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American explorer and frontiersman Daniel Boone blazed a trail to the far west though the Cumberland Gap, thereby providing access to the frontier.
Daniel Boone - Full Episode (44:00)
Biography of Daniel Boone, famous pioneer who rescued his daughter Jemima Boone and friends after they had fled the constraints of Fort Boonesborough.
Daniel Boone biography of the pioneer who became a politician in the Virgina Assembly and became disillusioned with public life.
The full biography of Daniel Boone.
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Daniel Boone was born on November 2, 1734, near Reading, Pennsylvania. In 1755, he left home on a military expedition during the French and Indian War. In 1769, Boone led an expedition and discovered a trail to the far west though the Cumberland Gap. In 1775, he settled an area he called Boonesborough in Kentucky, but faced Indian resistance. On September 26, 1820, Boone died in Femme Osage Creek, Missouri.
"All you need for happiness is a good gun, a good horse and a good wife."
American explorer and frontiersman Daniel Boone was born on November 2, 1734, in a log cabin in Exeter Township, near Reading, Pennsylvania. His father, Squire Boone, Sr., was a blacksmith and a weaver who met his wife, Sarah Morgan, in Pennsylvania after emigrating from England.
Daniel, the couple's sixth child, received little formal education. Boone learned how to read and write from his mother, and his father taught him wilderness survival skills. Boone was given his first rifle when he was 12 years old. He quickly proved himself a talented woodsman and hunter, boldly shooting his first bear when most children his age were too frightened. At age 15, Boone moved with his family to Rowan County, North Carolina, on the Yadkin River, where he started his own hunting business.
In 1755, Boone left home on a military expedition that was part of the French and Indian War. He served as a wagoner for Brigadier General Edward Braddock during his army's calamitous defeat at Turtle Creek, near modern-day Pittsburgh. A skilled survivor, Daniel Boone saved his own life by escaping the French and Indian ambush on horseback.
In August 1756, Boone wed Rebecca Bryan, and the couple set up stakes in the Yadkin Valley. The couple would bear six children. At first Boone found himself content with what he described as the perfect ingredients to a happy life: "A good gun, a good horse and a good wife." But adventure stories Boone had heard from a teamster while on march ignited Boone's interest in exploring the American frontier.
In 1767, Daniel Boone led his own expedition for the first time. The hunting trip along the Big Sandy River in Kentucky worked its way westward as far as Floyd County.
In May 1769, Boone led another expedition with John Finley, the teamster Boone had marched with during the French and Indian War, and four other men. Under Boone's leadership, the team of explorers discovered a trail to the far west though the Cumberland Gap. The trail would become the means by which the public would access the frontier.
Boone took his discovery a step further in April 1775. While working for Richard Henderson's Transylvania Company, he directed colonists to an area in Kentucky he named Boonesborough, where he set up fort to claim the settlement from the Indians. That same year he brought his own family west to live on the settlement and became its leader.
Local Shawnee and Cherokee tribes met Boone's settlement of the Kentucky land with resistance. In July 1776, the tribes kidnapped Boone's daughter Jemima. Luckily, he was able to release his daughter.
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Throughout the centuries, brave explorers have fearlessly traveled the globe and beyond to discover new lands, people, animal species, riches and glory. Ferdinand Magellan of Portugal proved the world is round with his mission to sail around the world. His fellow countryman Vasco da Gama commanded the first European ship around the southern tip of Africa to reach India by sea. Norseman Leif Eriksson is regarded as the first European to reach North America, nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus, who is credited with discovering the “New World” of the Americas. Juan Ponce de León scoured Puerto Rico and Florida in his quest for the fountain of youth. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark blazed new trails during their Corps of Discovery Expedition across the western half of the United States. Traveling to new heights of discovery were mountain climber Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to reach the peak of Mount Everest, and U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon. These intrepid explorers and more have made an indelible mark on human history. See all Explorers.
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