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A Daniel Boone mystery
Frontiersman : Daniel Boone and the making of America
Meredith Mason Brown.
Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, c2008.
"During Daniel Boone's lifetime (1734-1820), America evolved from a group of colonies with fewer than a million inhabitants clustered along the Atlantic Coast to an independent nation of close to ten million reaching well beyond the Mississippi River. Frontiersman is the first biography to explore Boone's crucial role in that transformation. Hundreds of thousands of settlers entered Kentucky on the road that Boone and his axemen blazed from the Cumberland Gap to the Kentucky River. Boone's leadership in the defense of Boonesborough during a sustained Indian attack in 1778 was instrumental in preventing white settlers from fleeing Kentucky during the bloody years of the Revolution. And Boone's move to Missouri in 1799 and his exploration up the Missouri River helped encourage a flood of settlers into that region. Through his colorful chronicle of Boone's experiences, Meredith Mason Brown paints a rich portrayal of colonial and Revolutionary America, the relations between whites and Indians, the opening and settling of the Old West, and the birth of the American national identity." "Supported with copious maps, illustrations, endnotes, and a detailed chronology of Boone's life, Frontiersman provides a fresh and accurate rendering of a man most people know only as a folk hero - and of the nation that has mythologized him for over two centuries."--BOOK JACKET.
     
Boone : a biography
by Robert Morgan.
Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2007.
"The story of Daniel Boone is the story of America - its ideals, its promise, its romance, and its destiny. Robert Morgan reveals the complex character of a frontiersman whose heroic life was far stranger and more fascinating than the myths that surround him." "Particular events define a life that becomes a legend. For George Washington it was the winter at Valley Forge. For Benjamin Franklin, it began with a key on a kite string. For Daniel Boone it was finding his way through the wilderness to that narrow mountain gap into Kentucky in 1775, guaranteeing that the nation about to be born would extend to the west." "In this authoritative biography, Robert Morgan offers a wholly new perspective on a man who has been an American icon for more than two hundred years - a hero as important to American history as his more political contemporaries Washington and Franklin." "Born in 1734 in Pennsylvania to English Quaker colonists, Daniel Boone led hundreds of settlers west into Virginia and North Carolina, over the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky and the Ohio Valley, and, finally to Missouri, where he died penniless at the age of eighty-six, having lost his holdings to lawyers and politicians and better businessmen." "Morgan reminds us that Boone was more than a trailblazer: he fought in the French and Indian War and in the American Revolution; he served in the Virginia Legislature; he was a Freemason; he was a settler, landowner, and sometime surveyor; and his reverence for life in the wilderness inspired Romantic writers like Wordsworth, Bartrain, Byron, Whitman - inspired Romanticism itself." "Boone was the first great American naturalist - he cherished the land, and while he wanted to settle it, he also longed to conserve its wildness. Almost alone among his fellow settlers, Daniel Boone revered, studied, and emulated the Native American way of life, especially in the preservation of land resources. But his own claim for himself was much simpler: "I am a woodsman.""--BOOK JACKET.
     
In the footsteps of Daniel Boone
by Randell Jones.
Winston-Salem, N.C. : John F. Blair, c2005.
Market hunter, frontier guide, wilderness scout, master woodsman, expert marksman, Indian fighter, militia leader, surveyor, land speculator, judge, sheriff, coroner, elected legislator, merchant, tavern keeper, prisoner of war, Spanish syndic, husband, father-Daniel Boone led one of the fullest and most eventful lives in American history.
     
Daniel Boone : an American life
Michael A. Lofaro.
Lexington : University Press of Kentucky, c2003.
"The name Daniel Boone evokes an image of the quintessential American hero: a man of action, a pathfinder, an emblem of the great adventure of his age - the westward movement of the American people." "Early in life Boone showed a hunger for adventure, using his extraordinary skill as a woodsman to guide his family's migration down the valley of Virginia to North Carolina. Too restless for the life of a farmer, he was eager to penetrate the wilderness in search of better hunting and boundless profit through speculation in rich and fertile lands. After his first historic explorations of Kentucky in 1769, Boone brought back tales of a hunters' paradise that stirred the imagination. A natural leader, Boone helped open the trans-Appalachian West, clearing trails, guiding settlers, founding forts, and reluctantly fighting in Indian wars in which he saw the plight of both sides all too clearly." "His exploits and consequent fame, however, could not help him navigate America's increasingly complex legal system. Spurred by the loss of his considerable land holdings and crowded by the expansion into Kentucky that he had made possible, Boone set out again at the age of sixty-five, heading to Missouri. There he would repeat the joy and despair of the boom and bust cycle as Americans continued to migrate on the trail he blazed."--BOOK JACKET.
     
The life of Daniel Boone
by Lyman C. Draper ; edited by Ted Franklin Belue.
Mechanicsburg, PA : Stackpole Books, c1998.
Draper, the first secretary of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, collected more than 500 volumes of material on the famed frontiersman Daniel Boone. His biography of Boone remained unfinished for 100 years until Ted Franklin Belue, a widely read scholar of early Americana, added his authoritative editing. This long-awaited work is filled with little-known information on Boone and his family, long hunters, the Shawnee, the fur trade, and frontier life in general.
     

You may have heard the jocular question, "Who's buried in Grant's tomb?" The answer, of course, is evident from the question itself. But the question of who is buried in Daniel Boone's tomb in Frankfort, Kentucky is not as obvious to some Missourians. They believe the great pioneer is not there, but is still buried near where he died-- here in Missouri.

Daniel Boone was considered the archetype of the American frontiersman, the pattern after whom later pioneers (including the one he is often confused with, Davy Crockett) were compared.  Dan Beard defined the organization he founded in the early 20th century this way:

"A society of scouts to be identified with the greatest of all Scouts, Daniel Boone, and to be known as the Sons of Daniel Boone." 

He later changed the name to what we know it by today:

Boy Scouts of America

When Boone died in 1820, his family buried him in an obscure graveyard in what is now Warren County. But in 1845 the state of Kentucky sent a delegation to take his remains back with them to Kentucky. The Kentuckians exhumed and reburied the remains next to Rebecca (Daniel's wife), believing they were Daniel's. According to the story, they were actually the remains of Daniel's slave. Boone's family, angry that they were taking him to Kentucky, didn't tell them the body wasn't Daniel's.

But is the story true? Opinion is divided on the question. One historian, Jack Faragher, discredits the story. He claims the Boone family wouldn't have deceived the Kentuckians into taking the wrong body. Other historians and writers believe the evidence points in favor of the story. A few other writers merely tell the story with neither evidence nor their own opinions.

Even Faragher admits that we may never know with certainty whose remains are buried in Boone's tomb. As with many other stories about Daniel Boone, it is difficult to distinguish truth from fiction.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff