Boone: A Biography

Boone: A Biography

by Robert Morgan

The story of Daniel Boone is the story of Americaits ideals, its promise, its romance, and its destiny.

Extensive endnotes, cultural and historical background material, and maps and illustrations underscore the scope of this distinguished and immensely entertaining work.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Biography
  • Rating: 3.88
  • Pages: 538
  • Publish Date: October 16th 2007 by Algonquin Books
  • Isbn10: 1565124553
  • Isbn13: 9781565124554

What People Think about "Boone: A Biography"

The first words of the book are "Forget the coonskin cap; he never wore one." This sets the tone for one of the themes of the book -- that the myth of Daniel Boone was a phenomenon in itself and was often at odds with the real man, or was at least a larger-than-life image that served the purposes of those who helped create it. Irony plays a starring role in the life of Daniel Boone. The greatest irony of Boone's life is that his hunger for adventure and wilderness, for discovering uncharted territory, for living at one with Nature like the Indians, and the resulting trails that he blazed, actually paved the way for the rush of settlers westward that destroyed so much of what he loved. He quotes historian Richard Slotkin, "It was the figure of Daniel Boone, the solitary, Indian-like hunter of the deep woods, that became the most significant, most emotionally compelling myth-hero of the early republic.

I'm a Kentucky girl and loved all the great details about my state.

Boone himself was a complex figure. The book does a nice job of relating his family background, his childhood, and his increasing interest in trapping, hunting, and exploring. This book is a wonderfully balanced view of the life of Boone. Some nice features: a genealogy at the outset, a brief chronology of Boone's life.

Except for some basic facts about Boone's life (born near Philadelphia a Quaker, in debt a lot of his life, imprisoned by Shawnees for a couple of years, fought in a 1782 battle of the American Revolution), I don't have any better sense of the man than I did before I read it.

I was also interested in all the times Boone flirted with the British (he WAS kind of flirting with moving to Canada). He also could have spent a little more time on the fact that Boone and his whole family were slaveholders. He spent a little time there, but it seemed like he would give it a couple of sentences and then happily move on.

Morgans research clears up many of the false assertions about Boone and gives us a closer look at the real man. Morgan gives the impression the Quaker Boones and their neighbors had no problems with the Native Americans while living in Pennsylvania. Morgan refers to Logan who, seeking revenge for the murder of his family, helped spark the 1774 Dunmores War, as a Mingo.

I found it kind of sad actually; that a man who so loved the wilderness of Kentucky but lived through the disappearance of wildlife as well as the land being divied up by holding companies and settlers.

This book was so interesting not only about Daniel's life but also about the wilderness of Can tuck ee (Kentucky) and the Shawnee Indians.

I just loved this book, especially the 2nd half, starting with Ch. 9 were Boone chased down some Indians who stole his daughter, Jemimah.

In Morgan's view, Boone's life can be read as a work of art that greatly influences and shapes reflections on nature and the frontier experience that would come later. My favorite section of the book was a roughly 100 page section in which Morgan describes Boone's years as a trapper and explorer in the wilderness. Untethered from major battles or tragic personal events in Boone's life (those would come), Morgan tries to capture Boone's love of the vast untamed wilderness. As America pushed west, it became clear that the United States would spell the end for the Native American way of life, and that the way of the settler was not a way of compromise.