There might not be a bigger folk hero in American history than Daniel Boone. Born in Pennsylvania, he had 10 brothers and sisters and learned survival skills from an early age. It wasn’t until he was in his 30’s that he began to lead the expeditions that would make him famous. His childhood exploits would one day save his life.
1. A Tribal Friend
Boone became friends with the local Delaware tribe that was nearby. There were some days that his parents would catch him dressing as if he were part of the tribe. His father taught him many survivor skills, but so did the Delaware. This would come in handy later on.
2. A Gap in the Woods
Boone is credited with finding the Cumberland Gap, which is a pass through the Appalachian Mountains. After getting through the passage, he discovered that there was plenty of great land for farming on the other side. The Shawnee were already there, however, but instead of killing Boone for trespassing, they sent him home and told him to never return.
3. What a Nickname
Boone was known for his accuracy with a rifle. He got his first rifle at the age of 12 and used it up until the final days of his life. He was so good with the rifle that it earned him the nickname of “Tick Licker.” The joke was that Boone was so great with a rifle that he could shoot a tick off of the back of an animal. He was also given the nickname of “Pathfinder.”
4. An Old Kentucky Home
One of Boone’s grandchildren is considered to be the first settler to be born in what would become the state of Kentucky. Despite the many attempts to run him off, Boone and his beaver cap would stay. He’d eventually build roads, a fort, and create a settlement that would become known as “Boonesborough.”
5. A Tough Road
Boone had made claims for land in Missouri and Kentucky, but both claims were rejected. He also was buying money for settlers out west when he was robbed of it. Boone would eventually pay all of the money back that he had lost in the robbery. It would take an act of Congress for Boone to finally get his land when he was in his 60’s.
Daniel Boone was an explorer, a patriot, and a man who worked as a public servant. His name will forever be associated with the founding of the United States and his fame has long been secured.