1778 Boone

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.

See Also:

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.