Folk hero of America:
Every country has their folk heroes. America too had one by the name of Daniel Boone. He was the greatest woodsman America had ever seen. He is also known for his exploration skills and for being a frontiersman. He had a history of leaving the lands after discovering, protecting, settling and improving them. This made him an enigmatic personality and a subject of exaggeration of his accomplishments as well as his faults after his death.
Early days in Daniel Boone’s life:
Daniel Boone was born on November 02, 1734 in Reading, Pennsylvania. Some records indicate his birth date as October 22, 1734. This confusion is because the Gregorian calendar was adopted during his lifetime and there was an adjustment of about 10 days during the shift from the old calendar to the new one. He was the sixth child out of eleven born to Squire Boone and Sarah Morgan. His father was a farmer as well as a speculator. A speculator is a person who purchases land hoping that the prices would appreciate and sell them when he sees a profit. Daniel Boone too acquired this trait from his father.
Influence of John Finley:
Daniel had a very ordinary education as he was more interested in outdoor activities. After the death of his father he worked as a wagon driver and a blacksmith before joining the British Forces during the Indian war (1754-63) and participated in the attempt to capture Fort Duquesne. This war was fought between the British and the French forces for control over land in North America. During one such expedition he came in contact with John Finley and was greatly influenced by stories of his exploits in the Kentucky wilderness. Boone fled on horseback after seeing his unit getting destroyed in one such expedition.
Start of a new trail:
Daniel Boone married Rebecca Bryan on August 14, 1756 and settled down in North Carolina. But the stories told by Finley about Kentucky were deeply ingrained in his mind. He set out on an expedition along with Finley and four others on a westward trail towards Kentucky. He served as an agent for Richard Andersen and his company and set out on his job of clearing settlement after settlement for rehabilitation of his colonists including his family. He became the leader of his colony and started out on a new occupation as a hunter and a land surveyor.
The start of his misfortunes:
He was given the rank of Major in the military forces after Kentucky became part of Virginia. Once, his daughter was kidnapped by the local tribes. He managed to rescue her. Two years later he was also captured by the same tribe. He somehow escaped and helped them to defend his county against the Indian raiders. He was also waylaid once and lost all his money. This made him a debtor and had to face many lawsuits thereafter.
Hounded by his bad luck:
Boone held many Governmental posts thereafter including a term as a sheriff of Fayette Colony. In 1786 he relocated to Maysville, Kentucky and also got elected to the legislature. His bad luck followed him wherever he ventured. On account of a mistake while updating land records in Kentucky, he lost all his lands. He was forced to move on to Point Pleasant in Virginia where he was accorded the post of a Lieutenant Colonel of Kanawha County.
Boone shifted to the Spanish county of Alta Luisiana, now known as Missouri along with his family as he wanted to acquire land which could be taken away from him. The Spaniards allotted a large area of land to him and also offered the position of leadership. Soon the United States took over this land also from him.
Last days of life spent peacefully:
These events forced him to travel back to Kentucky in 1810 where he remained for the rest of his life till his death on September 26, 1820. Not many people know that he was an author of several books which became famous after his death which also made him a status symbol of early America.