BY DR. JOHN P. HALE, Charleston, W. Va.
Facts And Incidents Not Hitherto Published.
Some Facts and. Incidents not Hitherto Published. - His Ten or Twelve Years' Residence in Kanawha County, Near Charleston, West Virginia. - Some Errors of His Biographers - His Removal to Missouri. - His Walking Stick. - Jesse Boone, Salt Inspector. - Albert Galletin Boone, First White Man Where Denver, Colororado [sic], Now Stands, - Kit Carson's Mother a Boone. - Simon Kenton the First White Settler in the Kanawha Valley, Remaining Here Over Two Years. - Simon Girty.
BY DR. JOHN P. HALE, Charleston, W. Va.
Feeling satisfied that any new facts and incidents illustrating the life and history of so remarkable a man as Daniel Boone would be received with interest by the public, I contributed to the Charleston, W. Va. Courier, two or three years ago, some facts connected with his residence in this county, not hitherto in print, and probably not known outside of this Valley. Since that time I have received quite a number of letters from various sources, asking for further information, if attainable, about his residence here, and manifesting the deepest interest in everything relating to the grand old frontiersman.
I now write to add a few more facts and incidents gathered from records fast being lost or destroyed, and traditions fast fading into oblivion; and also to correct some important errors of his Biographers, as to dates and facts in his earlier and after life.
None of his Biographers whom I have read, knew the exact place of his birth or death, nor the time of his leaving Pennsylvania for North Carolina, nor the time of his leaving Kentucky or going to Missouri.
They were totally ignorant of the fact that he ever lived in Kanawha county, and the ten or twelve years of comparatively quiet but useful and honorable life spent here, was, to them a total blank.
They claim that he was born in Bucks county, Pa., on the Schuylkill, near Philadelphia, about 1734 or '35; that his father removed to North Carolina about 1748, when he was 13 or 14 years old. They think he left Kentucky about 1790 or '92. Settled in Western Virginia not far from the mouth of the Kanawha, and removed to Missouri about 1795, '96 or '97.
I shall endeavor to show how inaccurate all this is, as I proceed.
A year or two ago Colonel Marshall McCue, of Virginia, visited Reading, Berks county, Pa., and whilst there, was driven out by a friend to the reputed birth place of Daniel Boone, eight miles distant.
In a published letter of his in the Reading Times shortly after, this fact was mentioned, whereupon the Philadelphia Press took him to task for his inaccuracy and credulty, and stated that Boone was not born in Berks county at all, but in Bucks county, the precise location not being known.
This brought to the rescue Colonel Nicholas Jones, a native and lifetime resident of Reading, and, I think, related by marriage to the Boone family, many of whom still reside in that region.
Colonel Jones had often pointed out the traditional birth place of Boone to curious and interested visitors; but as the accuracy of this tradition as to locality was called in question, he set to work to establish the facts, if possible, by record evidence.
He thoroughly succeeded, from public and family records, in establishing, not only the place and exact date of his birth, but many other interesting facts in connection with the Boone family. These were given to the public by Col. Jones in a very interesting paper published in the Reading Times, from which I cull, in short, such facts and dates as serve my purpose.
George Boone, the grandfather of Daniel, came from Bradenich, Devonshire, England, arriving at Philadelphia October 10, 1717, and in April, 1718, having acquired 400 acres of land by entry, dated April 4th, 1718, he settled in Oley Township, Philadelphia county, now Exeter Township, Berks county. Here he built and occupied a plain log house. In 1730, having prospered, he built a more substantial and pretensious [sic] house of stone, for his family; but, he said, it was too fine for him; he preferred to, and did remain in the log cabin, close by.
He had known William Penn in England and was probably induced by him to come over. He was a member of the Society of Friends, and when he died was buried in the Friends' cemetery in Exeter. He had deeded this ground to the society for a cemetery, and had made Squire Boone, also a member, one of the trustees. Al! of these records are in Exeter township, then Philadelphia now Berks county.
Squire Boone, the father of Daniel, married Sarah Morgan on the 23d of July, 1720. In 1730 he purchased from Ralf Ashton, by deed dated October 20, 1730, a seperate [sic] estate of 158 3/4 acres, lying in Exeter township, Philadelphia county, eight miles southeast of Reading, three miles from the mouth of the Monocacy and one and a half miles from the Philadelphia pike; and here Daniel Boone first saw the light, October 22, 1733. Upon this tract was a substantial stone house, thus described by Colonel McCue:
"The historic old mansion is in good preservation and will stand for centuries to come. It is built of dark freestone. The oldest part is thirty-one feet long by twenty- eight wide; walls eighteen to twenty inches thick, and two and a half stories high ; the heavy girder supports the joists in both stories, and the lower project two feet or more and are covered with a narrow roof of shingles. There are two rooms below and three above and the old-fashioned fire place in the west end (the house stands east and west) has been covered and made into a cupboard. Porches have been put to the north and south sides and are modern. An addition was built to the western end, of the same kind of stone, same width and about sixteen feet long. A large stone dairy - or it may have been a kitchen, was built, as supposed, at the same time, a few yards to the south-west of the main building, and in 1792, The addition to the old house contains the spring in the basement, at the south-east corner, and the water issues from under the south-west corner of the old house. This room constitutes an elegant dairy, room for fruit, preserves, etc., and the display of nice bread and pies, with butter and milk, gave a forecast of what was in store for my friend and myself, under the kind and not to be resisted invitation of our hostess and her daughter that we must take supper."
Notwithstanding all that has been said and written to prove that Boone was born in Bucks, or Berks county, he, in fact, was not born in either, but in Philadelphia county. Colonel Jones has well established the locality of his birth in Exeter township; but Exeter township remained a part of Philadelphia county until 1752, when Berks county was formed from parts of Lancaster and Philadelphia counties, and included Exeter township and the locality of Boone's birth, but this was two years after 'Squire Boone had sold his farm and removed, with his family, to North Carolina.
Colonel Jones has traced the record of conveyances of this farm and home from Squire Boone, first to William Mogridge, April 11, 1750, and from him and others down to its present owner and occupant, Mr. Richardson.
The Boones were a large family; most or all of them well to do, thrifty, prosperous people, owning valuable farms and homes. One of them, James Boone, a cousin of Daniel; was a man of much learning and with a general aptitude for mathematics. He was widely known as "Boone, the Mathematician." He lived for some time in Philadelphia, where his friends and associates were such men as Benj. Franklin, David Rittenhouse and others of that class.
He taught a select school for the higher branches for advanced young men, and so great was his reputation as a teacher, that several gentlemen's sons were sent over from England to attend his classes.
He was a great admirer of Sir Isaac Newton, and it is related that he went through Sir Isaac's calculations, and discovered and noted a number of errors in his published works - the volumes are still extant with these notes and criticisms.
This James Boone was the record keeper of the Boone family. He recorded births, deaths, marriages, removals, etc., to the day, the hour and the minute. So there need be no fear of inaccuracies in dates or facts that come from the records of James Boone.
But to return from this digression to the subject of this sketch.
It seems that when a mere lad young Boone had discovered a taste for adventure. He had accompanied his cousin, Henry Miller, on more than one excursion to the headwaters of the Shenandoah River, in Virginia, for the double purpose of hunting and trading with the Indians.
This Henry Miller afterwards returned to Virginia, and built on Mossy Creek, Augusta county, the first Iron Furnace in the Valley of Virginia.
In April, 1750, Squire Boone sold his homestead in Philadelphia county, (now Berks county) to Wm. Mogridge, as above stated, and on the first of May removed with his family - Daniel then being seventeen years old - to the banks of the Yadkin River, North Carolina. .
But little is known of young Daniel for the next few years, though it is not to be supposed that he was idle; his Shenandoah expeditions with the wild and exciting life had led, had, no doubt, served to stimulate his natural taste for adventure, and instead of leading the monotonous life of a farmer, as is supposed, I learn from his grandson, Colonel Albert Gallatin Boone, that he was with Washington on the northwestern frontier of Virginia; was with the ill fated Braddock expedition to Fort Du Quesne, and was in camp or garrison with Washington at some of the frontier forts. When he returned from that region he brought to the settlements a small table and desk, which a fellow soldier, who was an expert carpenter or cabinet maker, had made from a walnut log near the fort or camp where they were stationed, Boone having purchased the table and desk from the maker. They have been preserved through all these years, and are now owned by Colonel A. G. Boone.
In looking over the history of this time, I think I can trace the circumstances which led Boone in that channel.
About the close of 1753, North Carolina sent 450 volunteers, at the request of Governor Dinwiddie, to help protect the Northwest Virginia frontier. Some question having arisen about the payment of these troops, they were disbanded at Winchester in March, 1754. Immediately following, a Virginia regiment was organized, under Colonel Fry and Lieutenant-Colonel Washington. It is more than probable that some of the North Carolina disbanded forces, Boone among them, joined this Virginia regiment. They marched against the French and Indians, and were defeated at Great Meadows. The next year, 1755, Braddock's regulars and the Virginia forces marched against Fort Du Quesne and were defeated. Next year, 1756, Washington was in command of the frontier garrisons or forts at Cuinberland, Frederick, Great Meadows, etc. And this was the time, probably, when young Boone acquired the table and desk, and from here it was possible to get them back to the settlements.
About this time he must have returned to North Carolina, for on the 11th of August, 1756, he married Miss Rebecca Bryant, the daughter of one of his father's neighbors, made a settlement on the Holstein river, in South West Virginia, and probably devoted himself for a time to the uncongenial pursuit of farming.
In 1760, he hunted into Tenessee, where, on the Watauga river, he left cut, in a beech tree, the record of killing a bear.
In 1761, it is related that he,with a party, started to Kentucky, but, at about where Abingdon now stands, the expedition, for some reason not now known, was abandoned.
In 1764 he penetrated Kentucky as far the as Rock Castle branch of the Cumberland river, showing that the leaven of adventure was working in him.
In 1769, with Findley, Steward and others as his companions, he started out, literally with his life in his hands, on a career of individual discovery and conquest, which for boldness of conception, intrepid daring and unflinching resolution against desperate odds in its execution, for disregard of personal comfort and contempt of danger, for coolness, tact and sound judgment in all emergencies, and above all, for broad and far reaching results to the country and the world at large, has no parallel in history. But it is here that his Biographers generally take him; for about all they know of him, and that imperfectly, is during the time covered by his wonderful Kentucky experiences from 1769 to 1784, and I shall leave him mostly with them for the next fifteen years. During this period they have devoted to him, and his history, several hundred pages of thrilling interest.
They endeavor to do him justice as a mighty hunter, explorer and Indian fighter, but they have not, I think, dwelt sufficiently upon his qualities and experiences as a counselor, commander and legislator; in which fields, notwithstanding his rare modesty and lack of self-assertion, he was appreciated and put forward by his co[n]temporaries.
Boone kept no diary or note book of the stir[r]ing events in which he was participating, no written record of the history he himself was making. He had no thought of fame or the applause of men, and made no effort to herald his deeds to the world; he did not himself seem to appreciate the heroic grandeur of his acts, or the mighty results which were to flow from them, but seemed to be driven on, irresistibly, by that deep seated instinct of adventure which nature had implanted in him, and whose only gratification could be found among the wilds of the frontier wilderness and scenes and deeds of danger and daring which he so much enjoyed.
When he accepted service from Col. Henderson, to establish his Colony, he was sent to negotiate a treaty with the Indians, in council at Watauga. When the new State of Transylvania seemed established, he was chosen a delegate from one of the districts to the Legislature at Boonsborough, where, to show his thoughtfulness, one of the first bills he offered was for the protection of game.
When the. Transylvania bubble had burst, and Virginia divided Kentucky into three counties - Fayette, Jefferson and Lincoln - he was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of Fayette county, and also elected to represent the same in the Legislature at Richmond.
When Boonsborough was organized as a town, he was made one of tlie trustees. When Lord Duumore organized his Shawnee campaign in 1774, he put Boone in command of three garrisons. When became to Kanawha he was appointed Lieutenant- Colonel, and afterwards elected to represent the county in the Legislature, and when he went to Missouri he was appointed to the command of a district by the Spanish Commander of the territory.
He seems never to have sought place or preferment, nor to have shirked responsibility when thrust upon him, but he was always equal to the emergency.
The autobiography of Boone dictated to John Filson, was dated in Fayette county, Kentucky, in 1784. This, so far as I know, is the last published record of him in Kentucky. After this his Biographers know but little of him. They think he remained in Kentucky until about 1790 to '92, then settled in Western Virginia until 1795, '96 or '97, when he finally went to Missouri, where he died, somewhere from 1811 to '20.
I will try to show that these dates are as inaccurate as those of his early life, but more especially try to account for the ten or twelve years he lived here after leaving Kentucky, and before going to Missouri.
I have a copy of a letter from Boone, written in Kentucky, a few miles from Limestone, now Maysville, dated May 30, 1785, to Captain Charles Yancey, in relation to lands he had been locating and surveying for him (Yancey). This letter is three and half pages of foolscap, too long to publish here, but the date establishes the fact that he was still in Kentucky in May, 1785. This letter is now in the Public Library at Richmond, Virginia.
A deed on record in Fayette county, Kentucky, conveying land, was signed and acknowledged by Daniel Boone and wife at Point Pleasant, on the Kanawha river, April 28, 1786. It would seem from this that he had moved his family to this valley as early as this date.
I have a copy of another letter written by Boone to John Overton, of Lincoln county, Kentucky, on the same subject of locating and surveying land. This letter is dated July 20, 1786, and is now in possession of the Historical Society of Kentucky.
I have a copy of another letter to Captain Charles Yancy, about accounts, settlements, etc., but this time it is dated from Hanover county, Virginia, January 18, 1788, and in conclusion says: "We are all well at present," etc., this I think clearly indicates that he and his family were, at that date, in Hanover county, Virginia. This letter, the copy of which was kindly furnished me by Prof. Pendleton, of Bethany, a grandson of Captain Yancey, being much shorter, I herewith insert, in full, to show the simple, direct and courteous style of the old pioneer, and at the same time his peculiar Josh Billings style of orthography, proving that he was the great original, and Josh the plagarist and imitator:
''Capt Charles Yancy Lewesey County HANOVER COUNTY Jan the 16th 1788
"SIR Inclosed you have a few Lines from Coll Marshall I Showed him the order your Sun Bobey gave me but he says he thinks he owes you Nothing and if he Dos his Sun John will Setel With you Sir Dont he Oneasey about the Balance Due me until a Convenent opertunity Sarves We are all Well at present My Respects to your famyly I am Sir Your Omble Sarvent
DANIEL BOONE To Capt Charles Yancy."
The Colonel Marshall refered to in this letter was Colonel Thomas Marshall, surveyor of Fayette county, Ky., and his son John, refered to, was the afterward Chief Justice Marshall.
Shortly after this letter we find him making a second and last visit to his native Berks county, Pa. (He had been there alone in 1781.) The family record there, notes that on the 12th of February, 1788, Daniel Boone, Rebecca his wife and son, Nathan arrived by horse back on a visit. They remained over a month with their relatives and friends, and then returned. Where they returned to, is not stated, but it was probably either to Hanover county, or direct to this valley. If they stopped in Hanover they must have come here not very long after, for, upon the organization of the first court held after the formation of the county and appointment of officers of the first military organization, October 6, 1789, Thomas Lewis was appointed colonel and Daniel Boone lieutenant-colonel, as shown by the records.
It is not probable that he had just arrived here a week or a month before, but more likely that his family had resided in the valley, first at Point Pleasant and afterward in this neighborhood, since 1786.
There is evidence that Boone himself was at Limestone, (now Maysville) Ky., in 1788, but this was probably on a business visit, as he is known to have been in Kentucky on business in 1 795 and 1798, while he and his family resided here.
The new county of Kanawha was entitled to two representatives in the Legislature. At the first election, in 1790, George Clendenin and Andrew Donnally were elected; in 1791, George Clendenin and Daniel Boone were elected.
The following table, which will doubtless interest many Kanawhans, gives a full list of all our delegates, Boone included, from the formation of the county in 1789, until the winter of 1847, about which time I cut the list from the Kanawha Republican, a newspaper then published here:
KANAWHA DELEGATES. "A friend has furnished us with a complete list of the delegates from Kanawha in the General Assembly from the organization of the county to the present time. We publish it as a matter of curious interest to a large portion of our readers:
1790 - George Clendenin, Andrew Donnally.
1791 - George Clendenin, Daniel Boone.
1792 - Henry Banks, Wm. Morriss.
1793 - George Clendenin, Wm. Morriss.
1794 - Wm. Morriss, George Clendenin.
1795 - Thos. Lewis, George Clendenin.
1796 - Wm. Clendenin, Wm. Morriss.
1797 - Edward Graham, Wm. Morriss.
1798 - Wm. Morriss, Thomas Lewis.
1799 - Thomas Lewis, David Ruffner.
1800 - Wm. Morriss, Thos. Lewis,
1801 - Wm. Clendenin, David Ruffner.
1802 - R. M'Kee, D. Ruffner.
1803 - Wm. Clendenin, And. Donnally.
1804 - D. Ruffner, Carroll Morriss.
1805 - Nehemiah Wood, Wm. Morriss.
1806 - John Reynolds, Wm. Morriss.
1807 - John Reynolds,Wm. Morriss.
1808 - John Reynolds, Edmund Morriss.
1809 - John Reynolds, David Cartmill.
1810 - John Reynolds, Claudius Buster.
1811 - John Hansford, David Ruffner.
1812 - David Cartmill, John Hansford.
1813 - John Wilson, John Hansford.
1814 - John Wilson, John Hansford.
1815 - John Wilson, John Hansford.
1816 - John Wilson, Thos. S. Buster.
1817 - John Hansford, Lewis Summers.
1818 - John Hansford, P. R. Thompson.
1819 - Joseph Lovell, Claudius Buster.
1820 - Joseph Lovell, N. W. Thompson.
1821 - Joseph Lovell, Lewis Ruffner.
1822 - Matthew Dunbar, James Wilson.
1823 - James Wilson,Van B. Reynolds.
1824 - Joseph Lovell, John Welch.
1825 - Lewis Ruffner, Van B. Reynolds.
1826 - James H. Fry, Lewis Ruffner.
1827 - James C. McFarland, Daniel Smith.
1828 - Daniel Smith, Matthew Dunbar.
1829 - Daniel Smith, Matthew Dunbar.
1830 - George W. Summers.
1831 - George W. Summers.
1832 - James H. Fry.
1833 - James H. Fry.
1834 - George W. Summers.
1835 - George W. Summers.
1836 - A. Donnally.
1837 - Daniel Smith.
1838 - Daniel Smith.
1839 - Van B. Reynolds.
1840 - Andrew Donnally.
1841 - Daniel Smith.
1842 - Andrew Parks.
1843 - John Lewis.
1844 - Daniel Smith.
1845 - Spicer Patrick.
1846 - Spicer Patrick.
1847 - Andrew Parks."
In those days, before stage lines or other vehicular modes of travel were established, the only method of communication between this and the eastern settlements, was by foot or on horseback, over bridle paths through the mountains.
Boone, true to his instincts, footed it from here to Richmond and back, with his trusty rifle and butcher knife for his companions.
As may be supposed, a city life and the occupation of making laws were anything but congenial to his tastes and experiences.
He left Richmond early in the session and returned to Kanawha as he went.
Boone located and lived, while here, on the south side of the Kanawha river, four miles from here, about half a mile from the original and then noted Salt Spring, and just opposite the present "Daniel Boone" and "Snow Hill" salt furnaces.
His house was a double log house with passage between, all under one roof, with porch in front.
When I came to Kanawha, in 1840, there were many old persons living who had known the Boones well. One of them, Mr. Paddy Huddlestone, at whose house I spent several days, about forty years ago, interested me greatly, by relating the incidents of their hunting, trapping and camping together.
I do not now remember the details of these incidents with sufficient accuracy to relate them correctly. but I remember that beaver trapping was a favorite sport with Boone and that, together, they found more beaver on Gauley river than any other stream in this region.
Huddlestone had among his few books, a life of Boone, which I read and which led to the discussion of the subject. I remember how surprised I was to learn that I had just slept under the same roof that had often sheltered the old hero, and occupied the same room.
Jared Huddlestone, son of Paddy, still living, remembers well to have often heard his father tell of his first acquaintance with Boone. A stranger with rifle and pack came to his (Paddys) father's house one evening about dusk, and asked to stay all night; he seemed tired, did not tell who he was, had but little to say, and soon retired to rest. Next morning, when the family got up for the usual early breakfast, the stranger, with his rifle, was out and gone, but his pack remained, indicating that he had not gone far. It was not long until he came in and got his breakfast, remarking that as he was an early riser he had been looking around a little to see if there were any signs of game about, and told them he had discovered fresh beaver sign near the house. He asked if they had any traps, they told him they had no beaver traps, but had a steel trap for catching foxes. Well, said he to Paddy, "Come young man, get your trap and go with me, and I will show you how to catch beaver." The first day they were out they caught five, and within a few days exterminated the colony, about a dozen in all. The "sign" which Boone had found, was two saplings cut down from a triangle of three; and the third the beavers had commenced on. Catching the beavers saved the third sapling, which, to-day, is a red oak tree about two feet in diameter, standing at the upper end of Long-shoal.
In 1792, Daniel Boone and Robert Safford went on a beaver trapping expedition on Raccoon Creek, in now Gallia county, Ohio. They camped first about where the town of Adamsville now stands, and later at Beaver Dam, near Vinton.
They caught over one hundred Beavers. When the hunt was over and Booiie returned to Kanawha, he presented to his friend Safford his tomahawk and best Beaver trap, which he called "Old Isaac." This tomahawk and trap have been preserved and handed down in the Safford family, and are now in the possession of Mr. T. C. Safford, of Gallipolis, Ohio.
The Robert Safford above mentioned was one of the first three men who, in 1790, landed on the site of, and helped to lay out and start, the town of Gallipolis.
George H. Warth remembers hearing his father, John Warth, tell of a hunting and trapping expedition which he, Boone and others made on Mill creek, now Jackson county, West Virginia, in the winter of 1793-4. Boone was suffering very much with rheumatism at that time, and could not get about well; so he attended the beaver traps while the others hunted for larger game. To prevent Boone getting his feet wet, Warth used to carry him on his back across the creeks and branches until they got to the trapping grounds, and back again at night.
The winter nights being long, Boone interested his companions by relating many of his western adventures; one to the effect that in some Indian engagement he had killed a noted brave named Cat Fish; afterward, when Boone was a prisoner, young Cat Fish asked him if he was not in command when his father was killed, and taxed him with the killing; Boone admttted being present, but evaded the question of killing by saying that when all were firing it was impossible to tell who did the killing; and that many things happen in war that were best forgotten in peace. He thought that young Cat Fish, having him completely in his power, had determined to avenge his father's death; but to his surprise and relief Cat Fish slapped him on the shoulder saying : "Brave man! all right! when we in war you kill me, I kill you, all right! brave man!"
John Warth the younger, remembers his father telling, that on this same Mill creek expedition, Boone had lost or broken the screws in his gun lock, and had the lock tied to the stock by sinews of deer, and that the matter was the subject of frequent jest and laughter on the part of the company.
Colonel Jones, of Reading, Pa., remembers to have heard old persons who were living when Boone made his last visit to Berks, in 1788, say that Boone related, among his Kentucky experiences, that when he and others rescued his daughter and the Misses Callaway from the Indians who had captured them, the attack was made upon the Indian camp about daylight, and when Boone fired, his daughter sprang to her feet, clapping her hands with joy and exclaimed: "that's dad! that's dad!" She recognized the well known sound of his rifle.
Much of Boone's time while he lived here was spent in locating and surveying lands. He was familiar with the geography and topography of the whole country; he had traveled, and hunted, fought and trapped, up and down all the streams and knew where the good lands lay. It was this valuable knowledge, doubtless, that brought him employment here, as it had in Kentucky for several years before he left there.
In the reports of surveys on the surveyor's books, he is generally recorded as "marker;" he piloted the party, selected and located the land, carried his tomahawk and did the marking; Daniel Boone, Jr., and Mathias VanBibber being chain- men.
Among other tracts, he located over 200,000 acres in two adjoining surveys beginning where Boone Court House now stands, and running across the waters of Guyandotte, Twelve Pole and Big Sandy, to the Kentucky line. These surveys were made in 1795. The surveying party cut their names and the dates on beech trees at several places on the route. Mr. T. A. Matthews, surveyor, who has re-run these lines, tells me that the names and dates are still legible. The names are George Arnold, Daniel Boone, Edmund Price, Thomas Upton and Andrew Hatfield. On some of the trees, instead of Boone's full name, only his initials, "D. B." appear. The last survey recorded here in which Boone took part, was made September 8, 1798. Boone carried a smaller hatchet than usual, on his surveys, and made his lines and corner marks with great accuracy and uniformity of stroke, and the Kanawha surveyors, to this day, claim that they can distinguish the cut of his tomakawk [sic] from that of any other of the old surveyors. There is now on file, in the clerk's office here, a block from one of Boone's old line markings, held as a witness in a suit pending in court.
I have now before me an original report of a survey made by Daniel Boone, at Point Pleasant, in 1791. Of which the following is a copy :
"JUNE the 14th 1791 Laide of for Willeam Allin ten acres of Land Situate on the South Este Side of Crucked Crick in the County of Conhawway and Bounded as followeth Viz Begining at a rad oke and Hickury thence North 56 West 23 poles to a Stake thence South 56 Este 23 poles to a Stake thence South 34 West 58 poles to the Begining
The spelling, capitals, etc., are all Boone's.
The original M. S. was loaned me by Hon. C. P. T. Moore, of Mason county, to whom it belongs. Up this Crooked Creek was made the flank movement, by General Lewis, which decided the issue of the battle of Point Pleasant.
On one of Boone's hunting and beaver trapping expeditions up Gauley river, he penetrated the great Yew Pine forest lying in the present boundaries of Webster and Randolph counties; he was struck with the unusual appearance of the growth, and, selecting a straight young specimen, he cut from the top a piece of suitable length and size for a nice walking stick, trimming off the little limbs to the end, on which he left the whisk or brush of pine needles, and brought it home to show his friends, as a new or unusual variety of white pine. When it had served this purpose, he cut off the whisk at the end, leaving a handsome well proportioned walking stick, which, when he left the valley, he presented to his friend Mathias VanBibber. It has been carefully preserved in that family until some two years ago, when it come into the possession of John L. Cole, Esq., lawyer, surveyor, poet, artist, humorist, antiquarian and with all, a connection of the Boone family; his grandmother was Mary Bryant, first cousin of Rebecca Bryant, wife of Daniel Boone.
Mr. Cole presented this cane to me on the occasion of my writing a former article on the subject of Boone's residence in this valley. The cane is now preserved in my cabinet of interesting relics, and is, of course, very highly prized.
I will mention here by way of digression, that Samuel Cole, brother of the elder John Cole, cousin-in- law of Boone, was one of the discoverers, and the namer of the river which still bears his name, though of late years the spelling has been changed. Cole was with General (then Major) Andrew Lewis on his Shawnee expedition down Big Sandy in 1756. They started from Fort Frederick at Ingles' Ferry on New River in February, went by way of Holstein, Clinch, Bear Garden, Burks Garden and down Big Sandy. When fifteen miles below the forks of Sandy they found it impracticable to proceed farther, owing to exhaustion of their supplies, and the dissatisfaction and suffering of the men. They disbanded and separated into small squads so as to be able to find game enough to support them, and made their way, by different routes, to the settlements. One party, among whom was Major Lewis, Cole and others, found their way over on to the stream named by them "Cole," and followed up it.
Where they camped, on this river, they cut tlieir names on a beech tree and those names have remained legible, as I am told by Surveyor Matthews, until very recently, some vandal cut the tree down to clear the land.
On the older maps of Virginia, and all the old surveys of that region, the river is spelt "C-o-l-e," but since such vast deposits of mineral coal have been discovered on it, the spelling has gradually, but unauthoritatively, been changed to "C-o-a-l."
John Flinn, one of the pioneers of the valley, settled on Cabin creek (so named from his cabin) about fifteen miles above here. His cabin was situated between two branches of the creek, which to this day are known as "Flinn's wet branch" and "Flinn's dry branch," and are important land marks in some large surveys and long-winded law suits.
During an Indian raid up the valley, Flinn and his wife were killed, his cabin burned and his daughter, Cloe, taken prisoner. Another daughter, Betsey, was away from the house at the time, though near enough to witness the terrible tragedy that was being enacted. She fled to the house of Leonard Morris, their nearest neighbor, two and a half miles distant; upon reaching there, she found the house deserted; the family having had warning of the coming of the Indians, had hastily started for Donnally's Fort in Greenbrier. Miss Flinn followed, and alone, on foot, made her way through the woods, and reached Donnally's Fort safely. The Indians after killing Flinn and wife, started down t.he valley with tlie captive daughter; fortunately Daniel Boone happened to be near at hand, "the right man in the right place." He at once organized a party of pursuit, over took and killed the Indians and rescued the prisoner, who, then being an orphan, was brought up and educated by Boone, showing that the old hero was as tender hearted as he was brave.
At the session of the Legislature of 1846-7, Virginia formed a new county from parts of Kanawha, Cabell and Logan. Mr. St. Clair Ballard, then a member from Logan, made a speech on the subject of a name for the new county; he eulogized the eminent qualities and services of Daniel Boone, and related, among others, the incident of the rescue of Cloe Flinn.
Stated that this daughter, Cloe, afterward became his mother, and proposed to name the county Boone; which was done, and the county seat was named Ballardsville. Dr. S. Patrick, still living, aged 91, was, at the time, a member of the Legislature from Kanawha, and tells me he was present and heard the speech of Ballard.
In an old file of the Richmond Enquirer of March 8, 1847, in the Virginia State Library, I find the following report of the proceedings:
"A bill establishing the county of - out of parts of Kanawha, Cabell and Logan was taken up on motion of Mr. Ballard - read a second time and amended on motion of Mr. Ballard.
Mr. Ballard moved to name the county Boone. He said he desired briefly to state the reasons why he proposed to name the county Boone, after the great poineer [sic] of the west.
One of the earliest settlers of that county, said Mr. Ballard, was my grandfather on my mother's side. In the time of the barbarous deeds done by the Indians, they came across this family and shot the parents of my mother. They seized my mother and fled with her into their own country. Colonel Daniel Boone hearing of this pursued them and rescued my mother from the savage foe. He brought her back and raised and educated her.
These considerations induced him to ask that the name of the county should be Boone, and he hoped it would be the pleasure of the House to call the proposed county by that name.
The motion of Mr. Ballard was unanimously agreed to."
I have examined the old assessor's books to see what property Boone had when here; I find that he was not blessed or troubled with a large share of the world's goods. He was assessed for taxation with two horses, one negro and 500 acres of land. The land remained on the books in his name until 1803.
Jesse B. Boone did not go to Missouri with his father, but remained here until about 1815 or '16. He married here, Miss Cloe VanBibber. Colonel Andrew Donnally, Colonel John Reynolds and Mr. Goodrich Slaughter, prominent citizens of the valley, also married Van Bibbers, sisters of Mrs. Boone. And all have numerous descendants still living here.
Jesse B. Boone, was the first salt inspector in Kanawha. He removed from there to Greenup, Kentucky, where he lived until 1818, when he finally went to Missouri.
Albert Galletin Boone, son of Jesse, was a true chip of the old block. He was born at the Boone homestead in Kanawha, and remained here until his father left the valley.
When his father reached Missouri, Gallatin did not long remain there, but took to the wilderness as a young duck does to water, and never stopped until he had reached that then far off, mysterious and almost inaccessible land, the "Rocky Mountains."
As early as 1823, and while yet in his ''teens," he had charge of trading parties in that distant region, and in 1825, (fifty-seven years ago) he and his party were the first to camp, in the then unbroken wilderness, on the site of the present city of Denver.
From 1823 to 1835, he had explored, trapped and traded over all that range of country from the British possessions to the Mexican line.
Somewhat later, the Boone blood was cropping out prominently in another individual in these same fields of exploration and adventurous daring.
I learn from Colonel A. G. Boone, that Kit Carson was a cousin; his mother was a Boone. He was a worthy scion of the old stock, and has inscribed his name imperishably over that vast country which he helped to explore.
These men, without Government aid, were all over the western plains and knew every pass in the Rocky Mountains long before Fremont, Bonneville, Marcy and others made their famous expeditions to these far off regions.
It is impossible to over estimate the services of the Boone family to the country, in pushing on individually and unaided in the face of difficulties, dangers and privations, penetrating the great unknown wilderness stretching out to the west, leading on explorers, hunters, trappers and traders - those pioneers of civilization - and opening up to settlement and prosperous industry a country vast enough for empires.
When the country comes to build monuments in honor of the heroic men who spent their lives in converting a vast wilderness into a great nation, Daniel Boone and family will doubtless have fitting recognition.
I met Col. Albert Galletin Boone in Washington in 1875. He had just purchased, and had in his hand, when I met him, a copy of Bogart's life of his grandfather to take to a friend in Denver. He remembered, and called by name, a number of his playmates, schoolmates and cousins of over sixty years before, some of whom are still living, and, in turn, remember him and his sisters, Minerva and Panthea, who were remarkable for their great beauty. One of these afterward married Governor Boggs, of Missouri, and the other Mr. Warner, member of Congress from Missouri.
There is a tradition here that Daniel Boone was in the valley prior to the battle of Point Pleasant (October, 1774). The decendents of both William and Leonard Morris, two of the original pioneer settlers remember clearly this tradition in their families. Mr. J. L. Cole tells me that he has heard it through other and distinct sources; and Colonel B. H. Smith, now in his 85th year, remembers that Colonel Andrew Donnally, in his life time, told him that Boone was here before the battle of the Point; but none of them know anything beyond the naked fact; they remember no particulars.
I suspect that the explanation of this tradition is as follows: It is known that in 1774, Governor Dunmore appointed Boone to the command of three garrisons on the frontier,' during the expedition of himself and General Lewis against the Shawnees, which resulted in the battle of Point Pleasant.
Where those garrisons were is not stated, but as Boone was then in the Clinch river settlements, he probably came with Captains Shelby, Russell and others, who came from the Clinch and Holstein settlements, to join General Lewis at Fort Union, in the Greenbrier levels. One of the garrisons was, probably, at this "Fort Union." Another was, probably, at "Morris' Fort," at the month of Kelly's creek, nineteen miles from here, the first and upper-most fort established in the valley; and the third may have been at "Clendenens' Fort," at this place, (Charleston). This fort stood at the upper angle of Kanawha, and Morris street where Mr. C. C. Lewis now resides. This, however, is purely speculative, based, I think, on fair probabilities, but I know of no record evidence either to establish or disprove it.
While writing of Boone I will mention the fact, which I think is not generally known, even in Kanawha, that his Boone (?) companion and fellow explorer and Indian fighter, Simon Kenton, who for modesty and bravery, for love of daring adventure and successful encounters with the hostile tribes on the frontier, was second only to the old hero, was also, for some years a resident of Kanawha.
He came to this valley from Fort Pitt, down the Ohio and up Kanawha, late in 1771, and with two companions - Yeager and Strader - built and occupied a camp on Elk river, supposed to be about Two Mile creek, two miles from this place. Here they hunted and trapped until early in 1773(?), selling their furs and skins to some French traders at the month of Kanawha.
They were at last attacked by Indians, Yeager killed, and both Kenton and Strader wounded; but the two latter succeeded in making their escape down the river. At the mouth of Kanawha they met another party of hunters who dressed their wounds and took care of them. When recovered, they went to Kentucky, settling near the mouth of Limestone creek, where Maysville now stands.
Kenton and his companions, so far as I can learn, were the first white men to locate in this valley; and their rude camp on Elk was the first structure ever erected here by white men. Thus Kanawha has the credit of having been the residence, in early days, of two of the greatest pioneers and frontiersmen the country has ever produced - Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton. Kenton spent nearly two years here before going to Kentucky, and Boone ten or twelve years after leaving Kentucky, each within a few miles of where I write.
The State of West Virginia, or Kanawha county, or both, should honor themselves by erecting a statue of each of these renowned pioneers and frontiersmen in some public place, in this city, - say in the grounds of the new capitol, or the postoffice square, - to keep their memories green in the minds of the present and future generations.
I will mention here, parenthetically, that the first white person ever in this valley was Mrs. Mary Ingles (great-grandmother of the writer,) who passed through here in July, 1755, a prisoner among the Indians, on their way to the Shawnee town at the mouth of the Scioto, and thence to the "Big Bone Lick," Kentucky. Whence she made her escape, and after experiencing almost incredible sufferings and dangers through several hundred miles travel, through the wilderness, finally reached her home.
While the honored names and heroic deeds of Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton are remembered, the execrated name of Simon Girty will also be remembered.
This blood-thirsty renegade white man, who, with his Indian allies, cruelly tortured so many helpless women and children, and defenseless prisoners, along the frontier settlements, during the border wars of the Ohio valley, is said to have met his well deserved fate not far from here. Being recognized while passing through the country, by some one whose family had suffered at his hands, and his identity made known, he was burned alive in a "log-heap" by neighbors gathered at a country "log-rolling."
I mentioned above that Boone was sent, or rather elected to the Legislature at Richmond, from Fayette county, Kentucky. Although this was at a time during his Kentucky experiences, when the attention of his Biographers was devoted to him and his history, none of them mention the fact, or seem to have known it.
I give, following, a copy from the Journal of the House of Representatives of Virginia, which establishes the fact.
" WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5, 1781. * * * * * Ordered that Messrs. Boone, Green and Swearinham be added to the committee to whom the letters of General dark were referred * * *
"FRIDAY, Dec. 7, 1781. "Ordered that the names of the members of this House be immediately called over. The House was accordingly called over, and the names of the members who failed to appear were noted, and the names of those who made default being called over, some were excused on account of sickness, employment in the services of the State elsewhere and other justifiable avocation.
Ordered that the Sargeant at Arms attending this House take in his custody, [Here follow the names of ten members]. Daniel Boone a member for the county of Fayette. [Here follow the names of nearly forty absent members].
"Ordered that the Sargeant of Arms attending this House be authorized and empowered to send special messingers into the adjacent counties to take into custody,whereever to be found, the absent members of such counties, and Mr. Speaker is desired to issue his warrant accordingly.
"Ordered that the Sargeant of Arms attending this House do apply to the Quartermaster-General of this Slate for as many express riders and horses as may be necessary to send for the delinquent members agreeable to the above order, and the said Quartermaster-General is required to furnish the same."
As Kentucky was still a portion of Virginia, composed of three counties, Fayette, Jefferson and Lincoln, of course the Fayette county here mentioned, was the Fayette county of Kentucky.
After the admission of Kentucky as a separate State, in 1792, there was, many years later, another Fayette county formed in Virginia, now West Virginia.
The precise date of Boone's leaving Kanawha for Missouri is not now known ; but, instead of 1795-6 or 7 as his biographers suppose, it was certainly after September 8th, 1798. He may have gone later that fall but it is more probable that he remained in winter quarters here, and started to his new home the next spring.
Whatever the time the traditions here say that his departure was deeply regretted, and that he carried with him to the new frontier, the sincere regard, esteem and confidence of his neighbors, associates and general acquaintances.
His starting was the occasion of a general "gathering of the clans" a rendesvouing of his friends and admirers from all the region round about, to bid him a friendly adieu and God-speed. They came by land and water, on foot, on horseback, and by canoes; and at the final leave taking, it is said, there was many a dimmed eye and moistened cheek among those hardy, weather-beaten warriors, hunters and pioneers.
Boone left here by water, with his family and "moving plunder" in canoes, embarking at the junction of Elk and Kanawha rivers.
Mathias VanBibber, (or Tice VanBibber, as he was called tor short,) who had been Boone's companion and chairman on all his surveys here, went to Missouri with him, but returned to Kanawha.
He was afterward the hero of "VanBibber's Rock" at the falls of Kanawha, and father-in-law of Jesse Boone.
Colonel Nathan Boone, the youngest son of Daniel Boone, also married a Miss VanBibber, cousin of the wife of Jesse.
When Boone reached Missouri he was, (assuming that it was in 1799) 66 years old, with yet twenty- one years of life before him. He was never again in Kanawha, but twice returned to Kentucky; once to identify the beginning corner of an important survey made some twenty or twenty-five years before, and again to liquidate some long standing, scattering indebtedness which he had been unable to pay, owing to the loss of all his lands by the gross wrong done him, or permitted, by the State of Kentucky and the general Government.
The final payment of these debts, which had so long borne upon and disturbed his peace of mind, was, by his own account, one of the happiest incidents and reliefs of his life. While he had but little, he said it was a consolation to know that he did not owe a dollar, and that no man could say he had ever wronged him out of a cent.
The late Chester Harding, the distinguished portrait painter, who died as late as 1866, went to Missouri in 1819 to paint a portrait of Boone, this portrait is now in the possession of Mr. W. H. King, grandson of Chester Harding, at Springfield, Mass.
From Colonel A. G. Boone who was with him in his last hours, I learned that Boone died at the house of his youngest son, Colonel Nathan Boone, on the Feme-Osage river, Missouri, September 26, 1820.
He had given up his fort at La-Charette to his son-in-law, Flanders Calloway, and spent the last year of his life with his son Jesse, father of A. G. Boone, but was on a visit to his son Nathan,where he was taken sick, and after a short illness he gently passed away, almost without pain or suffering.
Thus ended the mortal career of one of the most remarkable men the world has ever produced, leaving an imperishable name and fame to after ages.
He stands out alone in history as the great type model and exemplar of the pioneer, frontiersman, hunter, wilderness explorer, Indian fighter, pilot of civilization, etc. Seemingly ordained by Providence for his special mission.
His fame is secure and forever without the fear of a rival. The world does not now, and can never again, present an opportunity to duplicate or parallel his life and history. His praises have been sung in the glowing lines of Lord Byron (in Don Juan,) and by the eloquent tongues and pens of Tom Marshall, Bryan, Flint, Bogart, Filson, Abbot and others, and the history of his wonderful adventures are read with thrilling interest in the mansions of the rich and the humblest log cabin of the remotest far west. It is known that the Hon. Lyman C. Draper, L.L.D. - than whom no man living is more competent for the task - has long been gathering material for a later, fuller, truer life of Boone than has yet been written. This volume, which, it is hoped, will soon appear, will doubtless, do ample justice and honor to the character, life and services of the Grand Old Hero.
Exploration, Settlement and Conflict (1600-1799)