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´╗┐Title: The Adventures of Daniel Boone: the Kentucky rifleman
Author: Hawks, Francis L. (Francis Lister), 1798-1866
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Adventures of Daniel Boone: the Kentucky rifleman" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

by Florida's Publication of Archival, Library & Museum
Materials (PALMM))

Transcriber's Note:

In the contents list for Chapter II, 'Daniel Doone is rejoiced' was
changed to 'Daniel Boone'. 'Boon' in the frontispiece illustration
caption has however been retained.

Variations in use of hyphens have been standardised within the text.

Less usual spelling of words such as rackoon and periogues have been
left as they appear in the original book.

The spelling of Colonel Calloway/Calaway has been left as it appears
in the original.



   "Too much crowded--too much crowded--I want more
    elbow-room."--_Boone on his way to Missouri._


   Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1843,
   By D. APPLETON & CO.,
   in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States,
   for the Southern District of New York.

   This Volume

   [Illustration: DANIEL BOON.
   From the Basso Relievo in the Rotunda
   of the Capitol at Washington]


   Daniel Boone is born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania--His
   father removes to the Schuylkill--Boone's early passion
   for hunting--Kills a panther--Wanderings in the woods--Is
   sent to school--The school is broken up--Boone returns to
   his sports--His father removes to the Yadkin river in
   North Carolina--While the farm is improving Daniel is
   hunting--The neighborhood begins to be settled--Daniel is
   dissatisfied--Settlement of Mr. Bryan--Daniel Boone goes
   out upon a fire hunt--Strange adventure--Marries Rebecca
   Bryan--Makes a home for himself on the head waters of the
   Yadkin--Men begin to crowd upon him--determines to move      13


   Early visits to Kentucky--James McBride--Dr. Wacker and
   others--John Finlay goes to Kentucky trading with the
   Indians--Returns with glowing accounts of the
   country--Visits Daniel Boone and spends the winter with
   him--Boone is charmed with the stories--They determine in
   the spring to go to Kentucky--Meeting at Boone's house in
   May--With four companions they start for the
   west--Adventures by the way--They reach Finlay's old
   station on the Red river--Make their camp--Amuse
   themselves in hunting and exploring the country--Beauty
   of the country--Abundance of game--Boone and Stewart are
   taken by the Indians--Make their escape--Return to their
   camp--It is plundered and deserted--Arrival of Squire
   Boone--Daniel Boone is rejoiced to hear from his family      26


   Hunting party--Stewart is killed by the Indians--narrow
   escape of Daniel Boone--The companion of Squire Boone
   returns home--The two brothers alone in the
   wilderness--Cheerfulness of Daniel Boone--Squire returns
   to the Yadkin for ammunition--Daniel lives in the forest
   alone--His pleasant wanderings--Singular escape from the
   Indians--Encounter with a bear--Looks for the return of
   his brother--Disappointment--Is very sad--Squire suddenly
   arrives with ammunition and horses--Plans for the
   future--Daniel Boone chooses a spot on the Kentucky
   river--They return for his family--Sport by the way--They
   reach the Yadkin--Try to beat up recruits for
   Kentucky--Ridicule of the people--They start with five
   families--Forty men join them--Disaster by the way--They
   return to Clinch river--Various employments of Boone--He
   returns to Kentucky--Builds a fort--Removes his family to
   Boonesborough                                                42


   Comforts of Boonesborough--Arrival of Colonel Calaway and
   his daughters--Capture of three girls by the
   Indians--Boone and Calaway pursue--Are made
   prisoners--Happy escape--New emigrants--County of
   Kentucky--Indian warfare--Attacks upon Harrodsburgh and
   Boonesborough--Expedition to the salt-licks on Licking
   river--Courage of Boone--Overcomes two Indians--Is met by
   a large Indian party--Made a prisoner--His long captivity
   and escape                                                   59


   Indian customs noticed by Boone during his
   captivity--Mode of hardening children--Changing
   names--Marriages--Burials--War parties--Celebration of
   victories--Torturing prisoners--Making treaties of peace     80


   Boone's disappointment upon not finding his
   wife--Strengthening of Boonesborough--Indian
   hostilities--Attack of Boonesborough--gallant
   defence--Boone returns to North Carolina--Occurrences
   during his absence--Boone returns--Goes to the Blue Licks
   for salt--Death of the younger Boone--Daniel Boone
   escapes--Kentucky divided into three counties--Hard
   winter of 1781--Indian hostilities--Attack on Bryant's
   station--Villany of Simon Girty                              91


   Disastrous defeat at the Blue Licks--General Clarke's
   campaign--Efforts to restore peace--Sullenness of the
   Indians--They continue their massacres--Stratagems on the
   Ohio--Bold defence of Captain Hubbil--Halmar's
   campaign--St. Clair's defeat--Debate in Congress--General
   Wayne takes command--Defeats the Indians--Lays waste
   their country--Concludes a treaty of peace with the
   savages in August, 1795                                     109


   Happiness of the settlers--Boone roams through the
   wilderness--Civilization sickens him--He loses his
   lands--Moves to the Kanhawa--Disappointed in finding
   game--Moves to Missouri--Purchase of Missouri from the
   French--Anecdote related by Mr. Audubon--Boone loses his
   wife--His sorrow--War with England--His old age--His
   habits--He dies in 1818.                                    127


   The adventures of Colonel Daniel Boone, formerly a
   hunter; containing a narrative of the wars of Kentucky,
   as given by himself.                                        143



Some men choose to live in crowded cities;--others are pleased with the
peaceful quiet of a country farm; while some love to roam through wild
forests, and make their homes in the wilderness. The man of whom I shall
now speak, was one of this last class. Perhaps you never heard of DANIEL
BOONE, the Kentucky rifleman. If not, then I have a strange and
interesting story to tell you.

If, when a child was born, we knew that he was to become a remarkable
man, the time and place of his birth would, perhaps, be always
remembered. But as this can not be known, great mistakes are often made
on these points. As to the time when Daniel Boone was born, there is no
difficulty; but people have fallen into many blunders about the place.
Some have said that he was born in England, before his parents left that
country; others that he came into this world during the passage of his
parents across the Atlantic. One has told us that he was born in
Virginia; another in Maryland; while many have stated that he was a
native of North Carolina. These are all mistakes. Daniel Boone was born
in the year 1746, in Bucks county, in the state of Pennsylvania.

From some cause or other, when the boy was but three years old, his
parents moved from this home, and settled upon the Schuylkill river, not
far from the town of Reading. 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, rackoons, 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 levelled 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 schoolhouses were not scattered over the land; nor were
schoolmasters always able to teach their pupils. The schoolhouse 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 schoolroom, 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 of 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 schoolroom; 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

I do not know but that this passion for roaming was in some degree
inherited by Daniel Boone. His father had already had three homes: one
in England, one in Bucks county, and another on the Schuylkill; and he
now thought of removing further. It is said that the passion of Daniel
for hunting was one cause which prompted his father to think of this.
Land was becoming scarce, the neighborhood a little crowded, and game
less abundant; and, to mend matters, he began to cast his eyes around
for a new home. He was not long in choosing one. He had heard of a rich
and beautiful country on the banks of the Yadkin river in North
Carolina, and he determined that this should be the next resting-place
for him and his household.

All things were made ready as soon as possible, and the journey
commenced. It was a fine spring morning when the father started for his
new home, with his wife and children, his flocks and herds. Their
journey lay hundreds of miles through a trackless wilderness; yet with
cheerful and fearless hearts they pressed onward. When hungry, they
feasted upon venison and wild turkeys (for Daniel, with his rifle, was
in company); when thirsty, they found cool springs of water to refresh
them by the way; when wearied at night, they laid themselves down and
slept under the wide-spreading branches of the forest. At length they
reached the land they looked for, and the father found it to be all that
he expected. The woods in that region were unbroken; no man seemed yet
to have found them. Land was soon cleared, a cabin built, and the father
in a little time found himself once more happily settled with his

The old man with his other sons went busily to the work of making a
farm. As for Daniel, they knew it was idle to expect his help in such
employment, and therefore left him to roam about with his rifle. This
was a glorious country for the youth; wild woods were all around him,
and the game, having not yet learned to fear the crack of the rifle
wandered fearlessly through them. This he thought was, of all places,
the home for him. I hope you will not think that he was the idle and
useless boy of the family, for it was not so. While the farm was
improving, Daniel was supplying the family with provisions. The table at
home was always filled with game, and they had enough and to spare.
Their house became known as a warm-hearted and hospitable abode; for the
wayfaring wanderer, when lost in the woods, was sure to find here a
welcome, a shelter, and an abundance. Then, too, if money was wanted in
the family, the peltries of the animals shot by Daniel supplied it: so
that he was, in a large degree, the supporter of the household. In this
way years rolled onward--the farm still enlarging and improving, Daniel
still hunting, and the home one of constant peace, happiness, and

At length the story of the success and comfort of the family brought
neighbors around them. Different parts of the forests began to be
cleared; smoke was soon seen rising from new cabins; and the sharp crack
of other rifles than Daniel's was sometimes heard in the morning. This
grieved him sadly. Most people would have been pleased to find neighbors
in the loneliness of the woods; but what pleased others did not please
him. They were crowding upon him; they were driving away his game: this
was his trouble. But, after all, there was one good farmer who came into
the region and made his settlement; which settlement, as it turned out,
proved a happy thing for Daniel. This was a very worthy man named Bryan.
He cleared his land, built his cabin upon a sloping hill, not very far
from Mr. Boone's, and before a great while, by dint of industry, had a
good farm of more than a hundred acres. This farm was beautifully
situated. A pretty stream of water almost encircled it. On the banks of
the Schuylkill, Daniel Boone found all his education, such as it was; on
the banks of the Yadkin he found something far better. I must tell you
now of a very strange adventure.

One evening, with another young friend, he started out upon what is
called a "_fire-hunt_." Perhaps you do not know what this means. I will
explain it to you. Two people are always necessary for a fire-hunt. One
goes before, carrying a blazing torch of pitch-pine wood (or lightwood,
as it is called in the southern country), while the other follows behind
with his rifle. In this way the two hunters move through the forests.
When an animal is startled, he will stand gazing at the light, and his
eyes may be seen shining distinctly: this is called "_shining the
eyes_." The hunter with the rifle, thus seeing him, while the other
_shines_ him, levels his gun with steady aim, and has a fair shot. This
mode of hunting is still practised in many parts of our country, and is
everywhere known as a _fire-hunt_.

Boone, with his companion, started out upon such a hunt, and very soon
reached the woods skirting the lower end of Mr. Bryan's farm. It seems
they were on horseback, Boone being behind with the rifle. They had not
gone far, when his companion reined up his horse, and two eyes were seen
distinctly shining. Boone levelled his rifle, but something prevented
his firing. The animal darted off. Boone leaped from his horse, left his
companion, and instantly dashed after it. It was too dark to see
plainly, still he pursued; he was close upon its track, when a fence
coming in the way, the animal leaped it with a clear bound. Boone
climbed over as fast as he could with his rifle, but the game had got
ahead. Nothing daunted by this, he pushed on, until he found himself at
last not very far from Mr. Bryan's home. But the animal was gone. It was
a strange chase. He determined to go into Mr Bryan's house, and tell his
adventure. As he drew near, the dogs raised a loud barking, the master
came out, bade him welcome, and carried him into the house. Mr. Bryan
had scarcely introduced him to his family as "the son of his neighbor
Boone," when suddenly the door of the room was burst open, and in rushed
a little lad of seven, followed by a girl of sixteen years, crying out,
"O father! father! sister is frightened to death! She went down to the
river, and was chased by a panther!" The hunter and his game had met.
There stood Boone, leaning upon his rifle, and Rebecca Bryan before him,
gasping for breath. From that moment he continued to pursue it; Farmer
Bryan's house became a favorite resort for him; he loved it as well as
the woods. The business was now changed: Rebecca Bryan completely
_shined his eyes_; and after a time, to the great joy of themselves and
both families, Daniel Boone and Rebecca Bryan were married. It proved,
as you will see, a very happy marriage to both parties.

Being now a married man, it became Daniel Boone's duty to seek a new
home for himself. In a little time, therefore, he left his wife, and
wandered into the unsettled parts of North Carolina in search of one.
After moving about for some time, he found, upon the head-waters of the
Yadkin, a rich soil, covered with a heavy and once more unbroken forest.
"Here," thought Daniel Boone, "is the resting-place for me; here Rebecca
Bryan and myself may be happy: this shall be our home." He returned to
his wife, and she, with a cheerful heart, joined in all his plans. With
tears in her eyes, she bade farewell to her friends; yet, with a light
spirit, she started off with her husband. A clearing in the woods was
soon made, a log cabin of his own soon built, and a portion of ground
planted. Boone seems now to have thought that he must do something more
than use his rifle. He was to make a home for his wife and busied
himself, accordingly, in enlarging his farm as fast as he could, and
industriously cultivating it. Still, on his busiest day, he would find a
leisure hour to saunter with his gun to the woods, and was sure never to
return without game. His own table was loaded with it, as when at his
father's, and his house, like his father's, soon became known as a warm
and kind shelter for the wandering traveller. In this industrious and
quiet way of farming and hunting, years were spent, and Daniel Boone was
contented and happy. Several little children were now added to his
group; and, with his wife, his children, and his rifle, for companions,
he felt that all was well.

But his peace was at length disturbed once more. His old troubles
pursued him; men again began to come near. The crash of falling trees
was heard, as the new settlers levelled the forests; huts were seen
springing up all around him; other hunters were roaming through the
woods, and other dogs than his were heard barking. This was more than he
was willing to bear. Happy as he had made his home, he determined to
leave it, and find another in the wilderness, where he could have that
wilderness to himself. For some time he was at a loss to know where to
go; yet his heart was fixed in the determination to move. The
circumstances which pointed him to his new home, and where that new home
was made, you may learn in the next chapter.


My young friends all know where the state of Kentucky is situated. It is
hardly necessary for me to say, that at the time of which I am writing,
that region was an unbroken wilderness.

It was in the year 1754 that a white man first visited the country of
Kentucky. This was James M'Bride. In company with several others during
that year, he was passing down the Ohio, when he discovered the mouth of
Kentucky river, and made a landing. Near the spot where he landed, he cut
upon a tree the first letters of his name; and these letters, it is said,
could be seen and distinctly read for many years afterward. With his
companions, he wandered through the wilderness; the country struck them
all as being remarkably beautiful. It is not wonderful, then, that when
they returned home, they were filled with fine stories about the new
region. They declared that it was "the best tract of land in North
America, and probably in the world."

In spite of their pleasant stories, however, it was a long time before
any one was disposed to follow in their track. At length, Doctor Walker,
of Virginia, with a number of friends, started upon a western tour of
discovery. Some say that he was in search of the Ohio river particularly;
others that he went merely to collect strange plants and flowers. Be this
as it may, he with his party wandered through Powell's Valley, and passed
the mountains at what is called the Cumberland Gap. They then crossed the
Cumberland river, and roaming on through the forests, at length, after
much fatigue and suffering, reached the Big Sandy. The country was
beautiful, yet they were too much worn out to go further, and from this
point began to return homeward. They had suffered more than M'Bride, and
therefore their story was not so bright as his; yet they gave a very
pleasant account of the new country.

No one yet, however, seemed ready to make his home in Kentucky; and
accident at last seems to have thrown one man into that country, whose
story, upon his return, made some anxious to go there. This was John
Finley, a backwoodsman of North Carolina. He was in the habit of roving
about and trading with the Indians. In the year 1767, he, with certain
companions as fearless as himself, led on from place to place by the
course of trade, wandered far into Kentucky. Here he remained for some
time. It was a very beautiful, yet, as he learned also, a very dangerous
country. No Indian tribe lived there, but all the tribes roamed over it
as a hunting-ground. Upon these hunts, the fierce and warlike people
would often meet and wage their bloody battles. These fights were so
frequent and so awful, that the region was known by the name of the "Dark
and Bloody Ground." In spite of danger, Finley lived there, until at last
the traders and the Indians began to quarrel, and, for safety's sake, he
was forced to run off. He returned to North Carolina, filled with
wonderful stories. Sights like those on the "Dark and Bloody Ground,"
were nowhere to be seen. The land was rich, and covered with trees and
flowers; there were lofty mountains, beautiful valleys, and clear
streams, throughout it. Then he spoke of the strange caves in the
mountains; of curious salt springs; of the footprints of men to be seen
distinctly upon the solid rocks; of the strange figures of huge animals
on the sides of the high cliffs. Game of all sorts was abundant, from the
buffalo down to the partridge. There was no country (he declared) like
_Kain-tuck-kee_.[1] His tale was so wonderful, that people could not
well help listening to it.

   [1] This was the Indian name for the country.

Whether John Finley was led there by a knowledge of the man's character,
or whether it was an accident, it so happened, that about a year after
his return, he wandered into the neighborhood of Daniel Boone's home. It
was not long before he fell in with Boone, and completely charmed him
with his stories. Boone had known some sport in the forests himself, but
the adventures of Finley were to him marvellous. He was so much pleased
with the man, that he invited him, as it was now winter, to come to his
house, and make his home there through the season. The invitation was
gladly accepted; and in the cabin of Boone, again and again was the wild
beauty of the "Dark and Bloody Ground" laid before him. There was no end
to Finley's stories of this region. The wind whistled without, but the
fire blazed cheerfully within; and here they sat, on many a night, almost
till dawn, Finley talking, and Boone listening. The end of all this was,
that they determined, when spring opened, to go to Kentucky. Boone knew
that there were hardships and perils in the way, and Finley had
practically felt them; but what were dangers or difficulties to these
fearless men? The first of May was agreed upon as the day for starting,
and Finley was then again to meet Boone at his house.

It is not strange that other bold men, who heard Finley's stories, were
seized with the same desire for going west. Indeed, Boone helped to give
them that desire, knowing that a few brave spirits would be of great
service in the new country. He talked, therefore, warmly of the comforts
of a new home in the forest, where there was an abundance of game, and a
complete absence of towns and villages. Accordingly, on the first of May,
1769, when Finley repaired to Boone's house, he found four others ready
for the adventure: these were John Stewart, Joseph Holden, James Monay,
and William Cool. The people in the neighborhood, learning what was going
on, had likewise gathered to look with surprise upon these six men. What
could prompt men to leave the comforts of their quiet homes, and wander
off into the wilderness? They surely were crazy. Boone was much beloved
as a kind neighbor, and they mourned most over his madness. Nothing
daunted by all this, they were then ready for a start, and were now on
the point of leaving. We are told that, with tears in his eyes, Daniel
Boone kissed his wife and children; and if the story be true, I love him
the more for it. His spirit was beating for his new hunting-forests; he
could face all the dangers of the "Dark and Bloody Ground," but then it
was doubtful whether he was not parting with his wife and children for
ever. At all events, he was leaving them for months, perhaps for
years--he knew not how long--and who can wonder that tears stood in his
eyes? Each man shouldered his rifle, shot-bag, powder-horn, and knapsack,
and off they started--every neighbor straining his eyes after them as far
as he could see, as the men upon whom he was looking for the last time.

For two or three days they saw nothing new, for they were passing over
their old hunting-grounds. After this, they came to a wild and trackless
region, and saw from time to time the lofty ridge of mountains which
separated them from the western country. In two days more, the provisions
with which they had started gave out, and the first thing to be done was
to find a fresh supply. Accordingly they halted, chose a suitable spot
for their camp, and part of them commenced building it of logs and
branches; the others went into the woods in search of game. It was
impossible for such men to starve in such a region; game was abundant.
The hunters returned toward night, with several deer and wild turkeys.
The camp was finished, a bright fire was burning, and in a little time
the venison was dressed, cooked, and eaten. The supper was scarcely
finished, when they saw dark clouds gathering, and presently they were
visited by a tremendous thunder-storm. The sharp lightning flashed
through the woods, and the rain poured down in torrents; yet, in their
camp they fearlessly sheltered themselves, the branches covering them
from the rain. A man can scarcely be placed during a thunder-storm in a
more dangerous place than a forest: every tree is a mark for the
lightning; yet these men were calm and self-possessed, and were
mercifully protected.

The storm having passed over, they made their arrangements for the night.
For safety's sake, two men were to keep a constant watch, while the
others slept; and in this duty of watching, they were to take turns.
About midnight, while Boone and Holden were keeping the watch, a sharp
shrill cry was heard in the woods. They sprang to their feet. "What noise
is that?" said Holden. The sound was familiar to Boone. "Be still," said
he; "it is only a panther; come along with me." Moving cautiously from
the camp, they listened again for the cry. Once more they heard it.
Creeping through the woods in the direction of the sound, they at length
saw through the darkness the wild, glaring eyes of the animal. Boone
levelled his rifle with steady aim, and fired. With a wild yell the
panther fell to the ground, and began to retreat. Both were satisfied
that the ball had struck him, and returned again to the camp. The crack
of the rifle had waked their companions; the adventure was made known to
them, and they went quietly to sleep again, satisfied that for the rest
of the night at least that panther would not disturb them.

The next day was a very busy one. Finding game so plenty in the
neighborhood, they determined to lay in a good supply. Part of them were
therefore out in the woods, hunting, while the rest were in the camp,
smoking, drying, and packing the venison for the journey. Fatigued with
these labors, when night came they gladly laid themselves down, and, like
wearied men, slept soundly.

By the first ray of the morning's light the camp was stirring.
Shouldering their rifles and knapsacks, they started on their way. In a
little time they found a dead panther. Boone declared that this was his
panther; the animal was killed with one ball, and by comparing that ball
with those in his shot-bag, he found they were of the same size. In two
or three days they reached the foot of the mountains, and began to
ascend. Their journey was now rough and wearisome, and they made slow
progress. To any men but these, the mountains might have proved
impassable; but they were bent upon finding the new hunting-grounds of
Kentucky, and nothing could keep them back. After climbing the hills day
after day, they found once more that their provisions were gone, and were
again forced to halt. Their camp was built on the side of the mountain,
and their rifles easily supplied their wants. The journey was rigorously
renewed, and after many days of further struggling, they at length found
themselves on one of the tops of the Allegany ridge. Here they were,
upon Cumberland mountain. At this place they halted once more, to look
down upon the magnificent prospect which was spread out before them. This
was their first view of the new region, and they felt that it was all
that Finley had described it to be. It was indeed a glorious country. The
land was covered with trees and flowers; there were the rolling hills,
and the beautiful valleys, and the clear sparkling streams, of which he
had spoken.

The prospect was too beautiful to allow them to tarry long: they panted
to be in that country. With more earnest desires than ever, they
commenced descending the mountains. This part of the journey was
comparatively easy. In a few days now they reached the western base of
the hills, and entered a lovely plain. Here, for the first time, the new
hunters saw the finest of western game--a herd of buffaloes. From the
skirt of the wood at the end of the plain, a countless troop of these
animals came rushing over it. The men were delighted; they had heard of
these noble beasts of the forest, but none of them, except Finley, had
ever seen one. As the mass came tramping toward them, they stood gazing
in astonishment. Finley, who knew that men were sometimes trampled to
death by these moving troops, kept his eye steadily upon the herd until
the foremost was within rifle-shot; he then levelled his gun, and the
leader fell dead. With a wild bellow the herd parted on each side of the
fallen animal, and went scampering through the plain. There seemed no end
to the number, as they still came rushing from the wood. The mass
appeared closing again in a solid body, when he seized Holden's rifle,
and shot another. Now they were completely routed; branching off on the
two sides of the plain, they went bellowing and tearing past them. "An
amazing country, this!" cried Boone; "who ever beheld such an abundance?"
The camp was once more soon built, a blazing fire made, and, for the
first time in their lives, five of these men sat down to a supper of
buffalo-meat. They talked of their new country, the quantity of game, and
how joyously they would roam through the huge forests, until the night
had worn far away.

The next morning, after breakfast, they packed up such portions of the
animals as they could readily carry, and resumed their march. In a little
time they reached Red river. Here Finley began to feel more at home, for
on this river he had lived. Following the course of the stream, ere long
they came to the place which had been his trading-post with the Indians.
They had been more than a month reaching this point, and, naturally
enough, were wearied. Finley, too, could no longer guide them; and here,
for the present, they determined to halt again. It was now the seventh
day of June.

As this was to be their headquarters for some time, they built at once a
substantial log cabin. They were now fairly in the wilds of Kentucky; and
remembering that the whole region was the fighting-ground of the
wandering Indians, the cabin was built not only to protect them from the
weather, but to answer as a sort of fort against the savages. This
shelter being provided, their whole time now was given to hunting and
exploring the country. Hunting was a pastime indeed, the game was so
abundant. They could look out upon herds of buffaloes scattered through
the canebrakes, browsing upon the leaves of the cane, or cropping the
tall grass; the deer bounded fearlessly by the very door of their hut,
and wild turkeys were to be found everywhere. Everything was in a state
of nature; the animals had not yet learned to be afraid of man. Of
course, they did not suffer with hunger: provisions of the finest kind
were ever in their cabin. But the buffaloes provided them with more than
food. From time to time, as they needed moccasins for their feet, his
skin supplied them; and when at night they felt the dampness of the
weather, his hide was the blanket in which they wrapped themselves and
slept soundly.

The country, as they wandered through it, struck them as beautiful
indeed. There were the lofty trees of the forest, with no undergrowth
except the cane, the grass, and the flowers. They seemed to have been
planted by the hand of man at regular distances. Clear streams were seen
winding through lovely meadows, surrounded by the gently-sloping hills;
and the fearless buffalo and deer were their companions every hour. In
their wanderings they came several times to hard and well-tramped roads.
It was by following these that they discovered many of the salt springs
or licks where salt is made even now. The roads to these were worn thus
hard by the buffaloes and other animals that were in the habit of
visiting the springs.

The place of Finley's old trading-post, where their cabin now stood,
seems to have been chosen by him not only as a central point for trade:
it was on the side of a finely-sloping hill, and commanded a good view of
the country below. The situation was beautiful. Perhaps he chose it when
he was a lonely white man in the wilderness, because thence he might
readily see the approach of Indians, and make his escape, or perhaps it
was the very beauty of the spot that charmed him. He had a love for the
beautiful. One day, he and Boone were standing by the door of the cabin.
The wind was sighing in the tops of the forest, and while they were
listening to the music, they were looking out upon the beautiful region
below; the grass was green, and the bright flowers turned up their
leaves to the sun. "Glorious country!" cried Finley; "this wilderness
does indeed blossom like the rose."--"Yes," replied Boone, "and who would
live amid the barren pine-hills of North Carolina, to hear the screaming
of the jay, and now and then shoot a deer too lean to be eaten? This is
the land for hunters. Here man and beast may grow to their full size."

In this way, for more than six months, these men fearlessly hunted and
roamed through the woods. Contrary to their expectations, through the
whole summer they saw no Indians, nor did they meet with any remarkable
adventure. The precaution of a nightly watch was adopted, but they met
with no disturbance from man or beast. They had glorious sport by day,
and slept quietly at night. After this, as you will see, they began to
meet difficulties.

On the 22d of December, Boone and Stewart started off, as they had often
done before, upon an exploring tour. After wandering several miles, they
pressed their way through a piece of thick woods, and came out upon a
boundless open forest. Here they found quantities of persimmon-trees,
loaded with ripe fruit, while clusters of wild grapes covered the vines
that were hanging from the lofty branches. Flowers were still in bloom,
and scented the air; herds of animals might be seen through the forest
in every direction: add to this that the day was beautiful, and you will
not be surprised to learn that they continued to wander--indeed, that
they wandered much further than they supposed. It was nearly dark when
they reached the Kentucky river, and stood looking upon its rippling
waters. Perceiving a hill close by, they climbed it, that they might take
a better view of the course of the stream. They were now descending, on
their way homeward, when suddenly they heard an Indian yell, and out
rushed from the canebrake a party of savages. They had no time for
resistance--indeed, time was nothing; they were overpowered by numbers.
The savages seized them, took away their rifles and ammunition, bound
them, and marched them off to their camp. The next morning they started
off with their prisoners, the poor fellows not knowing where they were
going, or what was to be done to them. They did not know one word of
their language, and could therefore learn nothing: this much, however,
they very well understood--that it would not do to show any signs of fear
to the Indians; and therefore they went on cheerfully. In a little time
they became better acquainted with their captors, and judged, from
certain signs, that the Indians themselves had not determined what was to
be done. Part seemed to be for sparing them, part for killing; still
their cheerfulness was the same. This apparent fearlessness deceived the
Indians; they supposed the prisoners were well pleased with their
condition, and did not watch them closely. On the seventh night of their
march, the savages, as usual, made their camp, and all laid down to
sleep. About midnight, Boone touched Stewart, and waked him: now or never
was their time. They rose, groped their way to the rifles, and stole from
the camp. They hardly dared to look behind them; every sound startled
them, even the snapping of the twigs under their feet. Fortunately, it
was dark, even if the Indians pursued. They wandered all that night and
the whole of the next day, when at last, without meeting a man, they
reached their own camp. But what was their surprise on finding the camp
plundered, and not one of their companions to be seen? What had become of
them? Perhaps they were prisoners; possibly they were murdered; or it
might be that they had started back for North Carolina. They were safe,
but where were their comrades? Wearied in body, and tormented with fears
for their friends, they commenced preparing for the night. A sound was
now heard. They seized their rifles, and stood ready, expecting the
Indians. Two men were seen indistinctly approaching. "Who comes there?"
cried Boone. "White men and friends," was the answer. Boone knew the
voice. In an instant more, his brother Squire Boone, with another man,
entered the cabin. These two men had set out from Carolina for the
purpose of reaching them, and had for days been wandering in search of
their camp. It was a joyous meeting--the more joyous, because unexpected.
Big tears were again in Daniel Boone's eyes when he heard, from his
brother, that his wife and children were well.


When Squire Boone had told his brother all the news of home, it became
his turn to be a listener, while Daniel talked to him of all that
happened since they parted. After telling him of the beautiful country,
and their happy freedom as they wandered through it for six months, then
came the story of his captivity and escape. That escape was but just now
made, and with a full heart he dwelt upon this part of his story. It
would not have been strange if Squire had now felt alarmed; but his
disposition was much like his brother's: he loved the woods, and was
afraid of nothing.

In a little time, the four were once more hunting freely through the
forests. Signs of Indians were to be seen around, however; possibly they
were the very Indians who had captured them. In their wanderings,
therefore, they kept together usually, for self-protection. One day, they
started out upon a buffalo-hunt. As they came upon a herd of these
animals, Stewart lodged his ball in one of them, without bringing him
down. The buffalo went tearing through the forest; and Daniel Boone, with
Stewart, forgetful of everything else, went chasing after him. Naturally
enough, like excited men, they had no idea how far they had travelled,
until their very weariness reminded them that it was time to turn back.
Tired as he was, a harder race was now before Boone. They had scarcely
started on their return, when a party of Indians rushed from the
canebrake, and let fly their arrows. Stewart fell dead on the spot. Boone
would have fired his rifle, but he felt it was useless: he could kill but
one man; his only chance of escape was in flight. With Indian yells and
arrows close behind him, he leaped forward, and, by tremendous exertions,
at last distanced his pursuers. When he reached the camp, he fell,
completely exhausted.

The party, now cut down to three, was in a little time reduced to two.
From some cause or other, they could not tell what--possibly the sad
story of Stewart's death, and the fear of like troubles--the companion
who had come out with Squire Boone determined upon returning to North
Carolina. Very soon, therefore, he left them alone in the wilderness.[2]

   [2] It is said by some that this man did not thus leave
   them. Their story is, that the three started out upon a
   hunt; that this man was separated from the Boones, and
   became entangled in a swamp. The Boones searched for him,
   but could not find him. Afterward, they found fragments
   of his clothes, which convinced them that the poor man
   had been torn to pieces by wolves.

   Daniel Boone, however, tells a different story. He says
   that the man left them, "and returned home by himself;"
   and I have preferred his statement to any other.

It is not strange that, being thus deserted, Squire Boone felt restless
and dissatisfied; the wonder is, that Daniel was not dissatisfied
likewise. But he was happy and contented, and often struggled to call up
the same feelings in his brother. "You see," he would often say, "how
little nature requires, to be satisfied. Happiness, the companion of
content, is rather found in our own breasts than in the enjoyment of
external things. 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 briars and thorns." This was good counsel, my
young friends, and I hope you will bear it with you through life. It will
serve to comfort you as much as it did Squire Boone.

To be idle, was to allow time for this melancholy, and Daniel Boone kept
his brother constantly busy. The Indians, they were certain, knew where
their present camp was, and therefore they resolved to make another.
After choosing their spot, they employed themselves industriously in
erecting another cabin, which might serve to shelter them through the
coming winter. This being finished, they went to their old sport,
wandering through the woods, admiring the country, and bringing down now
and then a buffalo or a deer with their rifles. At night, they would
return to their camp, raise a fire, cook their supper, and sit till long
after midnight, talking of their old home on the Yadkin. Squire forgot
his loneliness, and became quite satisfied. In this way time rolled off
until the winter had passed away, and spring appeared. Strangely enough,
they had been undisturbed; they had met not even with one Indian.

They had learned in the wilderness to dispense well nigh with all
comforts; food and sleep were all they expected. But their powder and
shot were now beginning to run low, and without these they could not long
procure food. It was necessary, therefore, to make some arrangement
whereby they might obtain a fresh supply. Their plan was soon settled:
Squire Boone was to go back to North Carolina, and return with
ammunition. They supposed horses would be valuable, also, and he was
likewise to bring with him two of these. Perilous as the plan was, Squire
agreed to bear his part in it, and Daniel as cheerfully consented to his.
Accordingly, on the first day of May, Squire set off for the Yadkin;
and, as if nothing was to be wanting to leave Daniel in perfect
loneliness, their only dog followed Squire as he started.

Here, then, Daniel Boone was left entirely alone. Here he was a sort of
Robinson Crusoe in the wilderness--with this difference, that Robinson
was shipwrecked, and had no choice; while Boone chose the wilderness as
his home. He was now completely the "man of the woods"--far away,
hundreds of miles from any white settlement. For the first time in his
life, according to his own confession, he felt lonely. His mind was
filled with the remembrance of his wife and children, and the thought
that he should never see them again. He knew, however, that sad thoughts,
when indulged in, will grow very rapidly, and therefore dismissed them.

For safety's sake now, he changed his camp every night, that he might
avoid the Indians. Sometimes he slept in the canebrake; sometimes he laid
himself by the side of a stream; sometimes in the caves of the rocks. By
day he was surrounded by his old companions the buffaloes and deer, and
at night was not unfrequently disturbed by the howling of the wolves. He
roamed over many a beautiful tract of country. Now he would ascend a
hill, and look down upon the scene spread like a map before him; now he
would trace some stream to its source, or, following the well-tramped
roads of the buffaloes, would find some spring bubbling in the forest. In
this way he moved over a large part of the country. At one time, he
struck the Ohio river, and wandered for days on the banks of that noble
stream. It is said, that in his rambles, he one day stood upon the spot
where the city of Louisville now stands. He learned to love the woods
more than ever. Long after this, he used to declare, that "no crowded
city, with all its commerce and noble buildings, could give him as much
pleasure as the beauty of Kentucky at that time afforded him."

Fortunately, he met no Indians. At one time he came in sight of a roving
party, but managed to escape from them. The mode in which he escaped will
show you his perfect self-possession. He had stopped one day to rest
under the shade of a tree, when suddenly he spied the party in the
distance. This was enough for him. He immediately commenced his course
through the forest, hoping that they had not seen him, and therefore
would not pursue. From time to time he would look back through the woods;
and at length became convinced, to his sorrow, that if they had not seen
him, they had marked his tracks, and were now on his trail. He pushed on
for more than two miles, trying in various ways to break the trail, and
thus put them out; still, as he looked back, he could see that they were
following him He was puzzled to know what to do. A happy thought now
struck him. He had just passed the brow of a small hill; the heavy
grape-vines were hanging from the trees all around him. He seized one of
these, and, bracing himself against the tree with his feet, threw himself
as far as he could. This broke the trail, and he now kept directly on
from the spot where he landed, in a different direction. The Indians came
up, tracking him as far as the tree: were then lost, and gave up the

Another adventure is told of him during his lonely wanderings, more
perilous even than this. One day he heard a strange noise in the woods;
he could see nothing, but stood ready with his rifle. Presently an
immense she-bear was seen approaching him. Surrounded by her young cubs,
she was doubly fierce. As she came near, Boone levelled his rifle and
fired. Unfortunately, his steady eye failed this time; the ball did not
strike as he had aimed, and the animal pressed forward, the more enraged.
It was impossible to load again: the bear was upon him; he had only time
to draw his hunting-knife from his belt. The bear laid her paws on him,
and drew him toward her. The rifle in his left hand was a sort of guard,
while with his right he pointed the knife directly for the heart of the
animal. As she grasped him, the knife entered her body, and she fell

As the time drew near for the return (as he thought) of his brother,
Boone went back to the old camp where they had lodged together, to meet
him. Here day after day he kept his lookout--day after day he was
disappointed. He began now to be very sad. He did not doubt his brother's
fidelity; he knew he would not desert him; but there were many dangers by
the way, and perhaps he had perished. Then he thought, too, of his wife
and little ones. If that brother had perished, he likewise must die
without seeing them. Without ammunition to procure food, or defend
himself, what could he do? He must die, there in the wilderness. His
brother had been absent now nearly three months: surely it was time for
his return. Another day of disappointment was now drawing to a close, as
Boone sat, sick at heart, by the door of his cabin. A sound broke on his
ear; he rose and stood listening, with his hand on the lock of his rifle.
It was the tread of horses. The next moment he saw his brother through
the forest leading two horses heavily laden. Here was abundance of
ammunition and other comfort. The evening of the 27th of July was long
after this remembered by Daniel Boone as one of the most joyous of his

A fire was soon made, their supper cooked, and long after midnight they
sat talking. Thousands of questions were asked and answered, until,
wearied out, at last they lay down to sleep. The sun was high in the
heavens when they waked in the morning.

After breakfast, Daniel Boone proposed a new plan to his brother. Much as
he loved the woods, he felt that two men could hardly be safe in the
neighborhood of so many Indians. Moreover he longed to see his family:
the stories of Squire had called up fresh recollections in his heart. The
plan therefore was, to select a suitable spot for their home, then return
to Carolina and bring out his family. Squire readily assented to this;
and now they employed themselves for several days in hunting and laying
in a supply of provisions. This being done, they went to the Cumberland
river, and wandered for some time along the stream without finding a
place to please them. Roaming about now, they found many new streams, to
which, as the first discoverers, they gave names. Anxious as they were to
return to the Yadkin, they were in no such hurry as to neglect making a
full survey. The whole winter passed away before they pleased themselves.
At length they came upon the Kentucky river. Here the lands delighted
them. On the banks of this stream they determined to make their
settlement, and now (March, 1771) turned their faces homeward. As he left
the chosen spot, Boone says that "he felt it was a second paradise, and
was resolved, at the risk of his life and fortune, that his family
should have a home there."

As they journeyed eastward from the Kentucky river, they occasionally
blazed their pathway (as huntsmen say) that they might find their way
back. It was necessary thus to leave some track through the forest
wilderness, that they might again reach their chosen spot.[3] Fortunately
they met with no Indians.

   [3] This mode of marking their track is often practised
   by hunters in the woods. As they pass through the forest,
   they mark the trees by cutting off a small piece of the
   bark. This enables them again to find the same pathway,
   and is commonly called "blazing the track."

We hear of but one adventure on their way homeward. After travelling
quietly several days, they were one morning startled by a noise.
Presently a herd of buffaloes came rushing and tearing through the
forest; they seemed frantic. The cause of all this was soon seen. A
panther, seated upon the back of one of the buffaloes, had plunged his
claws and teeth into him. The blood was streaming down his sides, and the
poor animal, struggling to shake him off, rushed into the midst of the
herd. This frightened the rest, and they went bellowing and dashing
through the woods. Daniel Boone raised his rifle, and sent a ball through
the panther. He fell dead. Not far off they met a pack of wolves,
following as usual in the track of the buffaloes. For the fun of seeing
them scatter, Squire now fired his rifle, and away they went, scampering
in all directions.

In due time they came to the mountains. After trying to ascend in various
places, at length they found a narrow and rugged gap, through which with
great difficulty they made their way. It was, however, the best pass they
could discover, and they blazed their track, that they might find it
again. In a little time now, Daniel Boone was again in his cabin on the
banks of the Yadkin. I need hardly say there was a joyous meeting; he was
once more happy in the bosom of his family. He had been absent nearly two

Amid the joys of home, however, he did not forget his chosen spot in
Kentucky; his heart was filled with the thought that his happy home might
be happier there. As this was to be his final move, it was necessary to
settle all his business on the Yadkin; and as he had tried the
wilderness, he felt that a few trusty companions would be invaluable in
that new region. He commenced, therefore, making what he thought proper
preparations for a return. To beat up such neighbors as they desired, he
and Squire gave glowing accounts of the new country; the rich lands, the
forests, the streams, the flowers, and the game, were all talked of. They
saw only, and consequently spoke only, of the bright side of the
picture. But there were numbers of people to talk of difficulties; these
spoke of the folly of the Boones, in thinking of making such a country
their home, and the madness of any man who should think of following
them; the country was wild, and all who settled there must suffer many
privations: then, too (according to their story), it was afflicted with
terrible diseases, and they might all expect to die there, or, if they
escaped the climate, they must fall into the hands of the fierce and
cruel Indians who roamed through those forests; the place they declared
was so dangerous that it was known, wherever it was known, as "the dark
and bloody ground." With these sad stories floating about continually, it
is not wonderful that the Boones found difficulty in beating up
companions, and that more than two years passed away before they were
ready for a start. At the end of that time they found that, while many
were opposed to them, and others wavering as to what they would do, there
were some, prompted by a spirit of bold adventure, ready to join them.
Five families were willing to go with them to Kentucky.

Daniel Boone now sold his farm, and all things being made ready, on the
25th of September, 1773, the little company bade farewell to their
friends and started for the west, driving before them their flocks and
their herds. In their route, not a great way from the Yadkin, was the
settlement of Powel's valley. The story of their plan had spread through
the neighborhood, and when they reached this spot they were delighted to
find that the people were not so timid as those on the Yadkin: forty men
here joined the party. Now they travelled on in high spirits; the whole
body, old and young, numbering between seventy and eighty souls.

In a little time they came to the mountains, and found the pathway blazed
by the Boones. In less than a fortnight they passed the first ridge of
the Alleganies, known as "Powel's range," and were now quietly descending
the second, known as "Walden's range," when sorrow overtook them. They
were in a dark and narrow gap, when the wild yell of Indians broke upon
their ears. The savages rushed into the gap behind them, and let fly
their arrows. Six of the party fell dead, a seventh was wounded. The men
rallied around the women and children; the first discharge of their
rifles scattered the savages. But the mischief was done; the sudden
attack of the Indians was like a flash of lightning; they were seen only
for an instant; yet, like the lightning, they had done their work: there
were the dead, and alas! among them was the oldest son of Daniel Boone.

The party, a little time before so happy, was now in deep sorrow. What
was to be done? The Indians had not only killed their companions, but
their flocks and herds had all fled in fright, and could not be again
gathered together. In dismay, the greater part were for retreating
instantly to the nearest white settlement; this was upon the Clinch
river, forty miles behind them. The Boones begged them to keep on their
way--not to think of turning back; but it was all to no purpose; most of
them insisted on retreating, and they at length yielded to the general
desire. Accordingly, the dead were decently buried, and in great sadness
they all traced their way back to Clinch river.

Here Daniel Boone remained with his family eight months. At the end of
that time he was requested by Governor Dunmore, of Virginia, to go to the
falls of the Ohio, to serve as a guide to a party of surveyors who had
been sent there some months before. The western country was now beginning
to attract attention, and the Indians were becoming very hostile to the
whites. Accordingly, on the 6th of June, 1774, he started (with one man,
Michael Stoner), and without any accident reached the point at which he
aimed--the spot where Louisville now stands. The service for the
surveyors was promptly performed, and they were enabled to complete their
work, while Boone was at liberty to return to his family. It is
remarkable that he made this journey on foot, a distance of eight hundred
miles, through a trackless wilderness, in the short period of sixty-two

He was not allowed to remain quiet long; soon after his return, the
Indians northwest of the Ohio, especially the Shawanese, made open war
upon the whites. Governor Dunmore felt bound to protect his countrymen,
and, among other acts for their defence, sent Daniel Boone, with the
title of captain, to take command of three garrisons. This service was
likewise well performed; matters were soon more quiet, the soldiers were
discharged, and Boone was relieved from his post.

He had not been a wanderer in the woods in vain; his fame had gone
abroad, and his services were in the following spring sought again. A
company of gentlemen in North Carolina--the principal man of whom was
Colonel Richard Henderson--were attempting to purchase the lands on the
south side of the Kentucky river, from the Cherokee Indians.[4] They had
agreed to hold a treaty with the Indians, at Wataga, in March, 1775, to
settle the boundaries of their intended purchase, and they now desired
Boone to attend that treaty, and manage their business. In compliance
with their wish, he went to Wataga, and performed their service so well,
that they gave him further employment. He was now requested to mark out a
road from their settlement, through the wilderness, to Kentucky river.
This was a work of great labor. It was necessary to make many surveys to
find the best route, and when the best was found, it was, much of it,
over mountains and rugged regions. With a number of laborers, he
commenced the work. He met with two attacks from the Indians by the way,
in which four of his men were killed, and five wounded. Undaunted, he
pushed resolutely on, and, in the month of April, reached the Kentucky
river. To guard themselves from the savages, they immediately commenced
the building of a fort at a salt lick, about sixty yards from the south
bank of the stream. The Indians annoyed them from time to time, while
they were thus engaged, but fortunately killed but one man. On the 14th
day of June the fort was finished, and Boone started back for his family
on Clinch river. As an honor to him, the party gave to this first
settlement in the wilderness of Kentucky the name of Boonesborough.

   [4] It is said that it was by Daniel Boone's advice that
   they first thought of making this purchase.

He reached his family without accident, and, as rapidly as he could,
retraced his way with them through the forest. The fort consisted of
several cabins, surrounded by pickets ten feet high, planted firmly in
the ground. In one of these, Daniel Boone found a shelter for his
family. The long desire of his heart was at last gratified: he had a home
in Kentucky. He was the first settler of that region, and (as he proudly
said) his "wife and daughter the first white women that ever stood on the
banks of Kentucky river."


It was now the season of autumn; the trees had not yet shed their leaves,
and the forests were still beautiful. Mrs. Boone felt happy as she looked
upon her new home. Winter came, and glided rapidly and joyously away.
With their axes and rifles, the men in the settlement brought in constant
and ample supplies of fuel and game, and around the blazing hearth of
Daniel Boone there was not one in the family who sighed for the old home
on the Yadkin. Boone naturally supposed that a fear of the Indians would
be the principal trouble with his wife; and well she might dread them,
remembering the loss of her son formerly in the pass of the mountains.
Fortunately, however, she did not see an Indian through the season. But
one white man was killed by them during the winter, and he lost his life
by unfortunately wandering away from the fort unarmed. After this, the
other settlers were more prudent; they never went without the pickets for
fuel without taking their rifles.

When spring opened, they were soon very busy. A small clearing without
the pickets was first made for a garden-spot. Mrs. Boone and her daughter
brought out their stock of garden-seeds, and commenced cultivating this,
while the men went on earnestly in the work of preparing for their
fields. They were calculating that they were making their homes for life.
Day after day the neighborhood resounded with the crash of falling trees,
as these hardy men levelled the forests. While they were thus engaged,
they were made happy by a new arrival. Colonel Calloway, an old companion
of Boone's, led by the desire of finding his old friend and a new
country, came out to the settlement this spring, and brought with him his
two young daughters. Here, then, were companions for Boone's daughter.
The fathers were happy, and the mother and girls delighted.

Spring had not passed away, however, before they were in sorrow about
these children. When the wild flowers began to bloom in the woods, the
girls were in the habit of strolling around the fort and gathering them
to adorn their humble homes. This was an innocent and pleasant
occupation; it pleased the girls as well as their parents. They were
only cautioned not to wander far, for fear of the Indians. This caution,
it seems, was forgotten. Near the close of a beautiful day in July, they
were wandering, as usual, and the bright flowers tempted them to stroll
thoughtlessly onward. Indians were in ambush; they were suddenly
surrounded, seized, and hurried away, in spite of their screams for help.
They were carried by their captors to the main body of the Indian party,
some miles distant. Night came, and the girls did not return; search was
made for them, and they were nowhere to be found. The thought now flashed
upon Boone that the children were prisoners; the Indians had captured
them. The parents were well nigh frantic: possibly the girls were
murdered. Boone declared that he would recover his child, if alive, if he
lost his own life in the effort. The whole settlement was at once roused:
every man offered to start off with the two fathers in search of the
children. But Boone would not have them all; some must remain behind, to
protect the settlement. Of the whole number he chose seven; he and
Calloway headed them; and, in less time than I have been telling the
story, laden with their knapsacks and rifles, they were off in pursuit.

Which way were they to go? It was a long time before they could find a
track of the party. The wily Indians, as usual, had used all their
cunning in hiding their footprints and breaking their trail. Covering
their tracks with leaves; walking at right angles occasionally from the
main path; crossing brooks by walking in them for some time, and leaving
them at a point far from where they entered: all this had been practised,
and I presume that the fathers never would have got on the track if the
girls had not been as cunning as their captors. After wandering about for
some time, they came at length to a brook, and waded along it for a great
while in search of footprints. They looked faithfully far up and down the
stream, for they knew the Indian stratagem. Presently Calloway leaped up
for joy. "God bless my child!" cried he; "they have gone this way." He
had picked up a little piece of riband which one of his daughters had
dropped, purposely to mark the trail. Now they were on the track.
Travelling on as rapidly as they could, from time to time they picked up
shreds of handkerchiefs, or fragments of their dresses, that the girls
had scattered by the way. Before the next day ended, they were still more
clearly on the track. They reached a soft, muddy piece of ground, and
found all the footprints of the party; they were now able to tell the
number of the Indians. The close of the next day brought them still
nearer to the objects of their search. Night had set in; they were still
wandering on, when, upon reaching a small hill, they saw a camp-fire in
the distance. They were now delighted; this surely was the party that had
captured the girls. Everything was left to the management of Boone. He
brought his men as near the fire as he dared approach, and sheltered them
from observation under the brow of a hill. Calloway and another man were
then selected from the group; the rest were told that they might go to
sleep: they were, however, to sleep on their arms, ready to start
instantly at a given signal. Calloway was to go with Boone; the other man
was stationed on the top of the hill, to give the alarm, if necessary.
The two parents now crept cautiously onward to a covert of bushes not far
from the fire. Looking through, they saw fifteen or twenty Indians fast
asleep in the camp; but where were the girls? Crawling to another spot,
they pushed the bushes cautiously aside, and, to their great joy, saw in
another camp the daughters sleeping in each other's arms. Two Indians
with their tomahawks guarded this camp. One seemed to be asleep. They
crept gently around in the rear of this. They were afraid to use their
rifles: the report would wake the other camp. Calloway was to stand ready
to shoot the sleeping Indian if he stirred, while Boone was to creep
behind the other, seize, and strangle him. They were then to hurry off
with the children. Unfortunately, they calculated wrong: the Indian whom
they supposed to be sleeping was wide awake, and, as Boone drew near, his
shadow was seen by this man. He sprang up, and the woods rang with his
yell. The other camp was roused; the Indians came rushing to this.
Boone's first impulse was to use his rifle, but Calloway's prudence
restrained him. Had he fired, it would have been certain destruction to
parents and children. They surrendered themselves prisoners, pleading
earnestly at the same time for their captive daughters. The Indians bound
them with cords, placed guards over them, and then retired to their camp.
The poor girls, roused by the tumult, now saw their parents in this
pitiable condition. Here they were, likewise made captives, for their
love of them.

There was no more sleep in the Indian camp that night. Till the dawn of
the day they were talking of what should be done to the new prisoners:
some were for burning them at the stake; others objected to this. Boone
and Calloway were to be killed, but they were too brave to be killed in
this way. Some proposed making them run the gauntlet. At last it was
decided (in pity for the girls, it is said) that the parents should be
killed in a more decent and quiet way. They were to be tomahawked and
scalped, and the girls were still to be kept prisoners. With the
morning's light they started out to execute the sentence. That the poor
girls might not see their parents murdered the men were led off to the
woods, and there lashed to two trees. Two of the savages stood before
them with their tomahawks, while the rest were singing and dancing around
them. At length the tomahawks were lifted to strike them; at that instant
the crack of rifles was heard, and the two Indians fell dead. Another and
another report was heard: others fell, and the rest fled in dismay.
Boone's companions had saved them. All night long they had waited for the
signal: none had been given; they had heard the Indian yell; they feared
that they were taken. They had watched the camp with the greatest
anxiety, and now had delivered them. They were instantly untied; the
girls were quickly released, and in the arms of their parents; and they
all started joyously homeward. Mrs. Boone was delighted to see them. The
party had been so long gone, that she feared her husband and child were
alike lost to her for ever.

It is not surprising that when men found out that a settlement had been
made in Kentucky, others were soon ready to start off for that fertile
region. Accordingly, we find many arriving this year, and settling
themselves in the country. Harrod, Logan, Ray, Wagin, Bowman, and many
other fearless spirits, now threw themselves, like Boone, into the heart
of the wilderness, and made their forts, or stations, as they were
called. These were just like the home of Boone--nothing more than a few
log cabins, surrounded by pickets. Indeed, the country began now to
assume so much importance in the eyes of men, that the Governor of
Virginia thought proper to take some notice of it. When the legislature
met, he recommended that the southwestern part of the county of
Fincastle--which meant all the large tract of country west of the
Alleganies now known as Kentucky--should be made into a separate county,
by the name of Kentucky. The legislature thought it well to follow his
advice. The new county was made, and had the privilege of sending two
members to the Virginia legislature.

Nor is it surprising that the Indians began now to be more violent than
ever in their enmity. They had been unwilling before that a white man
should cross their path as they roamed over their hunting-grounds; but
now, when they saw clearings made, and houses built, they felt that the
whites meant to drive them for ever from that region. Their hatred
consequently increased now every hour. Another circumstance at this time
served to rouse them the more against the settlers. If you will think of
the period of which I am speaking (the year 1776), perhaps you may guess
what it was. The colonists of America in that year, you will remember,
declared themselves independent of Great Britain. In the war which
followed (known among us always as the Revolutionary War), England
struggled hard to subdue them; nor was she always choice as to the means
which she used for the purpose. She did not hesitate even to rouse the
red men of the forests, and give them arms to fight the colonists. They
were not only turned loose upon them with their own tomahawks and
scalping-knives, but were well supplied with British rifles and balls.
All the new settlements in the land were troubled with them, and Kentucky
had to bear her part of the sorrow. These Indians would scatter
themselves in small parties, and hang secretly for days and nights around
the infant stations. Until one is acquainted with Indian stratagems, he
can hardly tell how cunning these people are. By day they would hide
themselves in the grass, or behind the stumps of trees, near the pathways
to the fields or springs of water, and it was certain death to the white
man who travelled that way. At night they would creep up to the very
gateway of the pickets, and watch for hours for a white man. If any part
of his person was exposed, he was sure to catch a rifle-ball. It was
impossible to discover them, even when their mischief was done. They
would lie in the grass flat on their bellies for days, almost under the
very palisades. Sometimes an Indian yell would be heard near one point of
the fort, startling all the settlers--a yell raised only to draw them
all in one direction, while the Indians did their mischief in another. In
this sneaking mode of warfare, men, women, and children, were killed in
many places; and not unfrequently whole droves of cattle were cut off.

At length, to the great joy of the settlers, the Indians began to show
themselves more boldly: for anything was better than these secret
ambushes of the savages; an open enemy is not so much to be dreaded as a
secret one. Boonesborough and Harrodsburgh (a settlement made by James
Harrod, a bold adventurer from the banks of the Monongahela) were now the
principal stations. Toward these, new emigrants were from time to time
moving, and against these stations, as being the strongest, the Indians
felt the greatest hatred, and directed their principal attacks. Early in
the spring of 1777, a party was moving toward Harrodsburgh: fortunately,
the Indians attacked them; for, though two whites were killed, the attack
probably saved the settlement. It was only four miles from the place, and
the Indians were now on their way there. One young man escaped in the
midst of the fight to give the alarm at Harrodsburgh. The station was
instantly put in a state of defence. Ere long, the Indians appeared. A
brisk firing at once commenced on both sides; the savages saw one of
their men fall, and finding that they were not likely to gain any
advantage, soon scattered for the woods. The whites lost one man also,
and three were slightly wounded.

On the 15th of April, a party of one hundred savages appeared boldly
before Boonesborough. Every man of them was armed with his gun, as well
as bow and arrows. Boone, however, was prepared for them, and gave them a
warm reception--so warm, that they soon gladly retreated. How many of
their men were killed it was impossible to tell, for they dragged away
their dead with them. In the fort one man was killed, and four were badly

Their loss this time only served to make them more revengeful. In July
following they again came against Boonesborough, resolved upon vengeance.
They numbered this time more than two hundred. To prevent any of the
white settlements from sending aid to Boonesborough, they had sent off
small parties to molest them, and keep them busy. The savages now
commenced their attack, and for two days a constant firing was kept up.
At last, finding their efforts again idle, they raised a loud yell, and
returned to the forests. The whites could now count their slain and
wounded as they dragged them off: seven were killed, and numbers wounded,
while in the fort only one white man was slain. In spite of their numbers
and their cunning, they did but little harm: for Boone was never found
sleeping; he knew that Indians were his neighbors, and he was always
ready for them. After this, they learned to dread him more than ever. He
now went by the name of the "_Great Long Knife_."

Attacks of this kind were made from time to time openly against the
settlements, but especially against these two principal stations. They
all ended very much in the same way, and it would only weary you if I
should attempt to speak of them. It is enough for you to know that the
whites were always on the lookout, and that Boone was regarded as their
principal leader and protector. We will pass on, therefore, to something
more interesting.

I have already stated that the stations of these settlers were usually
built, for comfort's sake, in the neighborhood of salt licks or springs;
and near such a lick, as you will remember, Boonesborough stood. The
supply of salt, however, was not sufficient; new settlers were often
arriving, and it became necessary to seek a place which would afford more
of that article. Boone was the father of the settlement, and he undertook
to find it. Having selected thirty men as his companions, on the 1st of
January, 1778, he started for the Blue Licks, on Licking river--a stream,
as you know, emptying itself into the Ohio opposite where Cincinnati now
stands. Upon reaching this spot, the thirty men were soon very busy in
making salt. Boone, having no taste for the work, sauntered off to
employ himself in shooting game for the company. He had wandered some
distance from the river one day, when suddenly he came upon two Indians
armed with muskets. It was impossible for him to retreat, and the chances
were against him if he stood. His usual coolness did not forsake him; he
instantly jumped behind a tree. As the Indians came within gun-shot, he
exposed himself on the side of the tree: one savage immediately fired,
and Boone dodged the ball. One shot was thus thrown away, and this was
just what he desired. Exposing himself immediately in precisely the same
way, the other musket was discharged by the other Indian, to as little
purpose. He now stepped boldly out; the Indians were trying hard to load
again; he raised his rifle, and one savage fell dead. He was now on equal
terms with the other. Drawing his hunting-knife, he leaped forward and
placed his foot upon the body of the dead Indian; the other raised his
tomahawk to strike but Boone, with his rifle in his left hand, warded off
the blow, while with his right he plunged his knife into the heart of the
savage. His two foes lay dead before him. If you should ever visit
Washington city, you will see a memorial of this deed. The act is in
sculpture, over the southern door of the rotundo of the capitol.

After this he continued his hunting excursions as usual, for the benefit
of his party; but he was not so fortunate the next time he met with
Indians. On the 7th of February, as he was roaming through the woods, he
saw a party of one hundred savages on their way to attack Boonesborough.
His only chance for escape now was to run. He instantly fled, but the
swiftest warriors gave chase, and before a great while he was overtaken
and made a prisoner. He was, of all men, the one whom they desired to
take; they could now gain, as they thought, some information about
Boonesborough. They now carried him back to the Blue Licks. As they drew
near, Boone, knowing that it was idle to resist, made signs to the
salt-makers to surrender themselves. This they did, and thus the savages
soon had in their possession twenty-eight captives. Fortunately for
themselves, three of the men had started homeward with a supply of salt,
and thus escaped.

Now was the time for the savages to have attacked Boonesborough; for,
with the loss of so many men, and Boone their leader, we may readily
suppose that the station might have surrendered. Flushed, however, with
the capture of their prisoners, they seem not to have thought of it any

The prisoners were marched immediately to Old Chilicothe, the principal
Indian town on the Little Miami, where they arrived on the 18th. There
was great rejoicing over them when they reached this old settlement of
the savages, though Boone says they were "treated as kindly as prisoners
could expect." Early in the next month Boone with ten of his men was
marched off to Detroit by forty Indians. Here Governor Hamilton, the
British commander of that post, treated them with much kindness. The ten
men were soon delivered up for a small ransom. But when the Governor
offered them one hundred pounds to give up Boone, that he might allow him
to return home, they refused to part with him; they looked upon him as
too dangerous an enemy to be allowed to go free upon any terms. Several
English gentlemen were moved with pity when they saw Boone thus a
helpless prisoner, and offered to supply his wants. He thanked them for
their feeling, but refused to receive any aid, stating that he never
expected to be able to return their kindness, and therefore was unwilling
to receive it. The truth was, he was not disposed to receive assistance
from the enemies of his country.

With no other prisoner than Boone, the party now started again for Old
Chilicothe. As they drew near, after a very fatiguing march, Boone
thought he understood why they had refused to part with him. Before they
entered the village, they shaved his head, painted his face, and dressed
him like themselves; they then placed in his hands a long white staff,
ornamented with deers' tails. The chief of the party then raised a yell,
and all the warriors from the village answered it, and soon made their
appearance. Four young warriors commenced singing as they came toward
him. The two first, each bearing a calumet, took him by the arms and
marched him to a cabin in the village; here he was to remain until his
fate was made known to him. Of all strange customs of the Indians (and he
had seen many of them), this was the strangest to him. It is not
wonderful that he thought he was now to die.

Yet this was a common custom (it is said) among the Shawanese, who
inhabited this village. Prisoners were often thus carried to some cabin,
and then the Indian living in the cabin decided what should be
done--whether the prisoner should die, or be adopted into the tribe. It
happened that in this cabin lived an old Indian woman, who had lately
lost a son in battle. She, of course, was to decide Boone's fate. She
looked at him earnestly, admired his noble bearing and cheerful face, and
at length declared that he should live. He should be her son, she said;
he should be to her the son whom she had lost. The young warriors
instantly announced to him his fate, and the fact was soon proclaimed
through the village. Food was brought out and set before him; and every
effort, which Indian love could think of, was used to make him happy. He
was fairly one of the tribe; and the old woman who was to be his mother
was especially delighted.

He was now as free as the rest; his only sorrow was that he had to live
among them. He knew, too, that if he should be caught trying to make his
escape, it would be certain death to him. He pretended, therefore, to be
cheerful and happy; and fortunately his old habits enabled him to play
his part well. Like them, he was a man of the woods, and as fond of
hunting as any of them. They all soon became attached to him, and treated
him with the utmost confidence.

Sometimes large parties would go out to try their skill at their sports
of racing and shooting at a mark. Boone was always with them; he knew,
however, that in trials of this kind the Indians were always jealous if
they were beaten, and therefore he had to act very prudently. At racing,
they could excel him; but at shooting, he was more than a match for any
of them. Still, when the target was set up, he was always certain to be
beaten. If he shot too well, they would be jealous and angry; if he shot
badly, they would hold him in contempt: and therefore he would manage to
make good shots, and yet never be the successful man. He knew too much of
Indians not to conduct himself properly.

Sometimes they would start out upon hunting parties. Here Boone was at
home; there was no jealousy when he brought down a buffalo or a deer with
his rifle-ball. He might do his best; they were true hunters themselves,
and were delighted with every successful shot. Returning to the village,
Boone would always visit the Shawanese chief, and present him a portion
of his game. By this kindness and civility he completely won the heart of
the chief, and was not unfrequently consulted by him on important
matters. Thus he passed his time, joining in all their modes of living;
he was beloved by the old woman, the chief, and all the tribe: and none
suspected that he was not contented and happy.

On the 1st of June, a large party was starting from the village for the
salt-licks on the Scioto, to make salt. Boone pretended to be indifferent
whether he went or not. The truth was, however, that he was very anxious
to go, for he thought it would afford a fine opportunity for him to
escape. He seemed so indifferent about the matter, that the party urged
him to accompany them, and off he started. For ten days most of them were
busy making salt, while Boone and two or three of the best marksmen
hunted for the benefit of the rest. He watched his chance for escape, but
none occurred; he was closely observed, it was impossible for him to
attempt it. To his great sorrow, he was forced to return home with the

They had scarcely got back, when the whole village was summoned to the
council-house, to attend a council of war. Boone, as belonging to one of
the principal families, went to this council. Here he met four hundred
and fifty armed Indians, all gayly painted. One of the oldest warriors
then struck a large drum, and marched with the war-standard three times
round the council-house: this was the sure signal that they were about to
make war upon some enemy. But who was the enemy? What was Boone's
surprise when it was announced that they meant to attack Boonesborough!
He resolved now that he would escape, even at every hazard, and alarm the
settlement. Still his prudence did not forsake him.

The old warriors at once commenced gathering together a supply of parched
corn, and beating up more recruits for the expedition. All the new men
(Boone among the rest, for he was forced to join them) were then marched
off to the "winter-house" to drink the war-drink. This was a mixture of
water and bitter herbs and roots, and was to be drank steadily for three
days, during which time no man was to eat a morsel. Even if a deer or
buffalo passed by, no man was to kill it; the fast must be kept. In fact,
no man was allowed even to sit down, or rest himself by leaning against a
tree. This was done by the old men to purify the young warriors, as they
said, and to gain the favor of the Great Spirit. All this was a common
practice with the tribe before they went to battle; and the more strictly
the fast was kept, the greater (as they supposed) were the chances of
success. During these three days, Boone, like the rest, kept the fast,
drank the war-drink, and did not even leave the "medicine-ground."

The fast being over, they fired their guns, yelled, danced, and sang; and
in the midst of this noise the march commenced. The leading war-chief,
bearing the medicine-bag, or budget (as it was called), went before; the
rest followed in single file. Nothing but shouting and yelling, and the
noise of guns, was heard, as they passed through the village. When they
reached the woods, all the noise ceased; they were fairly on their march,
and that march was to be made after the Indian fashion, in dead silence.
For several days this dead march was kept up, Boone looking every hour
for his chance of escape. At length, early one morning, a deer dashed by
the line. Boone leaped eagerly after him, and started in pursuit. No
sooner was he out of sight of the Indians, than he pressed for
Boonesborough. He knew they would give chase, and therefore he doubled
his track, waded in streams, and did everything that he could to throw
them off his trail. Every sound startled him; he thought the Indians were
behind him. With no food but roots and berries, and scarcely time to
devour these, he pushed through swamps and thickets for his old home. Now
or never was his chance for liberty, and as such he used it. At length,
after wandering nearly two hundred miles, on the fourth day he reached
Boonesborough in safety.


Before we go on, let me tell you of some of the curious customs which
Boone noticed among the Indians, during his captivity. He had a fine
opportunity for observation, and I think these strange customs will
interest you.

It is not wonderful that Indian men and women are so hardy; they are
trained to it from their youth: and Boone tells us how they are trained.
When a child is only eight years old, this training commences; he is then
made to fast frequently half a day; when he is twelve, he is made to fast
a whole day. During the time of this fast, the child is left alone, and
his face is always blacked. This mode of hardening them is kept up with
girls until they are fourteen--with boys until they are eighteen. At
length, when a boy has reached the age of eighteen, his parents tell him
that his education is completed, and that he is old enough to be a man!
His face is now to be blacked for the last time. He is taken to a
solitary cabin far away from the village; his face is blacked, and then
his father makes to him a speech of this kind: "My son, the Great Spirit
has allowed you to live to see this day. We have all noticed your conduct
since I first began to black your face. All people will understand
whether you have followed your father's advice, and they will treat you
accordingly. You must now remain here until I come after you." The lad is
then left alone. His father then goes off hunting, as though nothing had
happened, and leaves his boy to bear his hunger as long it is possible
for him to starve and live. At length he prepares a great feast, gathers
his friends together, and then returns. The lad is then brought home, his
face is washed in cold water, his hair is shaved, leaving nothing but the
scalp-lock; they all commence eating, but the food of the lad is placed
before him in a separate dish. This being over, a looking-glass and a bag
of paint are then presented to him. Then they all praise him for his
firmness, and tell him that he is a man. Strange as it may seem, a boy is
hardly ever known to break his fast when he is blacked this way for the
last time. It is looked upon as something base, and they have a dread
that the Great Spirit will punish them if they are disobedient to their

Another curious habit which surprised Boone was that of continually
changing names. A white man carries the same name from the cradle to the
grave, but among these people it was very different. Their principal
arms, as you know, are the tomahawk and scalping-knife, and he who can
take the greatest number of scalps is the greatest man. From time to
time, as warriors would return from an attack upon some enemy, these new
names would begin to be known. Each man would count the number of scalps
he had taken, and a certain number entitled him to a new name, in token
of his bravery. It is not wonderful that they were revengeful, when they
were stimulated by this sort of ambition. Besides this, they believed
that he who took the scalp of a brave man received at once all his
courage and other good qualities; and this made them more eager in their
thirst for scalps. In this way, names of warriors were sometimes changed
three or four times in a year.

Marriages in this tribe were conducted very decently. When a young
warrior desired to marry, he assembled all his friends, and named the
woman whom he wished for his wife. His relations then received his
present, and took it to the parents of the young woman. If they were
pleased with the proposal, they would dress the young woman in her
gayest clothes, and take her, with bundles of presents, to the friends of
the warrior; then, if she pleased, she was to be married. There was no
compulsion in the matter. If she was not satisfied, she had only to
return his present to the young warrior, and this was considered a

Their mode of burying their dead was very much like that of all the
Indians. The dead body was sometimes placed in a pen made of sticks and
covered over with bark; sometimes it was placed in a grave, and covered
first with bark, and then with dirt; and sometimes, especially in the
case of the young, it was placed in a rude coffin, and suspended from the
top of a tree. This last was a common mode of infant burial, and the
mother of the child would often be found, long after, standing under the
tree, and singing songs to her babe.

Boone witnessed, too, the mode in which war-parties start off for war.
The budget, or medicine-bag, is first made up. This bag contains
something belonging to each man of the party--something usually
representing some animal, such as the skin of a snake, the tail of a
buffalo, the horns of a buck, or the feathers of a bird. It is always
regarded as a very sacred thing. The leader of the party goes before with
this; the rest follow in single file. When they come to a stand, the
budget is laid down in front, and no man may pass it without permission.
To keep their thoughts upon the enterprise in which they are engaged, no
man is allowed to talk of women or his home. At night, when they encamp,
the heart of whatever animal has been killed during the day is cut into
small pieces and then burnt. During the burning no man is allowed to step
across the fire, but must always walk around it in the direction of the
sun. When they spy the enemy, and the attack is to be made, the
war-budget is opened. Each man takes out his budget, or _totem_, and
fastens it to his body. After the fight, each man again returns his
_totem_ to the leader. They are all again tied up, and given to the man
who has taken the first scalp. He then leads the party in triumph home.

Boone had not long been a prisoner among them when a successful war-party
returned home and celebrated their victory. When the party came within a
day's march of the village, a messenger was sent in to tell of their
success. An order was instantly issued that every cabin should be swept
clean, and the women as quickly commenced the work. When they had
finished, the cabins were all inspected, to see if they were in proper
order. Next day the party approached the village. They were all
frightfully painted, and each man had a bunch of white feathers on his
head. They were marching in single file, the chief of the party leading
the way, bearing in one hand a branch of cedar, laden with the scalps
they had taken, and all chanting their war-song. As they entered the
village, the chief led the way to the war-pole which stood in front of
the council-house. In this house the council-fire was then burning. The
waiter, or _Etissu_ of the leader, then fixed two blocks of wood near the
war-pole, and placed upon them a kind of ark, which was regarded by them
as one of their most sacred things. The chief now ordered that all should
sit down. He then inquired whether his cabin was prepared, and everything
made ready, according to the custom of his fathers. They then rose up and
commenced the war-whoop, as they marched round the war-pole. The ark was
then taken and carried with great solemnity into the council-house, and
here the whole party remained three days and nights, separate from the
rest of the people. Their first business now was to wash themselves
clean, and sprinkle themselves with a mixture of bitter herbs. While they
were thus in the house, all their female relatives, after having bathed
and dressed themselves in their finest clothes, placed themselves in two
lines facing each other on each side of the door. Here they continued
singing a slow monotonous song all day and night; the song was kept up
steadily for one minute, with intervals of ten minutes of dead silence
between. About once in three hours the chief would march out at the head
of his warriors, raise the war-whoop, and pass around the war-pole,
bearing his branch of cedar. This was all that was done for the whole
three days and nights. At length the purification was ended, and upon
each of their cabins was placed a twig of the cedar with a fragment of
the scalps fastened to it, to satisfy the ghosts of their departed
friends. All were now quiet as usual, except the leader of the party and
his waiter, who kept up the purification three days and nights longer.
When he had finished, the budget was hung up before his door for thirty
or forty days, and from time to time Indians of the party would be seen
singing and dancing before it. When Boone asked the meaning of all this
strange ceremony, they answered him by a word which he says meant _holy_.

As this party had brought in no prisoners, he did not now witness their
horrible mode of torture. Before he left them, however, he saw enough of
their awful cruelty in this way. Sometimes the poor prisoner would be
tied to a stake, a pile of green wood placed around him, fire applied,
and the poor wretch left to his horrible fate, while, amid shouts and
yells, the Indians departed. Sometimes he would be forced to run the
gauntlet between two rows of Indians, each one striking at him with a
club until he fell dead. Others would be fastened between two stakes,
their arms and legs stretched to each of them, and then quickly burnt by
a blazing fire. A common mode was to pinion the arms of the prisoner, and
then tie one end of a grape-vine around his neck, while the other was
fastened to the stake. A fire was then kindled, and the poor wretch would
walk the circle; this gave the savages the comfort of seeing the poor
creature literally roasting, while his agony was prolonged. Perhaps this
was the most popular mode, too, because all the women and children could
join in it. They were there, with their bundles of dry sticks, to keep
the fire blazing, and their long switches, to beat the prisoner. Fearful
that their victim might die too soon, and thus escape their cruelty, the
women would knead cakes of clay and put them on the skull of the poor
sufferer, that the fire might not reach his brain and instantly kill him.
As the poor frantic wretch would run round the circle, they would yell,
dance, and sing, and beat him with their switches, until he fell
exhausted. At other times, a poor prisoner would be tied, and then
scalding water would be poured upon him from time to time till he died.
It was amazing, too, to see how the warriors would sometimes bear these
tortures. Tied to the stake, they would chant their war-songs, threaten
their captors with the awful vengeance of their tribe, boast of how many
of their nation they had scalped and tell their tormentors how they
might increase their torture. In the midst of the fire they would stand
unflinching, and die without changing a muscle. It was their glory to die
in this way; they felt that they disappointed their enemies in their last

While Boone was with them, a noted warrior of one of the western tribes,
with which the Shawanese were at war, was brought in as a captive. He was
at once condemned, stripped, fastened to the stake, and the fire kindled.
After suffering without flinching for a long time, he laughed at his
captors, and told them they did not know how to make an enemy eat fire.
He called for a pipe and tobacco. Excited by his bravery, they gave it to
him. He sat down on the burning coals, and commenced smoking with the
utmost composure; not a muscle of his countenance moved. Seeing this, one
of his captors sprang forward and cried out that he was a true warrior.
Though he had murdered many of their tribe, yet he should live, if the
fire had not spoiled him. The fire had, however, well nigh done its work.
With that, he declared that he was too brave a man to suffer any longer.
He seized a tomahawk and raised it over the head of the prisoner: still a
muscle did not move. He did not even change his posture. The blow was
given, and the brave warrior fell dead.

While among them, Boone also witnessed the mode in which, the Shawanese
make a treaty of peace. The warriors of both tribes between which the
treaty was to be made, met together first, ate and smoked in a friendly
way, and then pledged themselves in a sacred drink called _cussena_. The
Shawanese then waved large fans, made of eagles' tails, and danced. The
other party, after this, chose six of their finest young men, painted
them with white clay, and adorned their heads with swans' feathers; their
leader was then placed on what was called the "consecrated seat." After
this they all commenced dancing, and singing their song of peace. They
danced first in a bending posture; then stood upright, still dancing, and
bearing in their right hands their fans, while in their left they carried
a calabash, tied to a stick about a foot long, and with this continually
beat their breasts. During all this, some added to the noise by rattling
pebbles in a gourd. This being over, the peace was concluded. It was an
act of great solemnity, and no warrior was considered as well trained,
who did not know how to join in every part of it.

Many other strange things were seen by Boone among these people, but
these are enough to show you that he was among a strange people, with
habits very unlike his own. It is not wonderful that he sighed to escape,
when he looked upon their horrid tortures. Independently of his love for
Boonesborough, he did not know but that such tortures might be his at any
moment, when they became excited. Fortunately, as we have seen, he did
escape, and we will now go on with his story.


When Boone reached Boonesborough, the object he most loved was not to be
found. His poor wife, wearied with waiting for him, and naturally
concluding that he was lost to her for ever, had returned to her friends
on the Yadkin. The settlers had begged her to remain, and offered her
every kindness; but her husband was gone: she was heart-sick, and longed
to return to her friends in Carolina. Disappointed as he was, however, he
had no time to waste in sorrow. The Indians were approaching, and
Boonesborough was well nigh defenceless. Just before his return, a Major
Smith had taken charge of the post, and been busy in strengthening it,
but much was still to be done. Boone's energies were now at work, and in
a little time the station was ready for an attack. A white man now came
into the settlement with news. He had escaped from the Indians. The
party from which Boone had escaped had postponed their attack for three
weeks, and gone back to strengthen themselves. They felt that Boone had
reached home--the alarm was given, the place fortified--and that it was
idle to attack it at this time.

Boone determined at once to improve the mean season. With nineteen men,
he started off to surprise the Indians at Paint Creek Town, a small
village on the Scioto. When he came within four miles of the place, he
met a party of the savages on their way to join the large body marching
against Boonesborough. The fight instantly commenced: one Indian fell
dead, several were wounded, and the rest were forced to retreat; their
horses and all their baggage fell into the hands of Boone. Two men were
now sent to reconnoitre the town. They found no Indians there; they had
all left. After setting fire to the village, they returned, and Boone
immediately hurried homeward.

He had scarcely entered the station, and closed the gates, when an army
of four hundred and forty-four Indians, led on by a Frenchman named
Duquesne, appeared before the settlement. They soon sent in a flag,
demanding, in the name of the King of Great Britain, that the station
should instantly surrender. A council was immediately held in the fort.
With such a force before them, Smith was in favor of meeting their
proposal; Boone opposed it; the settlers backed him in this opposition;
and he sent back for an answer to the Indians that the gates should never
be opened to them. Presently another flag of truce was sent in, with a
message that they had a letter for Colonel Boone from Governor Hamilton,
of Detroit. Upon hearing this, it was thought best that Boone and Smith
should go out and meet them, and hear what they had to say.

Fifty yards from the fort they were met by three chiefs, who received
them very cordially, and led them to the spot where they were to hold the
parley. Here they were seated upon a panther's skin, while the Indians
held branches over their heads to protect them from the sun. The chiefs
then commenced talking in a friendly way, and some of their warriors now
came forward, grounded their arms, and shook hands with them. Then the
letter of General Hamilton was read; he invited them to surrender and
come at once to Detroit where they should be treated with all kindness.
Smith objected to this proposal, declaring that it was impossible for
them, at this time, to move their women and children; but the Indians had
an answer ready: they had brought forty horses with them, they said,
expressly to help them in removing. After a long and friendly talk, the
white men returned to the fort, for the purpose, as they said, of
considering the proposal. They now informed the settlers that the Indians
had no cannon, and advised them never to think of surrendering. Every man
thought the advice good.

The Indians now sent in another flag, and asked what treaty the whites
were ready to make. Boone, who had suspected treachery all the time, at
once sent a reply, that if they wished to make a treaty, the place for
making it, must be within sixty yards of the fort. This displeased them
at first, but at last, they consented. He then stationed some of his men,
with their guns, in one angle of the fort, with orders to fire if it
became necessary, and, with Smith, started out to meet them. After a long
talk with thirty chiefs, terms were agreed upon, and the treaty was ready
to be signed; the chiefs now said that it was customary with them, on
such occasions, for the Indians to shake hands with every white man who
signed the treaty, as a token of the warmest friendship. Boone and Smith
agreed to this, and the shaking of hands commenced; presently, they found
themselves seized in the crowd--the Indians were dragging them off; a
fire from the fort now levelled the savages who grasped them; the rest
were in confusion, and, in the confusion, Boone and Smith escaped and
rushed into the fort. In the struggle Boone was wounded, though not
dangerously. It was a narrow escape for both of them.

There was no more chance for deception now; the Indians were
disappointed, and the whites were provoked at their treachery. A brisk
firing now commenced on both sides; Duquesne harangued the Indians and
urged them on, while the whites shouted from the fort, upbraided them as
treacherous cowards, and defied them. The attack was furious, the firing
was kept up till dark, and many an Indian fell that day before
Boonesborough. The whites, sheltered by their pickets, made easy havoc
among them.

When night came, the exasperated Indians crawled under the pickets and
began to throw burning materials into the fort, hoping to set all on
fire; but in this they were disappointed--there were ample supplies of
water inside, and the fire was put out as fast as it fell.

The next day the firing was resumed, and day after day it continued, the
Indians failing to make any impression. They were too far from the
fort--the first day's work had taught them not to come near. At last they
formed a wiser plan for doing mischief. Boonesborough, as you will
remember, was only sixty yards from the river, and they determined, by
the advice of the Frenchman, to let the water in and force the settlers
out. In the night, they commenced the work of digging a trench under
ground, from the river. In the morning Boone looked out upon the river,
and perceiving that it was muddy, instantly guessed the cause. He
immediately set his men to the work of cutting a trench inside the fort,
to cross the subterranean passage of the Indians. The savages saw what
was doing, for Boone's men were constantly shovelling dirt over the
pickets, but they persevered earnestly in their design. At last, however,
they were forced to stop, for the dirt caved in as fast as they dug;
disappointed in this, they now summoned the station once more to a
treaty. But Boone laughed at them. "Do you suppose," said he, "we would
pretend to treat with such treacherous wretches? Fire on, you only waste
your powder; the gates shall never be opened to you while there is a man
of us living." Taking his advice, they commenced their firing again; at
last, on the ninth day of the siege, wearied with their fruitless labor,
they killed all the cattle they could find, raised a yell, and departed.
This was a terrible siege for the Indians; it is said that they lost two
hundred men; Boone counted thirty-seven chief warriors; while the whites,
defended by their pickets, had but two killed and four wounded. You may
judge, too, how industrious the savages had been, when I tell you that
the whites who wanted lead, commenced gathering their balls after they
left, and succeeded in picking out of the logs, and from the ground, one
hundred and twenty-five pounds.

Boone having thus successfully defended his settlement, determined now to
go in search of his wife. Accustomed to travelling through the woods, he
soon made his lonely journey to the Yadkin. They were amazed as he
entered the house of Mr. Bryan, his wife's father. The appearance of one
risen from the grave could not have surprised them more than that of
Boone--the lost man was among them, and great was their rejoicing. He now
remained here with his family for some time, and here we will leave him
for a little while, to talk of what happened in Kentucky during his

The Kentuckians, roused by the Indian hostility and treachery, determined
soon after he left to inflict punishment upon them; against the Shawanese
they were most provoked; it was among them that most of the plots against
the whites were formed, and the attack, therefore, was to be made upon
them. An army of one hundred and sixty men was soon collected, and the
command was given to a brave man named Colonel Bowman; they were to march
directly against old Chilicothe, the den of the savages.

In July of this year (1779), they started and reached the home of the
Indians, without being discovered. At daylight, the fight commenced and
continued till ten o'clock. Bowman's men fought bravely, but the Indians
had every advantage. Knowing all the woods about their settlement, while
one party fought openly, the other, concealed behind the grass and trees,
poured in a deadly fire upon the whites. He was forced at last to retreat
as rapidly as possible to a distance of thirty miles; but the Indians
pursued him here, doing more mischief than before. The savages fought
desperately. His men were falling around him, and but for Colonel Harrod,
every man of them might have been killed. Seeing the slaughter that was
continually increasing, he mounted a body of horsemen and made a charge
upon the enemy; this broke their ranks, they were thrown into confusion,
and Bowman, with the remnant of his men, was enabled to retreat.

This attack only exasperated the Indians. In the course of the next
summer (after doing much mischief in a smaller way in the meantime), they
gathered together to the number of six hundred, and led on by Colonel
Bird, a British officer, came down upon Riddle's and Martin's stations,
at the forks of Licking river. They had with them six cannons, and
managed their matters so secretly, that the first news of their approach
was given to the settlers by the roar of their guns. Of course it was of
no use to resist; the pickets could not defend them from cannon-balls;
the settlers were forced to surrender. The savages rushed into the
station and instantly killed one man and two women with their tomahawks;
all the others, many of whom were sick, were now loaded with baggage and
forced to march off with the Indians. It was certain death to any one,
old or young, male or female, who became, on the march, too weak and
exhausted to travel farther; they were instantly killed with the

Flushed with success, the Indians were now more troublesome than ever; it
was impossible for the whites to remain in the country if matters were to
go on in this way. The inhabitants at last threw themselves upon the
protection of Colonel Clarke, who commanded a regiment of United States
soldiers at the falls of the Ohio. At the head of his men and a large
number of volunteers, he marched against Pecaway, one of the principal
towns of the Shawanese; numbers of the savages were killed, and the town
was burnt to ashes. This was a triumph, but it was a triumph gained by
the loss of seventeen of his men.

In 1780, Boone again returned to Boonesborough with his family, bringing
with him also a younger brother. The elder brother (who had been in
Kentucky before, as you will remember) now returned also, and made his
home at a spot not far from the place where the town of Shelbyville now
stands. The settlers were all delighted to see their old friend Daniel
Boone once more among them; they now felt that their leader was on the
ground. Mrs. Boone too felt happy. Though she was again on "_the dark and
bloody ground_," her husband was with her.

In a little time his services were again especially needed. The want of
salt, their old trouble was upon them, and they looked to Boone to
procure it. Ever ready, he started off with his younger brother to the
Blue Licks, the place of his former trouble; here he was destined to meet
with trouble again. They had made as much salt as they could carry, and
were now returning to Boonesborough with their packs, when they were
suddenly overtaken by a party of savages; the Indians immediately fired,
and Boone's brother fell dead. Daniel Boone turned, levelled his rifle at
the foremost Indian, and brought him down; with a loud yell the party now
rushed toward him. He snatched his brother's rifle, levelled another, and
then ran. The Indians gave chase, but he managed to keep ahead, and even
found time to reload his rifle. He knew that his only chance for escape
was to distance them, and break his trail. He passed the brow of a hill,
jumped into a brook below, waded in it for some distance, and then struck
off at right angles from his old course. Upon looking back he found, to
his sorrow, that he had not succeeded--the Indians were still on his
track. Presently, he came to a grape-vine, and tried his old experiment
at breaking the trail. This was to no purpose, he found the savages still
following him. After travelling some distance farther, upon looking round
he saw the cause of his trouble; the Indians had a dog with them, and
this dog, scenting his track, kept them for ever on his course. His rifle
was loaded--the dog was far ahead of the party--and Boone sent a rifle
ball through him. He now pushed on, doubling his course from time to
time; the Indians lost track of him, and he reached Boonesborough in

In spite of the continued annoyance of the Indians, the white settlements
had continued to grow, and there were now so many white men in the
country, that in the fall of this year (1780), Kentucky was divided into
the three counties of Jefferson, Fayette, and Lincoln. Our friend, Daniel
Boone, was appointed to command the militia in his county, and William
Pope, and Benjamin Logan, two brave men, were to have the command in

The winter of this year soon set in, and it proved a hard one. The
settlers, however, bore it cheerfully, for they were accustomed to
hardships. Hard as it was, too, it proved mild to the next that followed.
The winter of 1781 was long remembered as "the cold winter" in Kentucky.
To make it harder, the Indians, after doing much mischief through the
summer, had destroyed most of the crops the preceding fall, and the
settlers had small supplies of food. But the forest was around them;
Boone and Harrod were among them, and these two men found food enough.
Every day they went out in the winter's storms--every night they came in
laden with deer and buffaloes. The people learned to live on nothing but
meat. Boone and Harrod drove away all thoughts of starvation. They had,
however, this one comfort: the cold weather kept the Indians at home.
They had no disturbances throughout the winter from them.

When spring opened, however, the savages showed themselves more furious,
if possible, than ever. Their plans of mischief were better laid; they
seemed to have been feeding their revenge fat. Open and secret war was
all around the settlers. It would be idle for me to attempt to give
details of the doings of the savages. Ashton's, Hoy's, M'Afee's,
Kincheloe's, and Boone's station, near Shelbyville, were all attacked.
Men were shot down in the open fields, or waylaid in every pathway. The
early annals of Kentucky are filled with stories of many a brave white
man at this time. There were Ashton, Holden, Lyn, Tipton, Chapman, White,
Boone, Floyd, Wells, the M'Afees, M'Gary, Randolph, Reynolds, and others,
some of whom were killed, and all of whom had their hard struggles. The
history of that spring is only a story of burnings, captures, and
murders, on the part of the savages. It was a dark period for the white
men; even Boone, with all his vigor and fearlessness, thought it the
darkest period he had known in that region. The savages seemed bent upon
a war of extermination.

Not satisfied with such mischief as they had already done, in the early
part of the summer the savages held a grand council at Old Chilicothe, to
arrange their plans for further destruction. There were chiefs there from
the Cherokees, Wyandots, Tawas, Pottawattomies, and most of the tribes
bordering on the lakes. Two notorious white villains--whose names will
never be forgotten in Kentucky--were there also, to aid them with their
counsels. These were Girty and M'Kee, infamous men, who lived among the
Indians, and lived only by murdering their own countrymen. Their plan was
soon settled. Bryant's station, near Lexington, was known to be a strong
post, and this was to be attacked. This station had within it forty
cabins, and here it was thought they might make the greatest slaughter.
The warriors were to gather as rapidly as possible for the enterprise.

In a little time, five hundred of them rallied at Girty's cabin, ready
for their departure. The white rascal then made a speech to them. He told
them that "Kentucky was a beautiful hunting-ground, filled with deer and
buffaloes, for their comfort; the white men had come to drive them away;
the ground was now red with the blood of the red men that had been slain.
But vengeance they would have--now, before the whites were yet fastened
in the country, they would strike a blow, and drive them off for ever."
Then he talked of the plan before them. He advised them to descend the
Miami in their canoes, cross the Ohio, ascend the Licking, and then they
might paddle their boats almost to the station. His speech was answered
by a loud yell from the Indians, and they all started off for their
boats--Simon Girty, with his ruffled shirt and soldier coat, marching at
their head.

On the night of the 15th of August, they arrived before the station. In
the morning, as the gates were opened, the men were fired at by the
savages, and this was the first news to the whites of the approach of the
enemy. It was fortunate that they had shown themselves thus early: in two
hours more, most of the men were to have started off to aid a distant
feeble station. As soon as the whites found they were besieged, they
managed to send off the news to Lexington.

The Indians now, as usual, commenced their stratagems. The large body
concealed themselves in the grass near the pathway to the spring, while
one hundred went round and attacked the southeast angle of the station.
Their hope was to draw the whites all to that quarter, while they forced
an entrance on the other side. But the white men understood this sort of
cunning; they had lived among the Indians too long to be caught by such
tricks: instead of noticing the attack, they went on quietly with the
work of repairing and strengthening their palisades.

But water, one of the necessaries of life, was soon wanting. The whites,
as they looked at the tall grass and weeds near the spring, felt that
Indians were lurking there. The women now came forward and insisted upon
it that they would go and bring water. "What if they do shoot us?" they
said; "it is better to lose a woman than a man at such a time." With
that, they started out, and, strange to tell, went back and forth,
bringing supplies of water, without any difficulty. Some of the young men
now went out upon the same purpose. They had scarcely left the station,
when they were fired upon. Fortunately, the Indians were too far to do
any mischief; the men retreated rapidly within the palisades. The
Indians, finding their stratagem fruitless, now rushed forward, and
commenced a tremendous attack. The whites received them with a steady
fire, and many of them fell. Enraged the more, they now discharged their
burning arrows into the roofs of the houses; some of the cabins were
burnt, but an east wind was blowing at the time, and that saved the

The enemy now fell back into the grass. They had found out, in some way,
that help was expected from Lexington, and they were preparing to cut it
off. In a little time, all was still. Presently sixteen horsemen,
followed by thirty-one foot-soldiers, were seen coming; these were the
men from Lexington. Thinking only of the distress of their friends, they
were hurrying along, when the Indians opened a fire upon them. The
horsemen galloped off in a cloud of dust, and reached the station in
safety. The soldiers on foot, in their effort to escape, plunged into the
cornfields on either side of the road, only to meet the enemy. A
desperate fight commenced on both sides: two soldiers were killed; the
rest--four of them having dangerous wounds--reached the pickets. The
exasperated Indians, disappointed at the escape of this party, now
wreaked their vengeance by killing all the cattle they could find.

Finding all their efforts to enter the station idle, Simon Girty now came
near enough to be heard, mounted a stump, and holding in his hand a flag
of truce, began to talk. "Surrender promptly," cried Simon; "if you
surrender promptly, no blood shall be shed; but if you will not
surrender, then know that our cannons and reinforcements are coming. We
will batter down your pickets as we did at Riddle's and Martin's; every
man of you shall be slain; two are dead already four are wounded; every
man shall die." This language was so insolent, that some of the settlers
cried out, "Shoot the rascal!" No man, however, lifted his rifle; the
flag of truce protected him. "I am under a flag of truce," cried Simon;
"do you know who it is that speaks to you?"

Upon this, a young man named Reynolds leaped up and cried out, "Know
you! know you! yes, we know you well. Know Simon Girty! yes: he is the
renegado, cowardly villain, who loves to murder women and children,
especially those of his own people. Know Simon Girty! yes: his father
must have been a panther, and his mother a wolf. I have a worthless dog
that kills lambs: instead of shooting him, I have named him Simon Girty.
You expect reinforcements and cannon, do you? Cowardly wretches like you,
that make war upon women and children, would not dare to touch them off,
if you had them. We expect reinforcements, too, and in numbers to give a
short account of the murdering cowards that follow you. Even if you could
batter down our pickets, I, for one, hold your people in too much
contempt to shoot rifles at them. I would not waste powder and ball upon
you. Should you even enter our fort, I am ready for you; I have roasted a
number of hickory switches, with which we mean to whip you and your naked
cut-throats out of the country!"

Simon was now furious; cursing and swearing, he went back to his friends,
amid the loud laughs and jeers of the whites. In a little time, the
firing was renewed; it was all to no purpose: no white man suffered, and
every Indian who came within gun-shot of the fort was sure to fall. In
the course of the night the whole party sneaked off, and their tracks
indicated that they had started for the Blue Licks. They left behind them
thirty of their number slain.


Colonel Todd, of Lexington, instantly despatched news of this attack on
Bryant's station, to Colonel Boone, at Boonesborough, and Colonel Trigg,
near Harrodsburgh. In a little time, one hundred and seventy-six men were
collected under these three officers, to march in pursuit. Majors M'Gary
and Harland now joined them, determined that they would have a part in
the punishment of the savages. It was known, too, that Colonel Logan was
collecting a force, and a council of officers was at once held, to
determine whether they should march on, or wait for him. They were all so
eager to be off, that it was thought best to march immediately. The march
was therefore commenced forthwith.

Following on in the trail of the Indians, they had not gone far, when
Boone saw enough to convince him that the Indians would not only be
willing, but glad to meet them. No effort had been made to conceal their
trail; the trees were even marked on their pathway, that the whites
might follow on; and they had tried to conceal their numbers, by
treading in each other's footsteps. He called the attention of his
companions to this, but still they proceeded onward.

They saw no Indians until they came to the Licking river, not far from
the Blue Licks. A party was now seen on the other side of the stream,
leisurely crossing a hill. A council was at once held, and the officers
all turned to Boone for advice. His advice was given frankly: he was for
waiting till Logan should arrive with his men. The Indian party, he felt
assured, was at the least from four to five hundred strong, and the
unconcerned mode in which the Indians crossed the hill showed that the
main body was near, and their design was to draw them over the river.
Moreover, he was acquainted with all that region of the country. After
they crossed the ford, they would come upon deep ravines not far from the
bank, where, no doubt, the Indians were in ambush. If, however, they were
determined not to wait for Logan, he advised that the country might at
least be reconnoitred before the attack was made. A part of the men, he
thought, might cross the stream, and move up cautiously on the other
side, while the remainder would stand where they were, ready to assist
them at the first alarm. Todd and Trigg thought the advice good, and were
disposed to heed it; but, just at this moment, Major M'Gary, more
hot-headed than wise, spurred his horse into the water, gave the Kentucky
war-whoop, and cried out, "All those that are not cowards will follow me;
I will show them where the Indians are." The men were roused by this show
of bravery, and they all crossed the ford.

The banks were steep on the other side, and many of them now dismounted,
tied their horses, and commenced marching on foot. M'Gary and Harland led
the way. They had not proceeded far when they came to one of the ravines.
It was just as Boone had supposed; the savages were in ambush. A deadly
fire was now poured in upon the whites; the men staggered and fell in
every direction. The fire was returned, but to little purpose, for the
enemy was completely concealed; a retreat was all that was left. The
whites hurried back toward the river; the Indians pursued; and now
commenced the slaughter with the tomahawk. The ford was narrow, and
multitudes were slaughtered there. Some were trying to get to their
horses; others, more fortunate, were mounted and flying; and some were
plunging into the stream. In the midst of all this confusion, the
Indians were doing their work of destruction.

A man by the name of Netherland (who had been laughed at for his
cowardice) had never dismounted his horse, and was the first to reach the
opposite shore. In a little time, some of his comrades were around him.
He now turned, and, looking back, saw the massacre that was going on.
This was more than he could bear. "Halt! fire on the Indians," cried he;
"protect the men in the river." With this, the men wheeled, fired, and
rescued several poor fellows in the stream, over whom the tomahawk was

Reynolds, the man who answered Girty's insolence, made a narrow escape.
Finding, in the retreat, one of the officers wounded, he gave him his
horse, and was soon after taken by three Indians. They were now over him,
ready to despatch him, when two retreating white men rushed by. Two of
the savages started in pursuit; the third stooped for an instant to tie
his moccasin, when Reynolds sprang away from him and escaped.

This was a terrible battle for the white men. More than sixty of their
number were slain, and among them were most of their officers: Colonels
Todd and Trigg, Majors Harland and Bulger, Captains Gordon and M'Bride,
and a son of Colonel Boone, were all among the dead.

Those who had regained the other shore, not having strength to rally,
started homeward in great sadness. On their way they met Colonel Logan.
He had gone to Bryant's station with his five hundred men, and was
greatly disappointed when he found they had all started without him; he
pushed on, however, as rapidly as he could, hoping to overtake them
before they made their attack on the savages. The sad story of the defeat
was soon told. All that remained to be done now was to go back, and, if
possible, bury the dead. Upon this sad business Logan continued his
march. Upon reaching the ground, the spectacle was awful: the dead bodies
were strewn over it just as they had fallen, the heat was intense, and
birds of prey were feeding upon the carcasses. The bodies were so mangled
and changed, that no man could be distinguished; friends could not
recognise their nearest relatives. The dead were buried as rapidly as
possible, and Logan left the scene in great sorrow.

Nor was this all the carnage. The Indians, after the defeat, had
scattered, and it was soon found that on their way homeward they had
swept through several settlements, carrying destruction before them.
Emboldened by their triumph, no man could tell what they might next

It was no time for the whites to be idle. They soon rallied in large
numbers at Fort Washington, the present site of the city of Cincinnati.
General Clarke was at once made commander-in-chief, and Colonel Logan was
placed next under him in command. Clarke immediately started with a
thousand men to attack the Indian towns on the Miami. On his way he came
upon the cabin of Simon Girty; it was fortunate for Simon that a
straggling Indian spied Clarke's men coming, in time to let him escape.
The news was now spread everywhere that an army of white men was coming
from Kentucky. The consequence was, that as Clarke approached the towns,
he found them all deserted; the Indians had fled to the woods. His march,
however, was not made for nothing. The towns of Old and New Chilicothe,
Pecaway, and Wills' Town, were all reduced to ashes. One old Indian
warrior was surprised, and surrendered himself a prisoner. This man, to
the great sorrow of General Clarke, was afterward murdered by one of the

Notwithstanding this punishment, Indian massacres still went on. Stories
of savage butchery were heard of everywhere; every station that they
dared approach felt their fury, and the poor settler who had built his
cabin away from any station was sure to be visited.

General Clarke started out again, against the Indians on the Wabash.
Unfortunately, his expedition failed this time, for the want of
provisions for his men. Another expedition of Colonel Logan, against the
Shawanese Indians, was more successful. He surprised one of their towns,
killed many of their warriors, and took many prisoners.

The war had now become so serious, that in the fall of 1785 the General
Government invited all the lake and Ohio tribes of Indians to meet at the
mouth of the Great Miami. It was hoped that in this way matters might be
settled peaceably. But many of the tribes were insolent and ill-natured;
they refused to come in, giving as an excuse that the Kentuckians were
for ever molesting them. Emboldened by the very invitation, they
continued the warfare more vigorously than ever. They not only assaulted
the settlements already made, but made an attempt to guard the Ohio
river, to prevent any further settlers from reaching the country in that
direction. Small parties placed themselves at different points on the
river, from Pittsburgh to Louisville, where they laid in ambush and fired
upon every boat that passed. Sometimes they would make false signals,
decoy the boat ashore, and murder the whole crew. They even went so far
at last as to arm and man the boats they had taken, and cruise up and
down the river.

I must tell you of a very bold defence made on the Ohio about this time
by a Captain Hubbel, who was bringing a party of emigrants from Vermont
His party was in two boats, and consisted in all of twenty. As Hubbel
came down the river, he fell in with other boats, was told of the Indian
stratagems, and advised to be careful. Indeed, the inmates of some of the
boats begged that he would continue in their company, and thus they would
be able to meet the Indians better if they should be attacked; the
stronger the party, the better, in such a condition. But Hubbel refused
to do this, and proceeded onward. He had not gone far, when a man on the
shore began to make signs of distress, and begged that the boat might
come and take him off. Hubbel knew well enough that this was an Indian
disguised as a white man, and therefore took no notice of him. In a
little time, a party of savages pushed off in their boats, and attacked
him fiercely. The fight was hot on both sides. The savages tried to board
Hubbel's boat, but the fire was too hot for this. Hubbel received two
severe wounds, and had the lock of his gun shot off by an Indian; still
he fought, touching off his broken gun from time to time with a
firebrand. The Indians found the struggle too hard, and were glad to
paddle off. Presently they returned, and attacked the other boat; this
they seized almost without an effort, killed the captain and a boy, and
took all the women as prisoners to their own boats. Now they came once
more against Hubbel, and cunningly placed the women on the sides of
their boats as a sort of bulwark. But this did not stop Hubbel: he saw
that his balls must strike the women; but it was better that they should
be killed now, rather than suffer a death of torture from the savages,
and the fire was at once opened upon them again. They were soon driven
off once more. In the course of the action, however, Hubbel's boat
drifted near the shore, and five hundred savages renewed the fire upon
them. One of the emigrants, more imprudent than the rest, seeing a fine
chance for a shot, raised his head to take aim, and was instantly killed
by a ball. The boat drifted along, and at length reached deep water
again. It was then found, that of the nine men on board, two only had
escaped unhurt; two were killed, and two mortally wounded. A remarkable
lad on board showed great courage. He now asked his friends to extract a
ball that had lodged in the skin of his forehead; and when this was done,
he begged that they would take out a piece of bone that had been
fractured in his elbow by another ball. His poor frightened mother,
seeing his suffering, asked him why he had not complained before; to
which the little fellow replied that he had been too busy, and, besides
that, the captain had told them all to make no noise.

It was idle to attempt now to settle matters peaceably. The general
government had tried that and the plan had failed. The war was now to be
carried on to a close, come what might. An expedition was accordingly
planned, against all the tribes northwest of the Ohio. The Indians were
to be brought out, if possible to a general fight; or, if that could not
be done, all their towns and cabins on the Scioto and Wabash, were to be
destroyed. General Harmar was appointed commander of the main expedition,
and Major Hamtranck was to aid him with a smaller party.

In the fall of 1791, Harmar started from Fort Washington with three
hundred and twenty men. In a little time he was joined by the Kentucky
and Pennsylvania militia, so that his whole force now amounted to
fourteen hundred and fifty-three men. Colonel Hardin, who commanded the
Kentucky militia, was now sent ahead with six hundred men, principally
militia, to reconnoitre the country. Upon reaching the Indian
settlements, the savages set fire to their houses and fled; to overtake
them, he pushed on with two hundred of his men. A party of Indians met
and attacked them. The cowardly militia ran off, leaving their brave
companions to be slaughtered. It was a brave struggle, but almost all
were cut down; only seven managed to escape and join the main army.

Harmar felt deeply mortified. He commenced forthwith his return to Fort
Washington, but determined that, on the way, he would wipe off this
disgrace from his army. Upon coming near Chilicothe he accordingly
halted, and in the night despatched Colonel Hardin once more ahead, with
orders to find the enemy and draw them into an engagement. About
daybreak, Hardin came upon them, and the battle commenced. It was a
desperate fight on both sides. Some of the militia acted badly again, but
the officers behaved nobly. The victory was claimed on both sides, but I
think the Indians had the best of it. Three gallant officers, Fontaine,
Willys, and Frothingham, were slain, together with fifty regulars and one
hundred militia.

Harmar now moved on to Fort Washington. So much was said about his
miserable campaign, that he requested that he might be tried by a
court-martial. Accordingly he was tried and honorably acquitted.

A new army was soon raised, and the command was now given to
Major-General Arthur St. Clair. His plan was to destroy the Indian
settlements between the Miamies, drive the savages from that region, and
establish a chain of military posts there, which should for ever keep
them out of the country. All having rallied at Fort Washington, he
started off in the direction of the Miami towns. It was a hard march, for
he was forced to cut his roads as he passed along. Upon arriving near the
Indian country, he built forts Hamilton and Jefferson and garrisoned
them. This left him nearly two thousand men to proceed with. In a little
time some of the worthless militia deserted. This was a bad example to
the rest, and St. Clair instantly sent Major Hamtranck, with a regiment,
in pursuit of them, while he continued his march. When he arrived within
fifteen miles of the Miami villages he halted and encamped; he was soon
after joined by Major Hamtranck, and St. Clair proposed now immediately
to march against the enemy.

But the enemy had already got news of them, and had made ready. They were
determined to have the first blow themselves. At daybreak the next
morning, the savages attacked the militia and drove them back in
confusion. These broke through the regulars, forcing their way into the
camp, the Indians pressing hard on their heels. The officers tried to
restore order, but to no purpose: the fight now became general. This,
however, was only a small part of the Indian force--there were four
thousand of the party; they had nearly surrounded the camp, and sheltered
by the trees and grass as usual, were pouring in a deadly fire upon the
whites. St. Clair and all his officers behaved with great courage.
Finding his men falling fast around him, he ordered a charge to be made
with the bayonet. The men swept through the long grass driving the
Indians before them. The charge had no sooner ceased than the Indians
returned. Some forced their way into the camp, killed the artillerists,
wounded Colonel Butler, and seized the cannon. Wounded as he was, Butler
drove them back and recovered the guns. Fired with new ardor, they
returned again, once more entered the camp--once more had possession of
the cannon. All was now confusion among the whites--it was impossible to
restore order--the Indians brought them down in masses--a retreat was all
that remained. But they were so hemmed in, that this seemed impossible.
Colonel Darke was ordered to charge the savages behind them, while Major
Clarke with his battalion was commanded to cover the rear of the army.
These orders were instantly obeyed, and the disorderly retreat commenced.
The Indians pursued them four miles, keeping up a running fight. At last
their chief, a Mississago, who had been trained to war by the British,
cried out to them to stop as they had killed enough. They then returned
to plunder the camp and divide the spoils, while the routed troops
continued their flight to Fort Jefferson, throwing away their arms on the
roadside that they might run faster. The Indians found in the camp seven
pieces of cannon, two hundred oxen, and several horses, and had a great
rejoicing. Well might the Mississago chief tell his people they had
killed enough: thirty-eight commissioned officers were slain, and five
hundred and ninety-three non-commissioned officers and privates. Besides
this, twenty-one officers and two hundred and forty-two men were
wounded, some of whom soon died of their wounds.

This was a most disastrous battle for the whites, the most disastrous
they had yet known. The triumphant Indians were so delighted that they
could not leave the field, but kept up their revels from day to day.
Their revels, however, were at length broken up sorrowfully for them.
General Scott, hearing of the disaster, pushed on for the field with one
thousand mounted volunteers from Kentucky. The Indians were dancing and
singing, and riding the horses and oxen in high glee. Scott instantly
attacked them; two hundred were killed, their plunder retaken, and the
whole body of savages driven from the ground.

When Congress met soon after this, of course this wretched Indian war was
much talked of. It was proposed at once to raise three additional
regiments. Upon this a hot debate sprang up, the proposal was opposed
warmly; the opponents said that it would be necessary to lay a heavy tax
upon the people to raise them, that the war had been badly managed, and
should have been trusted to the militia in the west under their own
officers, and, moreover, that no success could be expected so long as the
British continued to hold posts in our own limits, and furnish the
Indians with arms, ammunition, and advice.

On the other hand, it was declared that the war was a just and necessary
one. It was shown that in seven years (between 1783 and 1790), fifteen
hundred people in Kentucky had been murdered or taken captives by the
savages; while in Pennsylvania and Virginia matters had been well nigh as
bad; that everything had been done to settle matters peaceably but all to
no purpose. In 1790, when a treaty was proposed to the Indians of the
Miami, they asked for thirty days to deliberate--the request was
granted--during those thirty days one hundred and twenty persons had been
killed or captured, and at the end of the time the savages refused to
give any answer to the proposal. At last the vote was taken--the
resolution passed--the war was to be carried on--the regiments were to be

General St. Clair now resigned the command of the army, and Major General
Anthony Wayne was appointed to succeed him. This appointment gave great
joy to the western people; the man was so well known among them for his
daring and bravery, that he commonly went by the name of "Mad Anthony."

After much delay, the regiments were at last gathered together. Some
still opposed this war and in order to prove to them that the government
was willing to settle matters peaceably, if possible, two
officers--Colonel Hardin and Major Truman, were now sent off to the
Indians with proposals of peace. They were both seized and murdered by
the savages.

Wayne now started out upon his expedition. In a little time he passed
Fort Jefferson, took possession of St. Clair's fatal field, and erected a
fort there which he called Fort Recovery. He now learned the truth of the
stories about the British. A number of British soldiers had come down
from Detroit, and fortified themselves on the Miami of the lakes. It was
rumored too, that in some of the Indian fights and massacres, the English
were seen among them, fighting and urging them on.

The General continued his march, and early in August reached the
confluence of the Miami of the Lakes and the Au Glaize. This was one of
the finest countries of the Indians, it was about thirty miles from the
British post, and he discovered here, that two thousand warriors were
near that post ready to meet him. Wayne was glad to hear this; his army
was quite as strong, and he longed to meet the savages. As he drew near,
however, he determined once more to have peace if possible, without
shedding blood. A message was sent to the Indians, urging them not to
follow the advice of bad men, to lay down their arms, to learn to live
peaceably, and their lives and their homes should be protected by the
government. An insolent answer, was all that was received in reply.

Wayne's army now marched on in columns--a select battalion, under Major
Price, moving in front to reconnoitre. After marching about five miles,
Price was driven back by the fire of the Indians. As usual, the cunning
enemy was concealed; they had hid themselves in a thick wood a little in
advance of the British post, and here Price had received their fire.

Wayne had now found out precisely where they were, and gave his orders
accordingly. The cavalry under Captain Campbell were commanded to enter
the wood in the rear of the Indians, between them and the river, and
charge their left flank. General Scott, with eleven hundred mounted
Kentucky volunteers, was to make a circuit in the opposite direction, and
attack the right. The infantry were to advance with trailed arms, and
rouse the enemy from their hiding-places. All being ready, the infantry
commenced their march. The Indians were at once routed at the point of
the bayonet. The infantry had done the whole; Campbell and Scott had
hardly the chance of doing any of the fighting. In the course of an hour,
they had driven the savages back two miles; in fact, within gun-shot of
the British post.

Wayne had now the possession of the whole ground, and here he remained
three days, burning their houses and cornfields above and below the fort.
One Englishman suffered, too, in this work of destruction. Colonel M'Kee
was known as a British trader, forever instigating the Indians against
the Americans, and Wayne did not scruple to burn all his houses and
stores likewise. Major Campbell, who commanded the British fort,
remonstrated at this, but Wayne gave him a bold and determined answer in
reply, and he had no more to say. A few words from him would only have
caused Wayne to drive him from the country.

The army now returned to Au Glaize, destroying all the houses, villages,
and crops by the way. It was one complete work of destruction; within
fifty miles of the river everything was destroyed. In this campaign,
Wayne had lost one hundred and seven men, and among them were two brave
officers--Captain Campbell and Lieutenant Towles, but still he had gained
a glorious victory. In his track, too, he had not forgotten to build
forts, to guard against the savages in future.

The story of the victory soon spread, and struck terror to the hearts of
the Indians north and south. They were restless and dissatisfied, but war
was sure destruction to them; they felt that it was idle to attempt it
further, and were ready to be quiet. In less than a year from this time,
Wayne concluded a treaty, in behalf of the United States with all the
Indian tribes northwest of the Ohio. The settlers at last had peace--a
blessing which they had long desired.


With the return of peace, the settlers were very happy. They could now go
out, fell the forests, and cultivate their fields in safety. There was no
longer any wily savage to lay in ambush, and keep them in perpetual
anxiety. No man among them was happier than Boone. He had been harassed
by constant struggles ever since he came to Kentucky, and these struggles
with the savages had made him a warrior rather than a hunter; but he
could now return to his darling passion. While others cultivated the
ground, he roamed through the wilderness with his rifle; he was now a
hunter indeed, spending weeks and months uninterruptedly in the forests
By day he moved where he pleased, and at night made his camp fearlessly
wherever the shades of night overtook him. His life was now happier than

Ere long, however, a cloud came over this happiness. Men began again to
crowd too closely upon him. In spite of all the early struggles with the
savages in Kentucky, emigrants had continued to flow into that country.
As early as 1783, Kentucky had been laid off into three counties, and was
that year formed into one district, and called the District of Kentucky.
In 1785, a convention was called at Danville, and a memorial was
addressed to the legislature of Virginia, proposing that Kentucky should
be erected into an independent State. In 1786, the legislature of
Virginia took the necessary steps for making the new State, if Congress
would admit it into the Union. In 1792, Kentucky was admitted into the
Union as one of the United States of America. And now that peace had come
to aid the settlers, emigration flowed in more rapidly. Court-houses,
jails, judges, lawyers, sheriffs, and constables, began necessarily to be
seen. Kentucky was becoming every day a more settled and civilized
region, and Boone's heart grew sick. He had sought the wilderness, and
men were fast taking it away from him. He began to think of moving.

Another sorrow now came over him, and soon fixed in him the determination
to seek a new home. Men began to dispute with him the title to his land.
The State of Kentucky had not been surveyed by the government, and laid
off into sections and townships, as the lands north of the Ohio river
have since been. The government of Virginia had issued certificates,
entitling the holder to locate where he pleased the number of acres
called for. To actual settlers, who should build a cabin, raise a crop,
&c., pre-emption rights to such lands as they might occupy were also
granted. Entries of these certificates were made in a way so loose, that
different men frequently located the same lands; one title would often
lap over upon another; and almost all the titles conferred in this way
became known as "the lapping, or shingle titles." Continued lawsuits
sprang out of this state of things; no man knew what belonged to him.
Boone had made these loose entries of his lands: his titles, of course,
were disputed. It was curious to see the old man in a court of law, which
he thoroughly despised, fighting for his rights. He was greatly provoked;
he had explored and redeemed the wilderness, as he said, borne every
hardship with his wife and children, only to be cheated at last. But the
law decided against him; he lost his lands, and would now no longer
remain in that region.

Hearing that buffaloes and deer were still plenty about the Great Kanhawa
river, he started thither with his wife and children, and settled near
Point Pleasant. Here he remained several years. He was disappointed in
not finding game as he expected, and was more of a farmer here than ever
before; he turned his attention earnestly to agriculture, and was very
successful in raising good crops. Still he was dissatisfied; he longed
for the wilderness. Hunting and trapping were the constant thoughts of
his life.

While living here, he met accidentally with a party of men who had been
out upon the upper waters of the Missouri. These men talked of the beauty
of that region: they had stories to tell of grizzly bears, buffaloes,
deer, beavers, and otters--in fact, the region was in their eyes "the
paradise for a hunter." Fired by these stories, Boone resolved to go
there. Accordingly, he gathered together all that he possessed, and with
his wife and family started for Missouri, driving his herds and cattle
before him. It was strange to see an old man thus vigorous in seeking a
new home. He was an object of surprise to every one. When he reached
Cincinnati, on his route, some one, marking his age, and surprised at his
adventure, asked him how, at his time of life, he could leave all the
comforts of home, for the wilderness. His answer shows his whole
character: "Too much crowded, too much crowded," said he; "I want more
elbow-room." Travelling on, he at length reached Missouri, and,
proceeding about fifty miles above St. Louis, settled in what is now St.
Charles county.

Here everything pleased Boone. The country, as you know, was then in the
possession of the French and Spanish, and the old laws by which their
territories were governed were still in force there. They had no
constitution, no king, no legislature, no judges, lawyers, or sheriffs.
An officer called the commandant, and the priests, exercised all the
authority that was needed. The horses, cattle, flocks, and herds of these
people all grazed together upon the same commons; in fact, they were
living here almost in primitive simplicity. Boone's character for honesty
and courage soon became known among them, and he was appointed by the
Spanish commandant the commandant over the district of St. Charles.

Boone now had the satisfaction of settling all his children comfortably
around him, and in the unbroken wilderness his hunting and trapping was
unmolested. In his office of commandant he gave great satisfaction to
every one, and continued to occupy it until Missouri was purchased by our
government from the French. When that purchase was made, American
enterprise soon came upon him again--he was once more crowded by his
fellow-men. His old office of commandant was soon merged in the new order
of things--his hunting-grounds were invaded by others. Nothing remained
for him now, but to submit to his fate; he was too old to move again, nor
indeed did he know where to go. He continued his old habits, as well he
might. He would start out with his rifle, now marked with a paper sight
to guide his dim eye, and be absent from his home for weeks. Nearly
eighty years had passed over him, yet he would lie in wait near the
salt-licks, and bring down his buffalo or his deer, and as bravely and
cheerily as in his younger days, would he cut down bee-trees. As the
light-hearted Frenchmen swept up the river in their fleets of periogues
on their hunting excursions, Boone would cheer them as they passed, and
sigh for his younger days that he might join their parties. He was a
complete Nimrod, now almost worn out.

It was while he was living here, I think, that he was met by that very
interesting man, Mr. Audubon, the natural historian of our continent. He
was struck with the man, and has given the story of his interview with
Boone. It is so illustrative of the character of the hunter, that I give
it to you in Mr. Audubon's words.

"Daniel Boone, or as he was usually called in the western country,
Colonel Boone, happened to spend a night under the same roof with me,
more than twenty years ago. We had returned from a shooting excursion, in
the course of which his extraordinary skill in the management of a 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, while 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 (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, among 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

"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 red-skins 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, filled with _Monongahela_
(that is, reader, strong whiskey). 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 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 they had my bottle up to their dirty mouths, gurgling
down their throats the remains of the whiskey.

"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 sculls 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, he 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, some
how 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 on 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 had taken place in these 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 till 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 hereabout, 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 ten thousands of buffaloes on the hills in Kentucky; the land
looked as if it would never become poor; and to hunt in those days was a
pleasure indeed. But when I was left to myself on the banks of the 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 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 the presence of these gentlemen. Mr. ---- gained his cause.
I left Green river, for ever, and came to where we now are; and, sir, I
wish you a good night."

Here, too, it was that he resided, when Mr. Astor attempted to carry out
his magnificent design, of settling Astoria on the western coast of our
continent, and belting the earth with his commerce. When you are older,
you can read the beautiful history of that attempt, written by our
distinguished countryman Mr. Irving. As the party, bound for the far
west, moved up the Missouri, Boone stood upon the banks of the stream,
looking anxiously after them. It was just the adventure to please him.
There the old man stood, leaning upon his rifle, his dim eye lighted up
as he gazed upon them, and his heart heavy with sorrow, because he was
too old to press with them, beyond the mountains.[5]

   [5] See Irving's Astoria.

Other sorrows than those of age, now crept upon him. His wife, who had
been to him all that was good, was now taken from him, and the old man
was left widowed. With a sad heart he now went to the home of his son,
Major Nathan Boone.

The last war with England now broke out, too, and penetrated even the
wilds of Missouri. It was the worst of all warfare--the savages were let
loose upon them. Boone was too old to act the part of a soldier, but he
sent off many substitutes in his sons.

When peace returned, the spirit of the old man rallied; his ruling
passion was still with him. The woods were again his home, his rifle his
companion; and thus he lived on, through a vigorous old age, with a
passion as strong as ever, a hunter almost to the very day of his death.
For when, in 1818, death came upon him, he had but little notice of its
approach. With no disease but old age, which had seemed comparatively
vigorous almost to the day of his departure, he died in his eighty-fourth
year. His mind was unclouded and he passed from this world calmly and

I have but one thing more to say. You remember Daniel Boone's schoolboy
days, of which I have spoken. He left school a perfectly ignorant lad.
Some say that he afterward learned to write, and produce as an evidence,
a little narrative of his wanderings in Kentucky, supposed to be written
by himself. I believe, however, that to the day of his death, he could
not write his name. The narrative spoken of, was, I think, dictated in
some degree by him, and written by another. At all events, the story is
interesting and curious, and, as such, I have placed it for your benefit,
as an appendix to this volume.





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 circumstances 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 day 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
prelibation 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
practised hunting with great success until the 22d day of December

This day John Stewart 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 1st 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 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 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, reconnoitring 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 out 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 had 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 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 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 1st 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 14th 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 14th 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 other, almost every day.

The savages now learned the superiority of the Long Knife, as they call
the Virginians, by experience; being outgeneralled in almost every
battle. Our affairs began to wear a new aspect, and the enemy, not daring
to venture on open war, practised 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

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 exceeding 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 intrusting 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 made everything 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 watered.

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 defence; 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
councils 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,
where 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

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 defence. Your
efforts will not prevail; for our gates shall for ever deny you
admittance." Whether this answer affected their courage or not I can not
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 making
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 counter-mine, 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 mean time, 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 taken.

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 severity 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 M'Kee 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 fight, that, to the memory of those who unfortunately fell in the
battle, enough of honor can not 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 can not reflect upon this dreadful scene, but sorrow fills my heart. A
zeal for the defence 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 anything 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 another.

As soon as General Clarke, 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 rivers, 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 connexions were dissolved, their
armies scattered, and a future invasion put entirely out of their power;
yet they continued to practise mischief secretly upon the inhabitants, in
the exposed parts of the country.

In October following, a party made an excursion 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 defenceless family, in
which was only a negro man, a woman, and her children, terrified with the
apprehensions of immediate death. The savage, perceiving their
defenceless situation, without offering violence to the family, attempted
to capture the negro, who happily proved an overmatch 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 mean time, 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

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.

                          DANIEL BOONE.
                           _Fayette County_, KENTUCKY.

    THE END.

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