Daniel Boone (1734-1820) was captured by the Shawnees in February
of 1778. He was taken to Detroit before journey to the Shawnee village
where he was adopted. He escaped in June of 1778 and returned home. This
account is fictionalized.
He resided as a captive among the Indians until the
following March. At that time, he, and ten of the persons who were taken
with him at the Blue Licks, were conducted by forty Indians to Detroit,
where the party arrived on the thirteenth of the month. The ten men
were put into the hands of Governor Hamilton, who, to his infinite
credit, treated them with kindness. For each of these they received a
moderate ransom. Such was their respect, and even affection for the
hunter of Kentucky, and such, perhaps, their estimate of his capability
of annoying them, that although Governor Hamilton offered them the large
sum of a hundred pounds sterling for his ransom, they utterly refused
to part with him. It may easily be imagined, in what a vexatious
predicament this circumstance placed him; a circumstance so much the
more embarrassing, as he could not express his solicitude for
deliverance, without alarming the jealousy and ill feeling of the
Indians. Struck with his appearance and development of character,
several English gentlemen, generously impressed with a sense of his
painful position, offered him a sum of money adequate to the supply of
his necessities. Unwilling to accept such favors from the enemies of his
country, he refused their kindness, alleging a motive at once
conciliating and magnanimous, that it would probably never be in his
power to repay them. It will be necessary to contemplate his desolate
and forlorn condition, haggard, and without any adequate clothing in
that inclement climate, destitute of money or means, and at the time
time to realize that these men, who so generously offered him money,
were in league with those that were waging war against the United
States, fully to appreciate the patriotism and magnanimity of his
refusal. It is very probable, too, that these men acted from the
interested motive of wishing to bind the hands of this stern border
warrior from any further annoyance to them and their red allies, by
motives of gratitude and a sense of obligation.
It must have been mortifying to his spirit to leave his
captive associates in comfortable habitations and among a civilized
people at Detroit, while he, the single white man of the company, was
obliged to accompany his red masters through the forest in a long and
painful journey of fifteen days, at the close of which he found himself
again at Old Chillicothe, as the town was called.
From: THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF DANIEL BOONE, THE FIRST
SETTLER OF KENTUCKY, INTERSPERSED WITH INCIDENTS IN THE EARLY ANNALS OF
THE COUNTRY by Timothy Flint. Cincinnati: U.P. James, 1868: 125 - 127.
Dictionary of American Biography.
Brown, William Dodd ed. The Capture of Daniel Boone's Saltmakers: Fresh Perspectives from Primary Sources. Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 1985 83 (1): 1 -18.
Faragher, John Mack. Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer. NY: Holt, 1992.
Herman, Daniel J. The Other Daniel Boone: The Nascence of a Middle-class Hunter Hero, 1784-1860. Journal of the Early Republic 1998 18 (3): 429-457.