonel Boone by the
Government. Under the special law, in order to make his title good, he
should have obtained a confirmation of his grant from the immediate
representative of the Crown, then residing in New Orleans. But his
friend, the Commandant at St. Louis, undertook to dispense with his
residence on the land which was another condition to a sound title, and
Boone probably supposed that "all would be right" without attending to
any of the formalities, and neglected to take the necessary steps for
holding his land securely.

It is probable that he foresaw that Missouri would soon become a part of
the United States, and expected justice from that quarter. But in this
he was disappointed, for when that event took place, the commissioners
of the United States appointed to decide on confirmed claims felt
constrained by their instructions and rejected Colonel Boone's claims
for want of legal formalities.

Thus was the noble pioneer a second time deprived of the recompense
of his inestimable services by his inattention to the precautions
necessary for securing his rights. This second misfortune came upon
him some time after the period of which we are now writing.

Meantime Colonel Boone found his residence in Missouri agreeable, and in
every respect congenial to his habits and tastes. His duties as Syndic
were light; and he was allowed ample time for the cultivation of his
land, and for occasional tours of hunting, in which he so greatly
delighted. Trapping beaver was another of his favorite pursuits, and
in this new country he found abundance of this as well as other species
of game.

A greater part of the people of Missouri were emigrants from the
United States, pioneers of the West, who had already resisted Indian
aggressions, and were welcomed by the French and Spanish settlers as
a clear accession to their military strength,

A brief notice of the history of this State, showing how the different
kinds of population came there, will be not inappropriate in this place.

Though the French were the first settlers, and for a long time the
principal inhabitants of Missouri, yet a very small portion of her
present population is of that descent. A fort was built by that people
as early as 1719, near the site of the present capital, called Fort
Orleans, and its lead mines worked to some extent the next year. St.
Genevieve, the oldest town in the State, was settled in 1755, and St.
Louis in 1764. At the treaty of 1763 it was assigned, with all the
territory west of the Mississippi, to Spain. "In 1780, St. Louis was
besieged and attacked by a body of British troops and Indians, fifteen
hundred and forty strong." During the siege, sixty of the French were
killed. The siege was raised by Colonel George Rogers Clark, who came
with five hundred men to the relief of the place. At the close of the
American Revolution, the territory west of the Mississippi remained with
Spain till it was ceded to France, in 1801. In 1803, at the purchase of
Louisiana, it came into the possession of the United States, and formed
part of the territory of Louisiana, until the formation of the State
of that name in 1812, when the remainder of the territory was named
Missouri, from which (after a stormy debate in Congress as to the
admission of slavery) was separated the present State of Missouri in

The office of Syndic, to which Colonel Boone had been appointed, is
similar to that of justice of the peace under our own government: but it
is more extensive, as combining military with civil powers. Its exercise
in Colonel Boone's district did not by any means occupy the whole of
his time and attention. On the contrary, he found sufficient time for
hunting in the winter months--the regular hunting season. At first he
was not very successful in obtaining valuable furs; but after two or
three seasons, he was able to secure a sufficient quantity to enable
him, by the proceeds of their sale, to discharge some outstanding debts
in Kentucky; and he made a journey thither for that purpose. When he had
seen each creditor, and paid him all he demanded, he returned home to
Missouri, and on his arrival he had but half a dollar remaining. "To his
family," says Mr. Peck, "and a circle of friends who had called to see
him, he said, 'Now I am ready and willing to die. I am relieved from a
burden that has long oppressed me. I have paid all my debts, and no one
will say, when I am gone, 'Boone was a dishonest man.' I am perfectly
willing to die.'"[60]

Boone still continued his hunting excursions, attended sometimes by some
friend: but most frequently by a black servant boy. On one of these
occasions these two had to resist an attack of Osage Indians, whom they
speedily put to flight. At another time, when he was entirely alone, a
large encampment of Indians made its appearance in his neighborhood;
and he was compelled to secrete himself for twenty days in his camp,
cooking his food only in the middle of the night, so that the smoke of
his fire would not be seen. At the end of this long period of inaction
the Indians went off.

At another time, while in his hunting camp, with only a negro boy for
his attendant, he fell sick and lay a long time unable to go out. When
sufficiently recovered to walk out, he pointed out to the boy a place
where he wished to be buried if he should die in camp, and also gave
the boy very exact directions about his burial, and the disposal of his
rifle, blankets and peltry.[61]

Among the relations of Colonel Boone, who were settled in his
neighborhood, were Daniel Morgan Boone, his eldest son then living, who
had gone out before his father; Nattra, with his wife, who had followed
in 1800; and Flanders Callaway, his son-in-law, who had come out about
the time that Missouri, then Upper Louisiana, became a part of the
United States territory.[62]

We have already stated that the land granted to Colonel Boone, in
consideration of his performing the duties of Syndic, was lost by his
omission to comply with the legal formalities necessary to secure his

In addition to the ten thousand arpents of land thus lost, he had been
entitled as a citizen to one thousand arpents of land according to the
usage in other cases; but he appears not to have complied with the
condition of actual residence on this land, and it was lost in

In 1812, Colonel Boone sent a petition to Congress, praying for a
confirmation of his original claims. In order to give greater weight
to his application, he presented a memorial to the General Assembly of
Kentucky, on the thirteenth of January, 1812, soliciting the aid of that
body in obtaining from Congress the confirmation of his claims.

The Legislature, by a unanimous vote, passed the following preamble and

"The Legislature of Kentucky, taking into view the many eminent services
rendered by Col. Boone, in exploring and settling the western country,
from which great advantages have resulted, not only to this State, but
to his country in general; and that from circumstances over which he had
no control, he is now reduced to poverty, not having, so far as appears,
an acre of land out of the vast territory he has been a great instrument
in peopling; believing, also, that it is as unjust as it is impolitic,
that useful enterprise and eminent services should go unrewarded by a
government where merit confers the only distinction; and having
sufficient reason to believe that a grant of ten thousand acres of land,
which he claims in Upper Louisiana, would have been confirmed by the
Spanish government, had not said territory passed, by cession, into the
hands of the general government: wherefore.

"Resolved, by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of
Kentucky,--That our Senators in Congress be requested to make use of
their exertions to procure a grant of land in said territory to said
Boone, either the ten thousand acres to which he appears to have an
equitable claim, from the grounds set forth to this Legislature, by way
of confirmation, or to such quantity in such place as shall be deemed
most advisable, by way of donation."

Notwithstanding this action of the Legislature of Kentucky, Colonel
Boone's appeal, like many other just and reasonable claims presented to
Congress, was neglected for some time. During this period of anxious
suspense, Mrs. Boone, the faithful and affectionate wife of the
venerable pioneer, who had shared his toils and anxieties, and cheered
his home for so many years, was taken from his side. She died in March,
1813, at the age of seventy-six. The venerable pioneer was now to miss
her cheerful companionship for the remainder of his life; and to a man
of his affectionate disposition this must have been a severe privation.

Colonel Boone's memorial to Congress received the earnest and active
support of Judge Coburn, Joseph Vance, Judge Burnett, and other
distinguished men belonging to the Western country. But it was not till
the 24th of December, 1813, that the Committee on Public Lands made a
report on the subject.

The report certainly is a very inconsistent one, as it fully admits the
justice of his claim to eleven thousand arpents of land, and recommends
Congress to give him the miserable pittance of one thousand arpents, to
which he was entitled in common with all the other emigrants to Upper
Louisiana! The act for the confirmation of the title passed on the 10th
of February, 1814.

For ten years before his decease, Colonel Boone gave up his favorite
pursuit of hunting. The infirmities of age rendered it imprudent for him
to venture alone in the woods.

The closing years of Colonel Boone's life were passed in a manner
entirely characteristic of the man. He appears to have considered love
to mankind, reverence to the Supreme Being, delight in his works and
constant usefulness, as the legitimate ends of life. After the decease
of Mrs. Boone, he divided his time among the different members of his
family, making his home with his eldest daughter, Mrs. Callaway,
visiting his other children, and especially his youngest son, Major
Nathan Boone, for longer or shorter periods, according to his
inclination and convenience. He was greatly beloved by all his
descendants, some of whom were of the fifth generation; and he took
great delight in their society.

"His time at home," says Mr. Peck, "was usually occupied in some useful
manner. He made powder-horns for his grandchildren, neighbors, and
friends, many of which were carved and ornamented with much taste. He
repaired rifles, and performed various descriptions of handicraft with
neatness and finish." Making powder-horns--repairing rifles--employments
in pleasing unison with old pursuits, and by the associations thus
raised in his mind, always recalling the pleasures of the chase, the
stilly whispering hum of the pines, the fragrance of wild flowers, and
the deep solitude of the primeval forest.

In the summer of 1820, Chester Harding, who of American artists is one
of the most celebrated for the accuracy of his likenesses, paid a visit
to Colonel Boone for the purpose of taking his portrait. The Colonel was
quite feeble, and had to be supported by a friend, the Rev. J.E. Welsh,
while sitting to the artist.[63]

This portrait is the original from which most of the engravings of Boone
have been executed. It represents him in his hunting-dress, with his
large hunting-knife in his belt. The face is very thin and pale, and
the hair perfectly white; the eyes of a bright blue color, and the
expression of the countenance mild and pleasing.

[Footnote 58: An arpent of land is eighty-five-hundredths of an acre.]

[Footnote 59: Lippincott's Gazetteer.]

[Footnote 60: The owners of the money of which he was robbed on his
journey to Virginia, as already related, had voluntarily relinquished
all claims on him. This was a simple act of justice.]

[Footnote 61: Peck.]

[Footnote 62: Ibid.]

[Footnote 63: Peck. Life of Boone.]


     Last illness, and death of Colonel Boone--His funeral--Account
     of his family--His remains and those of his wife removed from
     Missouri, and reinterred in the new cemetery in Frankfort,
     Kentucky--Character of Colonel Boone.

In September, 1820, Colonel Boone had an attack of fever, from which he
recovered so as to make a visit to the house of his son, Major Nathan
Boone. Soon after, from an indiscretion in his diet, he had a relapse;
and after a confinement to the house of only three days, he expired on
the 26th of September, in the eighty-sixth year of his age.

He was buried in a coffin which he had kept ready for several years.
His remains were laid by the side of those of his deceased wife. The
great respect and reverence entertained toward him, attracted a large
concourse from the neighboring country to the funeral. The Legislature
of Missouri, then in session, passed a resolution that the members
should wear the badge of mourning usual in such cases for twenty days;
and an adjournment for one day took place.

Colonel Boone had five sons and four daughters The two oldest sons, as
already related, were killed by the Indians. His third, Colonel Daniel
Morgan Boone, resided in Missouri, and died about 1842, past the age of
eighty. Jesse Boone, the fourth son, settled in Missouri about 1805, and
died at St. Louis a few years after. Major Nathan Boone, the youngest
child, resided for many years in Missouri, and received a commission in
the United States Dragoons. He was still living at a recent date. Daniel
Boone's daughters, Jemima, Susannah, Rebecca, and Lavinia, were all
married, lived and died in Kentucky.

In 1845 the citizens of Frankfort, Kentucky, having prepared a rural
cemetery, resolved to consecrate it by interring in it the remains of
Daniel Boone and his wife. The consent of the family being obtained,
the reinterment took place on the 20th of August of that year.

The pageant was splendid and deeply interesting. A few survivors of
Boone's contemporaries were present, gathered from all parts of the
State, and a numerous train of his descendants and relatives led the van
of the procession escorting the hearse, which was decorated with forest
evergreens and white lilies, an appropriate tribute to the simple as
well as glorious character of Boone, and a suitable emblem of his
enduring fame. The address was delivered by Mr. Crittenden, and the
concourse of citizens from Kentucky and the neighboring States was

The reader of the foregoing pages will have no difficulty in forming
a correct estimate of Boone's character. He was one of the purest and
noblest of the pioneers of the West. Regarding himself as an instrument
in the hands of Providence for accomplishing great purposes, he was
nevertheless always modest and unassuming, never seeking distinction,
but always accepting the post of duty and danger.

As a military leader he was remarkable for prudence, coolness, bravery,
and imperturbable self-possession. His knowledge of the character of the
Indians enabled him to divine their intentions and baffle their best
laid plans; and notwithstanding his resistance of their inroads, he was
always a great favorite amongst them. As a father, husband, and citizen,
his character seems to have been faultless; and his intercourse with his
fellow-men was always marked by the strictest integrity and honor.


[The following pages were dictated by Colonel Boone to John Filson, and
published in 1784. Colonel Boone has been heard to say repeatedly since
its publication, that "it is every word true."]

Curiosity is natural to the soul of man, and interesting objects have
a powerful influence on our affections. Let these influencing powers
actuate, by the permission or disposal of Providence, from selfish or
social views, yet in time the mysterious will of Heaven is unfolded, and
we behold our conduct, from whatsoever motives excited, operating to
answer the important designs of Heaven. Thus we behold Kentucky, lately
a howling wilderness, the habitation of savages and wild beasts, become
a fruitful field; this region, so favorably distinguished by nature,
now become the habitation of civilization, at a period unparalleled in
history, in the midst of a raging war, and under all the disadvantages
of emigration to a country so remote from the inhabited parts of the
continent. Here, where the hand of violence shed the blood of the
innocent; where the horrid yells of savages and the groans of the
distressed sounded in our ears, we now hear the praises and adorations
of our Creator; where wretched wigwams stood, the miserable abodes
of savages, we behold the foundations of cities laid, that, in all
probability, will equal the glory of the greatest upon earth. And we
view Kentucky, situated on the fertile banks of the great Ohio, rising
from obscurity to shine with splendor, equal to any other of the stars
of the American hemisphere.

The settling of this region well deserves a place in history. Most
of the memorable events I have myself been exercised in; and, for the
satisfaction of the public, will briefly relate the circumstance of my
adventures, and scenes of life from my first movement to this country
until this day.

It was on the first of May, in the year 1769, that I resigned my
domestic happiness for a time, and left my family and peaceable
habitation on the Yadkin River, in North Carolina, to wander through the
wilderness of America, in quest of the country of Kentucky, in company
with John Finley, John Stewart, Joseph Holden, James Monay, and William
Cool. We proceeded successfully, and after a long and fatiguing journey
through a mountainous wilderness, in a westward direction. On the 7th
of June following we found ourselves on Red River, where John Finley
had formerly been trading with the Indians, and, from the top of an
eminence, saw with pleasure the beautiful level of Kentucky. Here let
me observe that for some time we had experienced the most uncomfortable
weather, as a pre-libation of our future sufferings. At this place we
encamped, and made a shelter to defend us from the inclement season,
and began to hunt and reconnoitre the country. We found everywhere
abundance of wild beasts of all sorts, through this vast forest. The
buffalo were more frequent than I have seen cattle in the settlements,
browsing on the leaves of the cane, or cropping the herbage on those
extensive plains, fearless, because ignorant of the violence of man.
Sometimes we saw hundreds in a drove, and the numbers about the salt
springs were amazing. In this forest, the habitation of beasts of every
kind natural to America, we practiced hunting with great success until
the 22d day of December following.

This day John Steward and I had a pleasing ramble, but fortune changed
the scene in the close of it. We had passed through a great forest, on
which stood myriads of trees, some gay with blossoms, and others rich
with fruits. Nature was here a series of wonders, and a fund of delight.
Here she displayed her ingenuity and industry in a variety of flowers
and fruits, beautifully colored, elegantly shaped, and charmingly
flavored; and we were diverted with innumerable animals presenting
themselves perpetually to our view. In the decline of the day, near
Kentucky River, as we ascended the brow of a small hill, a number of
Indians rushed out of a thick canebrake upon us, and made us prisoners.
The time of our sorrow was now arrived, and the scene fully opened.
The Indians plundered us of what we had, and kept us in confinement
seven days, treating us with common savage usage. During this time we
discovered no uneasiness or desire to escape, which made them less
suspicious of us; but in the dead of night, as we lay in a thick
canebrake by a large fire, when sleep had locked-up their senses, my
situation not disposing me for rest, I touched my companion, and gently
awoke him. We improved this favorable opportunity and departed, leaving
them to take their rest, and speedily directed our course toward our old
camp, but found it plundered, and the company dispersed and gone home.
About this time my brother, Squire Boone, with another adventurer, who
came to explore the country shortly after us, was wandering through the
forest, determined to find me if possible, and accidentally found our
camp. Notwithstanding the unfortunate circumstances of our company, and
our dangerous situation, as surrounded with hostile savages, our meeting
so fortunately in the wilderness made us reciprocally sensible of the
utmost satisfaction. So much does friendship triumph over misfortune,
that sorrows and sufferings vanish at the meeting not only of real
friends, but of the most distant acquaintances, and substitute happiness
in their room.

Soon after this, my companion in captivity, John Stewart, was killed
by the savages, and the man that came with my brother returned home by
himself. We were then in a dangerous, helpless situation, exposed daily
to perils and death among savages and wild beasts--not a white man in
the country but ourselves.

Thus situated, many hundred miles from our families in the howling
wilderness, I believe few would have equally enjoyed the happiness we
experienced. I often observed to my brother, "You see now how little
nature requires to be satisfied. Felicity, the companion of content,
is rather found in our own breasts than in the enjoyment of external
things; and I firmly believe it requires but a little philosophy to
make a man happy in whatsoever state he is. This consists in a full
resignation to the will of Providence; and a resigned soul finds
pleasure in a path strewed with briers and thorns."

We continued not in a state of indolence, but hunted every day, and
prepared a little cottage to defend us from the winter storms. We
remained there undisturbed during the winter, and on the first day of
May, 1770, my brother returned home to the settlement by himself, for
a new recruit of horses and ammunition, leaving me by myself, without
bread, salt, or sugar, without company of my fellow-creatures, or even
a horse or dog. I confess I never before was under greater necessity of
exercising philosophy and fortitude. A few days I passed uncomfortably.
The idea of a beloved wife and family, and their anxiety upon the
account of my absence and exposed situation, made sensible impressions
on my heart. A thousand dreadful apprehensions presented themselves to
my view, and had undoubtedly disposed me to melancholy, if further

One day I undertook a tour through the country, and the diversity and
beauties of nature I met with in this charming season, expelled every
gloomy and vexatious thought. Just at the close of day the gentle gales
retired, and left the place to the disposal of a profound calm. Not
a breeze shook the most tremulous leaf. I had gained the summit of a
commanding ridge, and, looking round with astonishing delight, beheld
the ample plains, the beauteous tracts below. On the other hand, I
surveyed the famous river Ohio, that rolled in silent dignity, marking
the western boundary of Kentucky with inconceivable grandeur. At a
vast distance I beheld the mountains lift their venerable brows, and
penetrate the clouds. All things were still. I kindled a fire near a
fountain of sweet water, and feasted on the loin of a buck, which a few
hours before I had killed. The sullen shades of night soon overspread
the whole hemisphere, and the earth seemed to gasp after the hovering
moisture. My roving excursion this day had fatigued my body, and
diverted my imagination. I laid me down to sleep, and I awoke not until
the sun had chased away the night. I continued this tour, and in a few
days explored a considerable part of the country, each day equally
pleased as the first. I returned again to my old camp, which was not
disturbed in my absence. I did not confine my lodging to it, but often
reposed in thick canebrakes, to avoid the savages, who, I believe,
often visited my camp, but, fortunately for me, in my absence. In this
situation I was constantly exposed to danger and death. How unhappy such
a situation for a man tormented with fear, which is vain if no danger
comes, and if it does, only augments the pain! It was my happiness to
be destitute of this afflicting passion, with which I had the greatest
reason to be affected. The prowling wolves diverted my nocturnal hours
with perpetual howlings; and the various species of animals in this vast
forest, in the daytime, were continually in my view.

Thus I was surrounded by plenty in the midst of want. I was happy
in the midst of dangers and inconveniences. In such a diversity, it was
impossible I should be disposed to melancholy. No populous city, with
all the varieties of commerce and stately Structures, could afford so
much pleasure to my mind as the beauties of nature I found here.

Thus, through an uninterrupted scene of sylvan pleasures, I spent the
time until the 27th day of July following, when my brother, to my great
felicity, met me, according to appointment, at our old camp. Shortly
after, we left this place, not thinking it safe to stay there longer,
and proceeded to Cumberland River, reconnoitering that part of the
country until March, 1771, and giving names to the different waters.

Soon after, I returned home to my family, with a determination to bring
them as soon as possible to live in Kentucky, which I esteemed a second
paradise, at the risk of my life and fortune.

I returned safe to my old habitation, and found my family in happy
circumstances. I sold my farm on the Yadkin, and what goods we could not
carry with us; and on the 25th day of September, 1773, bade a farewell
to our friends, and proceeded on our journey to Kentucky, in company
with five families more, and forty men that joined us in Powel's Valley,
which is one hundred and fifty miles from the now settled parts of
Kentucky, This promising beginning was soon overcast with a cloud of
adversity; for, upon the 10th day of October, the rear of our company
was attacked by a number of Indians, who killed six, and wounded one
man. Of these, my eldest son was one that fell in the action. Though
we defended ourselves and repulsed the enemy, yet this unhappy affair
scattered our cattle, brought us into extreme difficulty, and so
discouraged the whole company, that we retreated forty miles, to the
settlement on Clinch River. We had passed over two mountains, viz,
Powel's and Walden's, and were approaching Cumberland mountain when this
adverse fortune overtook us. These mountains are in the wilderness, as
we pass from the old settlements in Virginia to Kentucky, are ranged in
a southwest and northeast direction, are of a great length and breadth,
and not far distant from each other. Over these, nature hath formed
passes that are less difficult than might be expected, from a view of
such huge piles. The aspect of these cliffs is so wild and horrid, that
it is impossible to behold them without terror. The spectator is apt
to imagine that nature has formerly suffered some violent convulsion,
and that these are the dismembered remains of the dreadful shock; the
ruins, not of Persepolis or Palmyra, but of the world!

I remained with my family on Clinch until the 6th of June, 1774, when
I and one Michael Stoner were solicited by Governor Dunmore of Virginia
to go to the falls of the Ohio, to conduct into the settlements a number
of surveyors that had been sent thither by him some months before; this
country having about this time drawn the attention of many adventurers.
We immediately complied with the Governor's request, and conducted in
the surveyors--completing a tour of eight hundred miles, through many
difficulties, in sixty-two days.

Soon after I returned home, I was ordered to take the command of three
garrisons during the campaign which Governor Dunmore carried on against
the Shawanese Indians; after the conclusion of which, the militia was
discharged from each garrison, and I, being relieved from my post, was
solicited by a number of North Carolina gentlemen, that were about
purchasing the lands lying on the south side of Kentucky River, from the
Cherokee Indians, to attend their treaty at Wataga, in March, 1775, to
negotiate with them, and mention the boundaries of the purchase. This
I accepted; and, at the request of the same gentlemen, undertook to
mark out a road in the best passage from the settlement through the
wilderness to Kentucky, with such assistance as I thought necessary
to employ for such an important undertaking.

I soon began this work, having collected a number of enterprising men,
well armed. We proceeded with all possible expedition until we came
within fifteen miles of where Boonesborough now stands, and where we
were fired upon by a party of Indians, that killed two, and wounded two
of our number; yet, although surprised and taken at a disadvantage, we
stood our ground. This was on the 20th of March, 1775. Three days after,
we were fired upon again, and had two men killed, and three wounded.
Afterward we proceeded on to Kentucky River without opposition; and on
the first day of April began to erect the fort of Boonesborough at a
salt lick, about sixty yards from the river, on the south side.

On the fourth day, the Indians killed one of our men. We were busily
employed in building this fort until the fourteenth day of June
following, without any further opposition from the Indians; and having
finished the works, I returned to my family on Clinch.

In a short time I proceeded to remove my family from Clinch to this
garrison, where we arrived safe, without any other difficulties than
such as are common to this passage; my wife and daughter being the first
white women that ever stood on the banks of Kentucky River.

On the 24th day of December following, we had one man killed, and one
wounded by the Indians, who seemed determined to persecute us for
erecting this fortification.

On the fourteenth day of July, 1776, two of Colonel Calaway's daughters,
and one of mine, were taken prisoners near the fort. I immediately
pursued the Indians with only eight men, and on the 16th overtook them,
killed two of the party, and recovered the girls. The same day on which
this attempt was made, the Indians divided themselves into different
parties, and attacked several forts, which were shortly before this time
erected, doing a great deal of mischief. This was extremely distressing
to the new settlers. The innocent husbandman was shot down, while busy
in cultivating the soil for his family's supply. Most of the cattle
around the stations were destroyed. They continued their hostilities
in this manner until the 15th of April, 1777, when they attacked
Boonesborough with a party of above one hundred in number, killed one
man, and wounded four. Their loss in this attack was not certainly known
to us.

On the 4th day of July following, a party of about two hundred Indians
attacked Boonesborough, killed one man and wounded two. They besieged us
forty-eight hours, during which time seven of them were killed, and, at
last, finding themselves not likely to prevail, they raised the siege
and departed.

The Indians had disposed their warriors in different parties at this
time, and attacked the different garrisons, to prevent their assisting
each other, and did much injury to the distressed inhabitants.

On the 19th day of this month, Colonel Logan's fort was besieged by
a party of about two hundred Indians. During this dreadful siege they
did a great deal of mischief, distressed the garrison, in which were
only fifteen men, killed two, and wounded one. The enemy's loss was
uncertain, from the common practice which the Indians have of carrying
off their dead in time of battle. Colonel Harrod's fort was then
defended by only sixty-five men, and Boonesborough by twenty-two, there
being no more forts or white men in the country, except at the Falls,
a considerable distance from these; and all, taken collectively, were
but a handful to the numerous warriors that were everywhere dispersed
through the country, intent upon doing all the mischief that savage
barbarity could invent. Thus we passed through a scene of sufferings
that exceeds description.

On the 25th of this month, a reinforcement of forty-five men arrived
from North Carolina, and about the 20th of August following, Colonel
Bowman arrived with one hundred men from Virginia. Now we began to
strengthen; and hence, for the space of six weeks, we had skirmishes
with Indians, in one quarter or another, almost every day.

The savages now learned the superiority of the Long Knife, as they call
the Virginians, by experience; being out-generalled in almost every
battle. Our affairs began to wear a new aspect, and the enemy, not
daring to venture on open war, practiced secret mischief at times.

On the 1st day of January, 1778, I went with a party of thirty men
to the Blue Licks, on Licking River, to make salt for the different
garrisons in the country.

On the 7th day of February, as I was hunting to procure meat for the
company, I met with a party of one hundred and two Indians, and two
Frenchmen, on their march against Boonesborough, that place being
particularly the object of the enemy. They pursued, and took me; and
brought me on the 8th day to the Licks, where twenty-seven of my party
were, three of them having previously returned home with the salt.
I, knowing it was impossible for them to escape, capitulated with the
enemy, and, at a distance, in their view, gave notice to my men of their
situation, with orders not to resist, but surrender themselves captives.

The generous usage the Indians had promised before in my capitulation,
was afterward fully complied with, and we proceeded with them as
prisoners to Old Chilicothe, the principal Indian Town on Little Miami,
where we arrived, after an uncomfortable journey, in very severe
weather, on the 18th day of February, and received as good treatment as
prisoners could expect from savages. On the 10th day of March following,
I and ten of my men were conducted by forty Indians to Detroit, where we
arrived the 30th day, and were treated by Governor Hamilton, the British
commander at that post, with great humanity.

During our travels, the Indians entertained me well, and their affection
for me was so great, that they utterly refused to leave me there with
the others, although the Governor offered them one hundred pounds
sterling for me, on purpose to give me a parole to go home. Several
English gentlemen there, being sensible of my adverse fortune, and
touched with human sympathy, generously offered a friendly supply for
my wants, which I refused, with many thanks for their kindness--adding,
that I never expected it would be in my power to recompense such
unmerited generosity.

The Indians left my men in captivity with the British at Detroit,
and on the 10th day of April brought me toward Old Chilicothe, where
we arrived on the 25th day of the same month. This was a long and
fatiguing march, through an exceedingly fertile country, remarkable for
fine springs and streams of water. At Chilicothe I spent my time as
comfortably as I could expect; was adopted, according to their custom,
into a family, where I became a son, and had a great share in the
affection of my new parents, brothers, sisters, and friends. I was
exceedingly familiar and friendly with them, always appearing as
cheerful and satisfied as possible, and they put great confidence in me.
I often went a hunting with them, and frequently gained their applause
for my activity at our shooting-matches. I was careful not to exceed
many of them in shooting; for no people are more envious than they in
this sport. I could observe, in their countenances and gestures, the
greatest expressions of joy when they exceeded me; and, when the reverse
happened, of envy. The Shawanese king took great notice of me, and
treated me with profound respect and entire friendship, often entrusting
me to hunt at my liberty. I frequently returned with the spoils of
the woods, and as often presented some of what I had taken to him,
expressive of duty to my sovereign. My food and lodging were in common
with them; not so good, indeed, as I could desire, but necessity makes
every thing acceptable.

I now began to meditate an escape, and carefully avoided their
suspicions, continuing with them at Old Chilicothe until the 1st day
of June following, and then was taken by them to the salt springs on
Scioto, and kept there making salt ten days. During this time I hunted
some for them, and found the land, for a great extent about this river,
to exceed the soil of Kentucky, if possible, and remarkably well

When I returned to Chilicothe, alarmed to see four hundred and fifty
Indians, of their choicest warriors, painted and armed in a fearful
manner, ready to march against Boonesborough, I determined to escape
the first opportunity.

On the 16th, before sunrise, I departed in the most secret manner, and
arrived at Boonesborough on the 20th, after a journey of one hundred and
sixty miles, during which I had but one meal.

I found our fortress in a bad state of defense; but we proceeded
immediately to repair our flanks, strengthen our gates and posterns, and
form double bastions, which we completed in ten days. In this time we
daily expected the arrival of the Indian army; and at length, one of my
fellow-prisoners, escaping from them, arrived, informing us that the
enemy had, on account of my departure, postponed their expedition three
weeks. The Indians had spies out viewing our movements, and were greatly
alarmed with our increase in number and fortifications. The grand
council of the nations were held frequently, and with more deliberation
than usual. They evidently saw the approaching hour when the Long Knife
would dispossess them of their desirable habitations; and, anxiously
concerned for futurity, determined utterly to extirpate the whites out
of Kentucky. We were not intimidated by their movements, but frequently
gave them proofs of our courage.

About the first of August, I made an incursion into the Indian
Country with a party of nineteen men, in order to surprise a small
town up Scioto, called Paint Creek Town. We advanced within four miles
thereof, when we met a party of thirty Indians on their march against
Boonesborough, intending to join the others from Chilicothe. A smart
fight ensued between us for some time; at length the savages gave way
and fled. We had no loss on our side; the enemy had one killed, and two
wounded. We took from them three horses, and all their baggage; and
being informed by two of our number that went to their town, that the
Indians had entirely evacuated it, we proceeded no further, and returned
with all possible expedition to assist our garrison against the other
party. We passed by them on the sixth day, and on the seventh we arrived
safe at Boonesborough.

On the 8th, the Indian army arrived, being four hundred and forty-four
in number, commanded by Captain Duquesne, eleven other Frenchmen, and
some of their own chiefs, and marched up within view of our fort, with
British and French colors flying; and having sent a summons to me, in
his Britannic Majesty's name, to surrender the fort, I requested two
days consideration, which was granted.

It was now a critical period with us. We were a small number in the
garrison--a powerful army before our walls, whose appearance proclaimed
inevitable death, fearfully painted, and marking their footsteps with
desolation. Death was preferable to captivity; and if taken by storm,
we must inevitably be devoted to destruction. In this situation we
concluded to maintain our garrison, if possible. We immediately
proceeded to collect what we could of our horses and other cattle, and
bring them through the posterns into the fort; and in the evening of
the 9th, I returned answer that we were determined to defend our fort
while a man was living. "Now," said I to their commander, who stood
attentively hearing my sentiments, "we laugh at your formidable
preparations; but thank you for giving us notice and time to provide for
our defense. Your efforts will not prevail; for our gates shall forever
deny you admittance." Whether this answer affected their courage or not
I cannot tell; but contrary to our expectations, they formed a scheme to
deceive us, declaring it was their orders, from Governor Hamilton, to
take us captives, and not to destroy us; but if nine of us would come
out and treat with them, they would immediately withdraw their forces
from our walls, and return home peaceably. This sounded grateful in our
ears; and we agreed to the proposal.

We held the treaty within sixty yards of the garrison, on purpose to
divert them from a breach of honor, as we could not avoid suspicions of
the savages. In this situation the articles were formally agreed to,
and signed; and the Indians told us it was customary with them on such
occasions for two Indians to shake hands with every white man in the
treaty, as an evidence of entire friendship. We agreed to this also,
but were soon convinced their policy was to take us prisoners. They
immediately grappled us; but, although surrounded by hundreds of
savages, we extricated ourselves from them, and escaped all safe into
the garrison, except one that was wounded, through a heavy fire from
their army. They immediately attacked us on every side, and a constant
heavy fire ensued between us, day and night, for the space of nine days.

In this time the enemy began to undermine our fort, which was situated
sixty yards from Kentucky River. They began at the water-mark, and
proceeded in the bank some distance, which we understood by their
aking the water muddy with the clay; and we immediately proceeded to
disappoint their design, by cutting a trench across their subterranean
passage. The enemy, discovering our countermine by the clay we threw out
of the fort, desisted from that stratagem; and experience now fully
convincing them that neither their power nor policy could effect their
purpose, on the 20th day of August they raised the siege and departed.

During this siege, which threatened death in every form, we had two men
killed, and four wounded, besides a number of cattle. We killed of the
enemy thirty-seven, and wounded a great number. After they were gone, we
picked up one hundred and twenty-five pounds weight of bullets, besides
what stuck in the logs of our fort, which certainly is a great proof of
their industry. Soon after this, I went into the settlement, and nothing
worthy of a place in this account passed in my affairs for some time.

During my absence from Kentucky, Colonel Bowman carried on an expedition
against the Shawanese, at Old Chilicothe, with one hundred and sixty
men, in July, 1779. Here they arrived undiscovered, and a battle ensued,
which lasted until ten o'clock, A.M., when Colonel Bowman, finding he
could not succeed at this time, retreated about thirty miles. The
Indians, in the meantime, collecting all their forces, pursued and
overtook him, when a smart fight continued near two hours, not to the
advantage of Colonel Bowman's party.

Colonel Harrod proposed to mount a number of horse, and furiously to
rush upon the savages, who at this time fought with remarkable fury.
This desperate step had a happy effect, broke their line of battle, and
the savages fled on all sides. In these two battles we had nine killed,
and one wounded. The enemy's loss uncertain, only two scalps being

On the 22d day of June, 1780, a large party of Indians and Canadians,
about six hundred in number, commanded by Colonel Bird, attacked
Riddle's and Martin's stations, at the forks of Licking River, with
six pieces of artillery. They carried this expedition so secretly, that
the unwary inhabitants did not discover them until they fired upon the
forts; and, not being prepared to oppose them, were obliged to surrender
themselves miserable captives to barbarous savages, who immediately
after tomahawked one man and two women, and loaded all the others with
heavy baggage, forcing them along toward their towns, able or unable
to march. Such as were weak and faint by the way, they tomahawked.
The tender women and helpless children fell victims to their cruelty.
This, and the savage treatment they received afterward, is shocking to
humanity and too barbarous to relate.

The hostile disposition of the savages and their allies caused General
Clarke, the commandant at the Falls of the Ohio, immediately to begin an
expedition with his own regiment, and the armed force of the country,
against Pecaway, the principal town of the Shawanese, on a branch of
Great Miami, which he finished with great success, took seventeen
scalps, and burnt the town to ashes, with the loss of seventeen men.

About this time I returned to Kentucky with my family; and here, to
avoid an inquiry into my conduct, the reader being before informed of my
bringing my family to Kentucky, I am under the necessity of informing
him that, during my captivity with the Indians, my wife, who despaired
of ever seeing me again--expecting the Indians had put a period to my
life, oppressed with the distresses of the country, and bereaved of me,
her only happiness--had, before I returned, transported my family and
goods on horses through the wilderness, amid a multitude of dangers,
to her father's house in North Carolina.

Shortly after the troubles at Boonesborough, I went to them, and lived
peaceably there until this time. The history of my going home, and
returning with my family, forms a series of difficulties, an account of
which would swell a volume; and, being foreign to my purpose, I shall
purposely omit them.

I settled my family in Boonesborough once more; and shortly after, on
the 6th day of October, 1780, I went in company with my brother to the
Blue Licks; and, on our return home, we were fired upon by a party of
Indians. They shot him and pursued me, by the scent of their dog, three
miles; but I killed the dog, and escaped. The winter soon came on, and
was very severe, which confined the Indians to their wigwams.

The severities of this winter caused great difficulties in Kentucky.
The enemy had destroyed most of the corn the summer before. This
necessary article was scarce and dear, and the inhabitants lived chiefly
on the flesh of buffalo. The circumstances of many were very lamentable;
however, being a hardy race of people, and accustomed to difficulties
and necessities, they were wonderfully supported through all their
sufferings, until the ensuing autumn, when we received abundance from
the fertile soil.

Toward spring we were frequently harassed by Indians; and in May, 1782,
a party assaulted Ashton's station, killed one man, and took a negro
prisoner. Captain Ashton, with twenty-five men, pursued and overtook the
savages, and a smart fight ensued, which lasted two hours; but they,
being superior in number, obliged Captain Ashton's party to retreat,
with the loss of eight killed, and four mortally wounded; their brave
commander himself being numbered among the dead.

The Indians continued their hostilities; and, about the 10th of August
following, two boys were taken from Major Hoy's station. This party was
pursued by Captain Holder and seventeen men, who were also defeated,
with the loss of four men killed, and one wounded. Our affairs became
more and more alarming. Several stations which had lately been erected
in the country were continually infested with savages, stealing their
horses and killing the men at every opportunity. In a field, near
Lexington, an Indian shot a man, and running to scalp him, was himself
shot from the fort, and fell dead upon his enemy.

Every day we experienced recent mischiefs. The barbarous savage nations
of Shawanese, Cherokees, Wyandots, Tawas, Delawares, and several others
near Detroit, united in a war against us, and assembled their choicest
warriors at Old Chilicothe, to go on the expedition, in order to destroy
us, and entirely depopulate the country. Their savage minds were
inflamed to mischief by two abandoned men, Captains McKee and Girty.
These led them to execute every diabolical scheme, and on the 15th day
of August, commanded a party of Indians and Canadians, of about five
hundred in number, against Bryant's station, five miles from Lexington.
Without demanding a surrender, they furiously assaulted the garrison,
which was happily prepared to oppose them; and, after they had expended
much ammunition in vain, and killed the cattle round the fort, not being
likely to make themselves masters of this place, they raised the siege,
and departed in the morning of the third day after they came, with the
loss of about thirty killed, and the number of wounded uncertain. Of the
garrison, four were killed, and three wounded.

On the 18th day, Colonel Todd, Colonel Trigg, Major Harland, and myself,
speedily collected one hundred and seventy-six men, well armed, and
pursued the savages. They had marched beyond the Blue Licks, to a
remarkable bend of the main fork of Licking River, about forty-three
miles from Lexington, where we overtook them on the 19th day. The
savages observing us, gave way; and we, being ignorant of their numbers,
passed the river. When the enemy saw our proceedings, having greatly the
advantage of us in situation, they formed the line of battle from one
bend of Licking to the other, about a mile from the Blue Licks. An
exceeding fierce battle immediately began, for about fifteen minutes,
when we being overpowered by numbers, were obliged to retreat, with the
loss of sixty-seven men, seven of whom were taken prisoners. The brave
and much-lamented Colonels Todd and Trigg, Major Harland, and my second
son, were among the dead. We were informed that the Indians, numbering
their dead, found they had four killed more than we; and therefore four
of the prisoners they had taken were, by general consent, ordered to be
killed in a most barbarous manner by the young warriors, in order to
train them up to cruelty; and then they proceeded to their towns.

On our retreat we were met by Colonel Logan, hastening to join us, with
a number of well-armed men. This powerful assistance we unfortunately
wanted in the battle; for, notwithstanding the enemy's superiority of
numbers, they acknowledged that, if they had received one more fire from
us, they should undoubtedly have given way. So valiantly did our small
party light, that to the memory of those who unfortunately fell in the
battle, enough of honor cannot be paid. Had Colonel Logan and his party
been with us, it is highly probable we should have given the savages a
total defeat.

I cannot reflect upon this dreadful scene, but sorrow fills my heart.
A zeal for the defense of their country led these heroes to the scene of
action, though with a few men to attack a powerful army of experienced
warriors. When we gave way, they pursued us with the utmost eagerness,
and in every quarter spread destruction. The river was difficult to
cross, and many were killed in the flight--some just entering the river,
some in the water, others after crossing, in ascending the cliffs. Some
escaped on horseback, a few on foot; and, being dispersed everywhere in
a few hours, brought the melancholy news of this unfortunate battle to
Lexington. Many widows were now made. The reader may guess what sorrow
filled the hearts of the inhabitants, exceeding any thing that I am able
to describe. Being reinforced, we returned to bury the dead, and found
their bodies strewed everywhere, cut and mangled in a dreadful manner.
This mournful scene exhibited a horror almost unparalleled; some torn
and eaten by wild beasts; those in the river eaten by fishes; all in
such a putrefied condition, that no one could be distinguished from

As soon as General Clark, then at the Falls of the Ohio--who was
ever our ready friend, and merits the love and gratitude of all his
countrymen--understood the circumstances of this unfortunate action, he
ordered an expedition, with all possible haste, to pursue the savages,
which was so expeditiously effected, that we overtook them within two
miles of their towns; and probably might have obtained a great victory,
had not two of their number met us about two hundred poles before we
came up. These returned quick as lightning to their camp, with the
alarming news of a mighty army in view. The savages fled in the utmost
disorder, evacuated their towns, and reluctantly left their territory
to our mercy. We immediately took possession of Old Chilicothe without
opposition, being deserted by its inhabitants. We continued our pursuit
through five towns on the Miami River, Old Chilicothe, Pecaway, New
Chilicothe, Will's Towns, and Chilicothe--burnt them all to ashes,
entirely destroyed their corn, and other fruits, and everywhere spread
a scene of desolation in the country. In this expedition we took seven
prisoners and five scalps, with the loss of only four men, two of whom
were accidentally killed by our own army.

This campaign in some measure damped the spirits of the Indians, and
made them sensible of our superiority. Their connections were dissolved,
their armies scattered, and a future invasion put entirely out of their
power; yet they continued to practice mischief secretly upon the
inhabitants, in the exposed parts of the country.

In October following, a party made an incursion into that district
called the Crab Orchard; and one of them, being advanced some distance
before the others, boldly entered the house of a poor defenseless
family, in which was only a negro man, a woman, and her children,
terrified with the apprehensions of immediate death. The savage,
perceiving their defenseless condition, without offering violence to the
family, attempted to capture the negro, who happily proved an over-match
for him, threw him on the ground, and in the struggle, the mother of the
children drew an axe from a corner of the cottage, and cut his head off,
while her little daughter shut the door. The savages instantly appeared,
and applied their tomahawks to the door. An old rusty gun-barrel,
without a lock, lay in a corner, which the mother put through a small
crevice, and the savages, perceiving it, fled. In the meantime, the
alarm spread through the neighborhood; the armed men collected
immediately, and pursued the ravagers into the wilderness. Thus
Providence, by the means of this negro, saved the whole of the poor
family from destruction. From that time until the happy return of peace
between the United States and Great Britain, the Indians did us no
mischief. Finding the great king beyond the water disappointed in his
expectations, and conscious of the importance of the Long Knife, and
their own wretchedness, some of the nations immediately desired peace;
to which, at present [1784], they seem universally disposed, and are
sending ambassadors to General Clarke, at the Falls of the Ohio, with
the minutes of their councils.

To conclude, I can now say that I have verified the saying of an old
Indian who signed Colonel Henderson's deed. Taking me by the hand, at
the delivery thereof--"Brother," said he, "we have given you a fine
land, but I believe you will have much trouble in settling it." My
footsteps have often been marked with blood, and therefore I can truly
subscribe to its original name. Two darling sons and a brother have
I lost by savage hands, which have also taken from me forty valuable
horses, and abundance of cattle. Many dark and sleepless nights have
I been a companion for owls, separated from the cheerful society of
men, scorched by the summer's sun, and pinched by the winter's cold--an
instrument ordained to settle the wilderness. But now the scene is
changed: peace crowns the sylvan shade.

What thanks, what ardent and ceaseless thanks are due to that
all-superintending Providence which has turned a cruel war into peace,
brought order out of confusion, made the fierce savages placid, and
turned away their hostile weapons from our country! May the same
Almighty Goodness banish the accursed monster, war, from all lands,
with, her hated associates, rapine and insatiable ambition! Let peace,
descending from her native heaven, bid her olives spring amid the joyful
nations; and plenty, in league with commerce, scatter blessings from her
copious hand!

This account of my adventures will inform the reader of the most
remarkable events of this country. I now live in peace and safety,
enjoying the sweets of liberty, and the bounties of Providence, with
my once fellow-sufferers, in this delightful country, which I have seen
purchased with a vast expense of blood and treasure: delighting in the
prospect of its being, in a short time, one of the most opulent and
powerful States on the continent of North America; which, with the love
and gratitude of my countrymen, I esteem a sufficient reward for all my
toil and dangers.


Fayette County, KENTUCKY.

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