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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, January 12, 2009

Daniel Boone's Lehigh Valley Connection

When I was a kid, my favorite TV show was Daniel Boone, starring Fess Parker as the rugged, yet wise, woodsman. Currently, I'm reading Meredith Brown's Frontiersman, whose entertaining biography about Boone actually makes the man more interesting than the myth. I know I usually talk politics, but want to share a few details about this great man.

* He was born and raised until around age 15 very close to the Lehigh Valley, near Reading. This is where he learned his famed hunting skills.

* His parents were Quakers and his mother was designated a "traveling minister."

* He hated coonskin caps.

* Repeatedly robbed by Indians who always waited until he was at the end of one of his "long hunts," Boone spent most of his life broke and was often hounded by creditors.

* A dressed buck skin, his main source of income, was worth $1 and that's why we call that sum a "buck."

* Returning from one of his "long hunts," his feisty wife rewarded him with "Boone's surprise," Jemima, a daughter fathered by someone else. He accepted the situation with pretty good humor.

* He was a teamster during Braddock's defeat, and must have seen a young George Washington in action.

* He is the guide who led Abraham Lincoln's grandfather, also named Abe, into Kentucky. Abe was murdered by an Indian war party.

* Boone was certainly an "Indian Fighter" but was more often than not outwitted by them. In his first Kentucky "long hunt," Indians patiently waited until he was ready to leave and then relieved about 8 months work from him. They left him with this warning. "This is Indians' hunting ground and all the animals, skins and furs are ours; and if you are so foolish as to venture here again, you may be sure the wasps and yellow jackets will sting you severely." Boone was so foolish and tried to steal horses from these very Indians. He was caught again. Instead of eating his heart or boiling him alive, Indians took a bell from a horse and had him prance around. They got a kick out of that, I guess.


Glenn said...

enjoyed this post tremendously, thank you for sharing this. i love learning something new first thing in the AM; like where the nickname "buck" came from!

thanks Bernie O

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm very pleased you enjoyed this post. It's an excellent book.

backup contacts said...

Mr. Boon was an exciting man and his story intrigued me when I was young and does not fail to do the same today.