Daniel Boone Homesite

A Frontier Legend Arises

 

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Coordinates: 36.0902, -81.3387.

Type: Stop
Tour: Wachovia
County: Wilkes

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The only homesite of Daniel and Rebecca Boone visible to the public in North Carolina is in a farm field off Foster Payne Road in Ferguson, on private property. Park at the coordinates, where a short farm lane enters the field. Please respect the owner’s rights by not trespassing. The exact site is not marked, and nothing of the home remains.

The location is visible from your vehicle.

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The Cabin Site

Look into the field on the right. Follow the tree line on the left toward the back with your eyes. It juts into the field, recedes, and then points inward again. Archaeologists investigated the spot just past that point near the trees. Local tradition claimed the Boones’ first home in this region stood there. The scientists found evidence of several structures.

In 1767, you would be looking at one end of Daniel and Rebecca Boones’ fourth home of their own, a 20-foot square cabin with a single room and a 10-foot extension built off the far end, perhaps a stable or storeroom. An outhouse would partially block your view a few steps closer. Beyond the home was an outbuilding, perhaps a barn, jutting past the right side in your view.1 It’s unknown how much, if any, of the land around it was cleared for farming. A small creek runs behind the trees and empties into Beaver Creek at the back of the field. That flows to the right and empties into the Yadkin River on the other side of NC 268.

Imagine Daniel and Rebecca setting up housekeeping as you read their amazing story!

Photo of an open field covered in grass with trees on the far side and a mountain in the distance
Homesite, in center by trees (AmRevNC photograph)

A Legendary Life

The Adventures Begin

Most of what is known about Daniel Boone comes from two early sources: a short autobiography dictated to someone who probably embellished it2, and an unfinished manuscript drafted by historian C. Lyman Draper in the 1840s.3 This page follows those sources unless better evidence contradicts them.

Many myths arose about Boone in the centuries after his exploits. Some of the best-known are addressed in footnotes.

Old portrait of an older clean-shaven man with white hair, a long nose, and a high forehead

Before Daniel Boone gained lasting fame as a frontiersman in Kentucky, he honed his survival skills as a young adult in North Carolina. His father Squire Boone had immigrated from England to Pennsylvania, where he became a farmer and gunsmith. Daniel, born in 1734, started to wander early. Confined in their home due to a smallpox outbreak, he at 6 and his older sister Elizabeth gained their freedom by visiting an ill family to purposely get sick!4 Both recovered.

Daniel grew up helping his mother herd the family’s cattle and hunting small game with a club he made, until his father bought him a rifle at 13.5 An aunt taught him to read and write; in later years he often took Gulliver’s Travels with him on his journeys. Delawares passed through the area regularly, exposing Daniel to Native American culture and skills.

With 11 children, the Boone clan decided in 1750 to move to the Southern frontier. After two years including an initial stop in Virginia, the family settled on the fertile lands along the Yadkin River in North Carolina. During the trip, 15-year-old Daniel began making overnight hunting trips on his own. Squire bought a tract near today’s Mocksville.6 Daniel attended trading fairs in the region, where he showed off his marksmanship in shooting matches, sometimes doing trick shots to scare off competitors.

When the French & Indian War broke out, Daniel became a part-time militia soldier for a 1755 campaign against a French fort in today’s Pittsburgh, Pa. Boone was assigned to the baggage train. That’s likely where he met John Findley, who told him of a “Warrior Path” through the Virginia mountains near modern Tennessee. The campaign ended in an ambush, but they escaped.

Boone married Rebecca Bryan the next year, part of another prominent family in the area. His biographer Draper says Boone tested her by casually cutting up her apron, and approved her lack of anger.7 After living briefly on his father’s land, the couple built a cabin northeast of Mocksville on Sugar Tree Creek.8 They would eventually raise nine children. Rebecca took on all of the homesteading duties, including raising extra vegetables for sale, and was an excellent shot herself. That’s good, because Daniel became a “long hunter,” disappearing into the western wilderness for months collecting hides and pelts—ignoring both British law and Native American rights to the land. Long hunters dressed in the practical clothing of the Natives. Though some wore coonskin caps, Boone did not. He used a beaver-felt hat with a wide brim and high crown to “look taller,” a biography says, though at 5′8″ he was about average for the time. He was strongly built with nearly black hair and blue eyes, and weighed around 175 pounds at his best.9

Photo of large three-story, square wood building with portholes and a smaller, similar two-story blockhouse off the right front corner
Reconstruction of Fort Dobbs (AmRevNC photograph)

Boone probably first crossed the Appalachians in 1760, etching on a tree that he “cilled A. Bar (sic).10” After possibly “forting up” with his family at Fort Dobbs near today’s Statesville for protection from Cherokee raiders, he moved them to Northern Virginia for a time.11 There he worked as a wagon driver and probably met George Washington.

After they moved back to Sugar Tree Creek, Boone returned home from a year-long hunt to a big surprise—Rebecca had a third child! She explained she thought he had died, and in mourning had become close to his younger brother Neddie. Boone admitted to dalliances with Native women, forgave them, and accepted the child as “his” daughter Jemima. In 1761 he tracked down a young girl kidnapped by husband-and-wife robbers, and later helped capture their gang.

Then with friends Boone went looking for land in Florida, and might have starved if Seminoles had not fed them. He bought a parcel at today’s Pensacola, but Rebecca refused to move there. Instead the family moved 65 miles up the Yadkin12, only to move further upriver to this area the year after.

Beaver Creek

Rebecca and three children lived in the cabin here from 17678. Other families of the clan joined them nearby.

Daniel began making hunting trips across the mountains to where the town named for him now sits. From here he also made his initial long hunt into today’s Eastern Kentucky over the winter, where he saw his first buffalo. On returning, he moved the family again, across the Yadkin to the hill above its juncture with Beaver Creek, where he built a new cabin. (That site is not visible to the public.)

John Findley appeared on the hill in 1769, as a peddler leading a horse laden with goods. The two, along with Boone’s brother Squire, Jr., brother-in-law John Stuart, and three others, decided to explore the gap Findley told Boone about years earlier. Two long, parallel mountains blocked the way from Virginia into Central Kentucky; “Ouasioto,” renamed the Cumberland Gap13, is the only gap that lined up with another in the western mountain.

Photo of a trail over a gap with brush- and tree-covered hillsides on both sides
Cumberland Gap (AmRevNC photograph)

After a half-year of hunting nearly to today’s Cincinnati, Ohio, Boone and Stuart were captured by Shawnees. These took most of the pelts they had gathered—early sources say “robbed,” but in the Native view, Boone and his party were stealing! The Shawnees left them one gun and just enough supplies to get 360 miles home, reportedly saying, “‘Now, brothers, go home. Don’t come here any more, for this is the Indians’ hunting ground, and all the animals, skins, and furs are ours…’”14 The two doubled back anyway, only to be recaptured, but escape. After meeting up with Squire and others, who were bringing supplies, they returned to hunting. But Findley had had enough and went home.15

At one point when Squire took pelts back to sell, Daniel spent months alone wandering Kentucky. Stuart disappeared. Not until March 1771 did the Boone men go home,16 only to have Cherokees take their goods. Combined with an earlier theft, half of their spoils from 24 months had been reclaimed, and Boone remained in debt for the supplies. This would become a constant theme in his life. Boone was described by Judge Richard Henderson as having “‘more suits entered against him for debt than any other man of his day,’” though he may have been teasing.17 Henderson had befriended Boone years earlier, which may explain why Boone did not join protesters against the colonial N.C. government called the “Regulators”: Henderson was one of their targets.

Moving to Kentucky

After farming and hunting closer to home a couple of years, Boone led a party of colonists,18 including his 16-year-old son James, toward Kentucky in September 1773—illegally, under British law. Daniel sent James and a small group to get more flour. Soon after, someone in the party found three in the group dead. James had been tortured before the final blows. The colonists turned back, but Boone wintered in the area. In May he visited his son’s grave, identifying the body by the hair. His biographer Draper reports, “He could never in after years speak of this affecting incident, even to his own family, without having his feelings deeply stirred within him.”

Photo of a river with rocky flats in the middle
Site of the Falls of the Ohio (AmRevNC photograph)

The next month, the governor of Virginia declared war on Native Americans west of the mountains. Boone was tasked with warning surveyors sent down the Ohio River. He and another man spent two months going as far as the Falls of the Ohio at today’s Louisville. Newspapers picked up the story and gave Boone his first taste of fame.19 On returning, he joined the militia and helped protect the region, rising to captain.

Boone’s reports about Kentucky led Henderson and others to form the Transylvania Company to purchase much of today’s Kentucky—despite the fact they had no legal authority, and there were already three treaties signed with different tribes covering pretty much the same land! Boone helped gather Cherokees to negotiate a treaty in March 1775, though knowing the “‘Cherokees never owned the land,’” a companion wrote.20

Before the treaty signing one of the Cherokees shook Boone’s hand and said, “‘Brother… we have given you a fine land, but I believe you will have much trouble in settling it.’”21 He was more right than he knew. Besides other Cherokees and tribes resisting, the royal governors of both North Carolina and Virginia declared the treaty illegal, and rebel Virginia legislators agreed no grants should be made west of the mountains, not wanting to antagonize the Native nations.

The company offered Boone 2,000 acres for building a road into the territory anyway, though he had an added incentive: A warrant came out for his arrest for debts.22 He formed a group that included 30 woodcutters, enslaved people, and Susannah Hayes, Daniel’s daughter and wife of one of the woodcutters. The “Boone Trace” they cut over the Cumberland Gap was the main route for homesteaders for two decades.23 Along the way they found the skeleton of John Stuart, missing since the 1769 hunt. He had been shot and crawled into a hollow tree to die.

In April 1775 Boone’s party established the third European-American settlement in Kentucky, near today’s Lexington, named Boonesborough. The American Revolution was starting. A company man was sent to the Continental Congress as a representative, but it refused to seat him. Boone came back to retrieve his family, and they moved into a Boonesborough cabin in September. He claimed his “wife and daughters… were the first white women that ever stood on the banks of the Kentucky River” (perhaps wrongly24).

Photo of log cabins in a line
Reconstruction of Fort Boonesborough (AmRevNC photograph)

Shawnees under a war chief named Mkahday-wah-may-quh25 or “Blackfish” began attacking the Kentucky towns. Boone pushed to turn the little village into a fort with stockade walls and blockhouses. In July 1776, 14-year-old Jemima and two friends were kidnapped by Cherokees. The girls used various ruses to slow progress, and left markers to track them. Boone and a small posse found the group two days later and chased off the Cherokees. The 1826 novel The Last of the Mohicans includes the story.

Virginia’s new state constitution prohibited private sales of Native land, which was the death knell for the Transylvania Co. and Boone’s promised 2,000 acres. However, it also made Kentucky a new county. Boone was named one of the court justices, which included county commissioner duties in those days.

Photo of a grassy park with a wall around a monument
Site of the original fort (AmRevNC photograph)

Raids continued on the settlements. In one example, two men gathering horses were attacked, and Boone and others rushed to assist. It was a trap; more Natives ran between them and the fort. Boone cried, “‘Boys, we are gone—let us sell our lives as dearly as we can!’”26 The Kentuckians, outnumbered at least four-to-one, 27 used their rifles as clubs to fight their way back. Boone was shot in the ankle and nearly scalped before he was rescued by a couple of men and Jemima.

Boone the Shawnee

In January 1778, Boone and three-dozen others went northeast to the Licking River to boil salt.28 While hunting, Boone was captured by Shawnees and taken to their camp. Among the 120 men were Blackfish; an African-American translator named Pompey; and the warrior who captured him nine years earlier. “‘How d’ do, Captain Will?’” Boone said. “‘Don’t you remember taking two prisoners eight years ago on Kentucky river? I am one of them.’”

Blackfish told Boone they were headed for Boonesborough and threatened to kill the salt-boilers. Knowing the town was outnumbered, Boone convinced Blackfish to let him talk his party into surrendering, and Boonesborough to do so in the spring, when the women and children could survive the trek to Shawnee territory in modern Ohio. After the salt-boilers gave up, one man “accused Daniel of being a British spy,” and others said they wished they had fought to the death.29 Boone was forced by their captors to run the “gauntlet,” two lines of warriors who attacked him, which often resulted in serious injury or death. Boone survived with one minor injury by charging at one side and then the other, and barreling through a warrior who stepped in front of him at the end.

Photo of looking up a river below a tree-covered hill with a bridge crossing it
Area of the salt licks (AmRevNC photograph)

Most of the captives were adopted into the tribe, including Boone as Blackfish’s “son,” given the name Sheltowee. Blackfish took the rest to the British at today’s Detroit (Mich.). The British commander, Gov. Henry Hamilton, questioned Boone overnight. Hamilton offered to purchase him from Blackfish and free Boone upon agreement not to fight anymore. But Blackfish refused and took him home.

Biding his time, Boone played the dutiful adopted son, “always appearing as cheerful and satisfied as possible.”30 Blackfish and his wife became fond of him and trusted him with a gun, though only four bullets at a time. Boone began hiding supplies. When he returned to the town from a hunt to find warriors aiming for Boonesborough,31 he escaped with stolen gun parts and his hidden items. He covered 160 miles in four days on one meal, making a raft to swim his clothes and supplies across the Ohio River. Rebecca had moved the family back to the cabin uphill from here. Only Jemima, now married, was left to greet him—and a family cat who jumped into his lap.

Under Siege

Photo of a greenish river running side-to-side below a low tree-covered ridge
Kentucky River by the fort site (AmRevNC photograph)

In September 1778, British flags appeared on the ridge across the Kentucky River from Boonesborough, marking the arrival of around 400 Shawnee and other warriors under Blackfish, 40–50 Canadian militia, a British trader, and Pompey.32 Oddly, French Canadians were among the militia, flying a French flag, apparently not knowing France had signed an alliance with the Americans seven months earlier! The fort had only 60 fighters.

Three days of talks ended with the Natives trying to capture the town’s negotiators, including Boone, but they were ready. All got back to the fort as both sides commenced firing and the Siege of Boonesborough began. The stockade provided limited protection because of hills on both sides of the river. Jemima, busy running supplies to the fighters, took a minor wound in the butt from a bullet. Boone supposedly took down a Native sniper from 260 yards away.33 After eight days and numerous failed attempts to burn the fort, the attackers drifted away. Only two Kentuckians were killed, including an enslaved man called London who died exchanging shots with a warrior. Boone thought at least 37 Native Americans were killed, and Pompey.

However, Boone was court martialed on charges of surrendering the salt expedition, plotting to surrender Boonesborough during his captivity, and two other charges. He was acquitted on all four. Proof he was no Tory, or Loyalist, comes in an unusually profane (for him) letter to Rebecca sent before the siege: “‘God damn them that had set the indians on us.’”34

Despite this, Boone may have been neutral about the Revolutionary War. He made no reference to it or the day’s politics to his first biographer, stating “he felt no animosity toward the British.”35 Draper’s editor says, “Boone and his kinsman were charitable toward the British and were not rabid secessionists.”36 Many of Rebecca’s kin were Loyalists, including Tory Col. Samuel Bryan, her uncle. There were suggestions at the time Boone kept going to Kentucky to avoid the war.37 Obviously he fought British allies, but he surely would have done the same had Patriot-leaning Native Americans attacked Boonesborough.

Soon after the trial, Boone came back to the cabin uphill to retrieve his family. Rebecca resisted, but Daniel prevailed. In 1779 he led what became the largest wagon train yet along Boone’s Trace, joined by his brother Neddie. Still smarting from his court martial, Daniel moved the Boones a few miles north of the town named for him with other families, to what became known as Boone’s Station. They survived a “Hard Winter,” featuring deep snow for months that killed off game and livestock and blocked resupply.

Boone began surveying land and dealing in real estate for himself and others. On a trip to Williamsburg, Va., to register claims the next year, $20,000 of investor money was stolen from him in a tavern while he slept, possibly drugged by the landlord. He spent years repaying in land those who did not believe it was taken.

Through all this, the Kentuckians continued to fight off warrior attacks, so they launched an invasion of the Ohio country with 1,000 men including Boone and Neddie. The Shawnees made a stand that the militia won at great cost, probably 40 dead. On the way home, Boone and Neddie were ambushed while hunting. Neddie was killed and Daniel barely escaped.

After Kentucky was divided into three Virginia counties in 1780, Daniel was elected sheriff, a lieutenant colonel in the militia, and his county’s delegate to the state legislature. When it met the next year in Charlottesville, many delegates were captured by Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton’s British Legion. Boone was among them and apparently held in a coal shed.38 He was probably paroled like others, but some of his haters viewed his being freed as another sign of Loyalist leanings.

After a massacre of more than 90 Native-American Moravians in Ohio, an army of 300–500 natives from six nations plus 50 Canadian militia moved south in 1782. Around 180 Kentuckians responded, including Boone and his son Israel. A mile from where the salt-boilers had surrendered, they spotted warriors atop a hill. Boone warned of a trap. The other officers ignored his warnings, one even accusing him of cowardice. The normally self-controlled Boone lost his temper and agreed to go. The uphill attack was a disaster, with at least 43 militia killed in 5–15 minutes of fighting. The Boones stayed behind to protect the retreat, and Israel was wounded. Daniel carried him off, put him down to shoot a warrior following them, and turned back to watch Israel die. The Battle of Blue Licks is considered the last true battle of the American Revolution. For the rest of his life, Boone blamed himself for getting angry and thus, in his mind, getting his son and the other men killed.39

Photo looking up a hill with a grassy lower slope and trees above
Blue Licks Battlefield (AmRevNC photograph)

The following year he told his life story to a former school teacher writing a history of Kentucky. His “autobiography” made Boone a living legend across America and Europe at age 50.

War’s End Brings Little Peace

Native Americans kept up their war, and Boone was one of the officers in an 800-man force that raided the Shawnee villages yet again in 1786. He came face-to-face with the man who killed his son James years earlier; stunned, he watched a friend charge and stab the man to death.

Photo of a corner inside a log cabin, with a fireplace and furnishings from the 1700s
Interior of the Boones’ last cabin in Kentucky (AmRevNC photograph)

Boone tried several business ventures in addition to surveying, including running a tavern (where he welcomed Native Americans), sugar-making, selling ginseng40, and a shipping company. Meanwhile he moved his family several times more. For a while Boone was rich, with claims to 100,000 acres of land. He bought at least seven enslaved people despite his own experience as a captive. However, mistakes he made with his land claims and his surveying led to more debts and lawsuits. Yet again a warrant was issued for his arrest, but the Boones had already left the country. They had crossed the Mississippi River to settle in Spanish-claimed Missouri, southwest of St. Louis. He received grants from the Spanish governor, eventually totaling 8,500 acres, and was named the area’s “syndic,” a combination administrator, judge, and militia commander.41

In 1803 Missouri was purchased by the United States, and U.S. land commissioners denied Boone’s land grants.42 He had to move in with relatives, but he was allowed to continue his administrator duties.

By age 76, Daniel was hampered by arthritis, but that did not stop him continuing to hunt, trap, and explore. He took to visiting some old friends: Shawnees he had known as Sheltowee, the adopted son of Blackfish. A modern biographer says Boone “bore Indians as a people no ill will and was often sympathetic to their plight.” Boone claimed to have only killed one Native American his whole life, though this seems to leave out battle casualties.

Photo of a river in the background joining another running side to side, with trees and brush on all sides
Confluence of the Yellowstone (in background) and Missouri rivers (AmRevNC photograph)

Still, he continued to have run-ins with nations to the west, including Osages who stole his furs. He made a final long hunt for six months up the Missouri River with other Kentuckians, going as far as the Yellowstone River in modern Montana. A trapper who ran into Boone in his 70s, with 60 beaver pelts, said, “The old man was still erect in form, strong in limb, and unflinching in spirit.”43

Rebecca died in 1813. Boone moved among various family members before dying at 85 in a son’s home, with Jemima at his side. He said, “don’t grieve for me, my time has come.”44 He owned perhaps 300 acres but was otherwise impoverished. His and Rebecca’s remains were moved from Missouri back to the capital of Kentucky ten years later. But Daniel’s may have been left behind,45 yet another lasting mystery from the life of this fascinating man who inspired authors, artists and poets for centuries to come.

What Else to See

Back at the corner of NC 268 and Foster Payne Road there is a marker that shows where the Boone’s last cabin in N.C. stood relative to the one here.

Photo of a log cabin with a porch and stone steps
(AmRevNC photograph)

As mentioned earlier, that site is out of public view. However, stones from the chimney and foundation of the cabin are included in a replica of it at Whipporwill Academy and Village, a privately owned history park 1.4 miles southwest of the marker along NC 268. The reproduction was based on a drawing by its last owner. The site is only open to the public via group tours by appointment, or during special events; check the website for availability.46

Many more places in North Carolina are associated with Daniel and his family. Footnote 6 has directions to the Sugar Tree Creek land near Clemmons. For others, in the source list below see the “Interactive Map” from North Carolina Daniel Boone Heritage Trail or In the Footsteps of Daniel Boone (Jones 2005).

More Information

  • Bakeless, John, Master of the Wilderness: Daniel Boone (New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1939), Durham Main Library
  • Draper, Lyman Copeland, The Life of Daniel Boone, ed. by Ted Franklin Belue (Mechanicsburg, PA : Stackpole Books, 1998) <http://archive.org/details/lifeofdanielboon0000drap> [accessed 13 June 2023]
  • Drury, Bob, and Tom Clavin, Blood and Treasure: Daniel Boone and the Fight for America’s First Frontier, First edition (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2021)
  • Elliott, Lawrence, The Long Hunter: A New Life of Daniel Boone (New York: Reader’s Digest Press, 1976)
  • Filson, John, and Daniel Boone, “The Adventures of Col. Daniel Boon” (1784), ed. by Wm. Thomas Sherman, Undated <http://archive.org/details/DanielBoone_201303> [accessed 13 June 2023]
  • Hodgkins, Hope, ‘Reading Boone’s Writing: Issues in Backcountry Literacy’, Journal of Backcountry Studies, 6.2 <https://libjournal.uncg.edu/jbc/article/download/376/193> [accessed 16 June 2023]
  • ‘Interactive Trail Map’, North Carolina Daniel Boone Heritage Trail <https://ncdanielboonetrail.org/nc-trails/interactive-trail-map> [accessed 15 June 2023]
  • Jones, K. Randell, In the Footsteps of Daniel Boone (Winston-Salem, N.C: John F. Blair, 2005) <https://durhamcounty.bibliocommons.com/item/show/287426217>
  • Jones, Randell, ‘Following Daniel Boone’, 2009
  • Maurice, George, Daniel Boone in North Carolina (Eagle Springs, N.C.: Published by the Author/Printed by William Byrd Press, Richmond, Va., 1955)
  • Morgan, Robert, Boone: A Biography (Chapel Hill, N.C: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2007)
  • Ripple, Yadkin, ‘Searching for Boone’s Home Site’, Yadkin Ripple, 2021 <https://www.yadkinripple.com/news/19296/searching-for-boones-home-site> [accessed 15 June 2023]
  • Seramur & Associates, PC, Geophysical Survey of the Beaver Creek House Site of Daniel Boone in Wilkes County, NC (Boone, N.C., 25 July 2023), Martin-Wall Local History Room, Davie County Public Library
  • The Boone Society, Inc., ‘North Carolina Boone Sites’, Undated <https://www.boonesociety.org/Documents/NC-Boone-Sites.pdf>
  • Van Noppen, John James, and Ina Woestemeyer Van Noppen, Daniel Boone, Backwoodsman: The Green Woods Were His Portion (Boone, N.C.: The Appalachian Press, 1966)
  • Wall, James W., Flossie Martin, and Howell Boone, The Squire, Daniel, and John Boone Families in Davie County, North Carolina (The Davie County Public Library, 1982), Quaker Archives, Guilford College, Fred Hughes Papers

[1] Seramur & Associates, PC 2023.

[2] Filson and Boone 1784; Boone asserted for years it was, “Every word true! Not a lie in it!” However, it is skimpy on details, and modern authors point out the language is probably too literary for a man with his lack of formal education, suggesting Filson embellished.

[3] Draper (1998) traveled extensively to gather papers related to Boone and to interview people who knew him, including his nephew, but he only got as far as 1778 in Boone’s life. Other biographers before and after Draper passed along stories and details as fact, or made them up, that have persisted to this day. American Revolution buffs may recognize the name: Draper completed one book, on the Battle of King’s Mountain, the main source for what is known today about that campaign.

[4] Reason they did it from Draper.

[5] Draper.

[6] There is no evidence they first lived in a cabin in what now is Boone’s Cave Park outside Lexington, N.C., much less in the cave. The Boones did not own the land, holding grants across the river instead.

[7] However, there is no truth to the story Boone almost shot Rebecca after mistaking her eyes for a deer’s. Multiple sources point out human eyes do not shine like a deer’s, so an experienced hunter would not make that mistake.

[8] No trace remains, but the land can be seen near Farmington, from Bobbitt Road, at 36.0051, -80.4976. Sugar Tree Creek runs under the bridge nearby, and splits a short distance to the east in the woods. The cabin was on the far side of that fork.

[9] Note by Draper’s editor, Belue, in Draper; additional description from Morgan 2007.

[10] Draper reports the story as fact, saying the incision was still visible. His editor Belue points out the majority of similar markings or relics credited to Boone are unproven or known to be false. But Bakeless (1939) says this one was seen in 1770 (before Boone was famous), based on Draper’s records. Elliott (1976) points out Boone always used the “e” in his name, so this one is likely legitimate, while those spelled “Boon” are not.

[11] A relative of Rebecca reported “forting up” four times (Draper), but no records clearly place her at the two closest stockades, Fort Dobbs in today’s Statesville or Bethabara in modern Winston-Salem.

[12] To a site near the mouth of Lewis Fork, north of the village of Goshen and west of Wilkesboro, now under Kerr Scott Reservoir (Jones 2005).

[13] Renamed for the Duke of Cumberland by the first European-American to find it—or return to tell the tale.

[14] Quoted in Draper.

[15] A 1772 newspaper article says a John Findley, probably the same man, had hides taken from him by Shawnees. But that is the last possible mention of him in the historical records.

[16] There is no evidence for a story that Rebecca did not recognize him when he showed up at a barn dance his in-laws were holding. This is described as a “yarn” by Drury and Clavin (2021), and neither Draper nor Filson and Boone repeat it.

[17] Jones says, “The actual records reviewed in the late 1800s showed only a few mentions of Boone in such suits.” That said, a number of court records are known to have been burned or otherwise lost, so that is not definitive.

[18] The term “settlers” used by many sources is inaccurate given Native Americans had lived in settlements across Kentucky before the arrival of European-Americans. However, modern sources suggest Kentucky was primarily used as hunting grounds by Native people living in today’s Ohio or Tennessee in historical times, so permanent villages were sparse and small.

[19] Drury and Clavin.

[20] The Treaty of Sycamore Shoals, signed at the Long Island of the Holston River, now in Kingsport, Tenn. Companion: John Walker, quoted in Draper.

[21] Filson and Boone.

[22] In April, quoted in Bakeless.

[23] Parts of it then were incorporated and improved into the “Wilderness Road.”

[24] Filson and Boone. Belue (in Draper) reports a 1755 Shawnee captive, Mary Ingles, escaped and made her way home partly following the river, “a grim, forty-day trek with no fire, no shelter, and no food save what she could grub with her own hands.”

[25] Bakeless. Morgan has the name as Cottawamago.

[26] All direct quotes of Boone on this page are from Draper unless otherwise footnoted.

[27] Estimates for the Shawnee range from 40 to 100, against around a dozen from the fort.

[28] “Licks” was a term for areas where the ground was infused with salt from saline water sources, so-called because wildlife would go there to get sodium and other minerals by licking the dirt.

[29] Drury and Clavin.

[30] Filson and Boone.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Draper and Bakeless note that witnesses and Hamilton provide a wide range of estimates, from 300 to 1,000. Boone reports 444. Though it’s unclear how he could get so precise a count, that aligns with the majority of reports from inside the fort saying 400 to 440.

[33] Belue note in Draper. Bakeless sides with some sources claiming Pompey was the victim. But Draper concludes based on other sources that Pompey was killed by another man at the mouth of a tunnel the attackers were building to burn the fort, and an unknown Native American by Boone’s long shot.

[34] Quoted in Bakeless.

[35] Filson and Boone.

[36] Belue in Draper.

[37] Bakeless.

[38] Contrary to one story, British Lt. Gen. Lord Charles Cornwallis was not there, so they could not have met. A conflicting tale says Boone wasn’t recognized because of the coal dust, but there is no evidence for this.

[39] Israel had just come off having a fever. Sources differ on whether Daniel pushed him to join the force anyway, or merely permitted him to, but either way this apparently added to Daniel’s lifelong sense of guilt over the battle.

[40] A story about the Boones poling a keelboat up the Ohio River with a large amount of ginseng, only to lose much of it to water damage after a log hit the boat, is mostly true. But Draper misunderstood the amount as 15 tons, actually 15 tuns, meaning barrels (Morgan). Later sources repeated Draper’s mistake.

[41] Jones. This move spawned the story that Boone stopped in Cincinnati, Ohio, and said he was moving because, “‘I want more elbow-room.’” There is no evidence from the time, and the sources for this page treat this as likely a myth, but he was known to joke about feeling “crowded.”

[42] Boone failed to improve the land, a requirement for U.S. land grants. The Spanish had said he did not need to, given his services to their government.

[43] Quoted in Morgan.

[44] Morgan, quoting from a Draper interview.

[45] Locals in Missouri later said another man, perhaps enslaved, had been buried next to Rebecca before Daniel died. So Boone was buried at her feet. The headstones were put up 10 years later by someone who didn’t know that. A Kentucky anthropologist examined a plaster cast in 1983 supposedly taken from “Daniel’s” skull. He said it appeared to be an African-American’s, but he was not sure (Jones, also repeated in other sources).

[46] AmRevNC is grateful to owner Margaret Ferguson Carter Martine for providing a tour and information on the cabin.

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