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Daniel Boone
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The idea of Daniel Boone is more American than apple pie.

But let’s leave the pies to Wayne Thiebaud, shall we? Because the actual Daniel Boone was more along the lines of Paul Revere than Paul Bunyan and Johnny Appleseed. He was an American frontiersman, explorer, and settler who traversed the North American continent in the early days of the New World.

Despite his frontier lifestyle and the mythology that has followed his character to this day, Boone never really wore a coonskin cap. Unlike the giant lumberjack Paul Bunyan and his infamous blue ox, Boone was a real guy who did real frontiersman things, like hunt and trap. And while he may have actually needed a hat to help protect him from the elements during his adventures, his opted for the more practical choice of wide-brimmed felt or beaver skin, rather than the annoying and itchy coonskin material.

Now that we’ve cleared up this coonskin cap nonsense, let’s get into what Daniel Boone actually did. As an early American, Boone believed in the white colonists’ right to land in the New World, even though plenty of Native Americans already lived there. History best remembers Daniel Boone as a brave soldier fighting to “defend” settlements from its original inhabitants. For what it’s worth, he marched and fought and alongside George Washington in 1755 during the French and Indian War.

Boone just couldn’t get enough after this early encounter with Native Americans. He went on to stake his claim as an American settler, often getting into skirmishes with those who already lived on this land in the American West. As a frontiersman and explorer, Boone frequently moved around, always dissatisfied with what he found and continually traveling west. Although he was the one to explore these lands, the American government frequently caught up with him and voided his claims to the land and made him leave. He didn’t like that (hmm...I wonder why?) and kept moving. He is best known for eventually settling in what is now Kentucky in 1775 and selflessly naming the settlement Boonesboro.

Although we want to believe that Boone is an American treasure like Grandma Moses, adjusting our views of history makes him out to be more of a Christopher Columbus kind of guy.

Sources

Sources

  1. Frick, Lisa. “Historic Missourians: Daniel Boone.” The State Historical Society of Missouri. https://shsmo.org/historicmissourians/name/b/booned/. Accessed September 25, 2018.
  2. History.com. “Daniel Boone.” Westward Expansion. History.com. August 21, 2018. https://www.history.com/topics/westward-expansion/daniel-boone. Accessed September 25, 2018.
  3. Ray, Gene. “Daniel Boone Never Wore a Coonskin Cap.” The Boone Society, Inc. 2018. https://www.boonesociety.com/pages/daniel-boone-never-wore-a-coonskin-cap/ Accessed October 15, 2018.
  4. Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. “Daniel Boone.” Portraits. http://npg.si.edu/object/npg_NPG.2003.1. Accessed September 25, 2018.