1734 - 1820
Boone, Southern pioneer, who played a major part
in the exploration and settlement of Kentucky.
was born on November 2, 1734, near Reading, Pennsylvania. In
1753 his family settled on the Yadkin River in what is now
North Carolina. In this primitive settlement Boone received
some schooling and became a skillful hunter and trapper. He
served with the forces led by the British general Edward
Braddock in the campaign in 1755 against Fort Duquesne during
the French and Indian War.
Boone set out to explore and settle the wilderness around the
Kentucky River, making the first of many trips into the region
in 1767. Between 1769 and 1771, on his most important
expedition, he explored eastern Kentucky, following a trail
through the Cumberland Gap with five companions. In 1775,
having been engaged as the agent of a Carolina trading company
to establish a road by which colonists could reach Kentucky
and settle there, he built a stockade and fort on the site of
Boonesborough. The first group of settlers crossed the
Cumberland Gap to Boonesborough by the road established by
Boone, later called the Wilderness Road. During the American
Revolution the community suffered repeated attacks by Native
Americans, and in 1778 Boone was taken captive by Native
American raiders. The settlement, however, was eventually
established as a permanent village.
During the early 1780s Boone was forced to abandon his claims to the land around Boonesborough because of invalid titles, and he moved to Boone's Station, Kentucky. He later left Kentucky and from 1788 to 1798 lived near Point Pleasant, Virginia (now West Virginia). About 1799 he settled near St. Louis, in present-day Missouri, where he remained until his death. The region was then under the authority of Spain; in 1803 it became United States territory as part of the Louisiana Purchase, and in 1814 Boone's claim to the land he occupied was confirmed by the U.S. Congress. He died on September 26, 1820.
"Boone, Daniel," Microsoft® Encarta® 98 Encyclopedia. © 1993-1997 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.