Daniel Boone - Summary

Daniel Boone is an American hero who explores the American wilderness. Few people know that Daniel Boone faces the charge of treason against the United States, and this incident haunts him throughout his life.

Little is known about this event because it has been hidden and most of the records destroyed. Yet, proof exists that Daniel Boone would face death by hanging if he is found guilty of being a traitor. At the first court martial ever in the state of Kentucky, Daniel Boone faces accusations of siding with the British. 

Daniel Boone is born in Pennsylvania, moves to North Carolina where he meets and marries his wife, and then locates in Kentucky. He is a woodsman and a hunter, and he proves himself a legend as a wilderness explorer.

It is during one of these wilderness expeditions that Boone and his men become captives of the Shawnee tribe. Boone convinces the warriors that his men would surrender as prisoners of war, and that he would later negotiate the surrender of the Boonesborough Fort. Since there was no struggle, many begin to question Boone’s motives and feel he is a traitor. 

Since Boone has marital ties to the Tory (Loyalists) party, and the Shawnee take the captives to a British settlement, some people question whose side Boone is on. Boone becomes part of the Shawnee chief’s family and takes a Shawnee name.

After learning that the British and the Shawnee are planning to attack Boonesborough, Boone escapes to inform the fort of the upcoming attack. When the Shawnee arrive, Chief Blackfish calls for Boone as "Sheltowee," his adopted son. Boone agrees to negotiate with the Shawnee outside of the fort.

This strategy appears to be risky, putting the Americans in harm's way. Boone feels that meeting outside the fort will allow the fort inhabitants to prepare a defense. Eventually, the Shawnee give-up and the fort is saved.

Boone’s actions during these proceedings are cause for a court martial.  Boone appears to many as a hero, but several see him as a traitor. He incurs four separate charges and faces hanging if found guilty. During the trial, Boone proves that he genuinely believes his actions were the only way to save the men and the fort. He is quickly found not guilty, then promoted to Major. 

Even though Daniel Boone proves himself innocent, the court martial affects his life. He leaves Boonesborough soon after, and moves to Missouri. When his biography is published, it does not mention the trial.

He lives to be 86 years old and, after his death, his body along with his wife’s body is moved back to Kentucky. His memory is kept alive through myths, legends and monuments to his life and travels.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 01, 1999

Updated Last Revision: Jul 08, 2019

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"Daniel Boone" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 01, 1999. Jan 18, 2020.
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