Some of you know I am writing a book about Daniel Boone, Daniel Boone and Me, aimed for YA and adult readers. I never expected to take a side trip with this book, but I wrote a story for an online prompt and the members of my critique group encouraged me to expand on it.
So I ventured down the rabbit hole of research on Daniel Boone. Along the way I learned some interesting facts about this legendary explorer and hunter.
Portrait of Daniel Boone from Wikipedia by Chester Harding (copyright free)
“I can’t say as ever I was lost, but I was bewildered once for three days,” he reportedly said.
!. Daniel Boone was not southern. He was born in 1734 and raised by Quakers in eastern Pennsylvania, about 10 miles from the modern city of Reading. In 1734, this was fairly close to the frontier, and he was given a gun at age 12 to hunt.
2. Boone was not well- educated. He disliked school and went hunting as often as possible. His sister taught him to read and a little of writing.
4. In the early days, Boone had long braided hair, dressed with bear grease. He tied his long shirt with a leather belt, from which hung a powder horn, a bullet pouch, a knife and a tomahawk. He dressed himself like the Indians in a breechclout – a length of cloth that passed between the legs and then under a cloth belt, with the extra cloth hanging in the front and behind. Many hunters dressed that way.
5. He did not wear a coonskin cap! He wore a wide-brimmed felt or beaver hat, much like the Quaker style hats worn by men in Pennsylvania.
Daniel Boone wears a blue capeau coat over his buckskin coat, based on one seen in the only legitimate portrait of the frontiersman, painted circa 1820 by Chester Harding. Indian at lower right is his Shawnee friend from Missouri who accompanied him on hunting trips. (True West Magazine)
6. In 1775, Boone and a group of thirty men completed a 200-mile trail through the wilderness to the Cumberland Gap—a natural break in the rugged Appalachian Mountains—and into Kentucky, which would become his home. This trail would be named the Wilderness Trail and the route by which many settlers moved west.
By the artist George Caleb Bingham
I hope you find these tidbits interesting, and I’ll have more as I come closer to a publication date!