DANIEL BOONE by Laurie Lawlor


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A biography largely based an the Draper Collection Of reminiscences, letters, and stories from Boone's family, friends, and neighbors. Growing up in a Quaker home, Daniel preferred hunting to farming. When the family moved in 1750 from Pennsylvania to what is now North Carolina, 16-year-old Daniel fine-tuned his skills, surviving in the deep woods for months. In 1769, he accepted a commission to secretly explore ""Cantuck"" (legally out-of-bounds because of agreements with the Indians) and establish claims. During the next 30 years, he led settlers into Kentucky and Tennessee, helping them defend vulnerable settlements against Cherokees and Shawnees who were often abetted by British troops; losing two sons and a brother in the skirmishes; rescuing his kidnapped daughter from Indians, while he himself was captured. With Kentucky at last ""overgrown,"" he (then 65) led settlers to Missouri, where he died in 1820. While Lawlor tries (sometimes successfully) to make Boone more than a mythical Indian fighter, there's plenty of fighting, torture, and scalping here, with the Indians and their allies emerging as the spoilers. The author switches constantly between biographical reporting and narrative recounting, frequently omitting the source for story or quote. A few maps and drawings are inconveniently placed in the center of the book. Altogether, then, not great, but there's a dearth of biographies of Boone.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1988
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Whitman