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river opposite Boonesborough, in a canoe, at a late hour in the afternoon. The trees and shrubs on the opposite bank were thick, and came down to the water's edge; the girls, unconscious of danger, were playing and splashing the water with their paddles, until the canoe, floating with the current, drifted near the shore. Five stout Indians lay concealed there, one of whom stealthily crawled down the bank until he reached the rope that hung from the bow, turned its course up the stream, and in a direction to be hidden from a view of the fort. The loud shrieks of the captured girls were heard, but too late for their rescue. The canoe, their only means of crossing, was on the opposite shore, and none dared to risk the chance of swimming the river, under the impression that a large body of savages was concealed in the woods. Boone and Callaway were both absent, and night set in before their return and arrangements for the pursuit.

The next morning, by daylight, a party set out. The trail of the Indians was struck; and after travelling about forty miles they were overtaken. The great object of the white men was, to come upon the Indians so suddenly, that they should have no time to kill their prisoners before defending themselves. In this they succeeded. In an instant a mutual discovery took place. Shots were interchanged; two of the Indians were wounded, and they all fled. The terrified girls were brought back unhurt to the fort.


THE settlements in Kentucky at this time were exposed to constant assaults from the Indians, instigated by the British forces at the north-west forts. Captain Boone's skill, courage, and knowledge of Indian habits were constantly put in requi. sition for the protection of his countrymen. On one occasion, he went in command of a party of thirty men to a salt lick, on Licking River, to manufacture salt. The enterprise was commenced on New Year's day, 1778. Boone was commander, scout, and hunter for the party. On the 7th day of February, Boone, when engaged in hunting at some distance from the lick, was captured by a large band of Indians. Escape being impossible, he assumed a tranquil and assurėd demeanor, which gained him the confidence of his captors. Knowing that resistance would be hopeless, he induced the saltmakers of his company to surrender, having previously obtained favorable terms for them. They were all taken to the British fort at Detroit, and his friends were given up to the commander as prisoners.

Liberal sums were offered at Detroit for the ransom of Boone; but the Indians had become so much attached to him, from his courage and skill in hunting accomplishments, that they refused to part with him. He was finally received into the tribe, and adopted by an old chief in the place of a deceased son. Here he lived for some months, kindly treated, but still somewhat watched. Whenever he was allowed to leave the village on a hunting excursion, the balls for his gun were carefully counted, and he was required to account in game for each ball and charge of powder. He ingeniously divided a number of balls, with the halves of which he could kill turkeys, raccoons, squirrels, and other small game, and, by using light charges of powder, he contrived to save several charges for his own use, if he should find an opportunity to escape.

Early in June, being with the tribe at Chillicothe, in Ohio, he perceived that they were making preparations for a warlike expedition, and learned that they were going to attack the fort at Boonesborough. Dissembling his emotions, he continued a few days longer with them, watching his opportunity to escape and warn the devoted garrison. On the morning of the 16th of June, he arose, and, without suspicion, went forth on his morning's hunt as usual. Contriving to secrete some dried venison, he struck through the woods for Boonesborough, a distance of one hundred and sixty miles, and reached it ai the end of five days — a remarkable feat, when we remember that he was obliged to shape his course in such a way as to throw the Indians off his trail. He was received by his friends as one risen from the dead. His wife, despairing of his return, had gone back, with some of her children, to her kindred in North Carolina.

The garrison at Boonesborough employed themselves in strengthening their fort, and calmly awaited the attack of their foes. But they did not appear till the 7th of September. The Indians were four hundred and fifty in rumber, commanded by Captain Duquesne, * a Canadian in the service of Great Britain. With him were eleven other Canadians. The garrison, comprising between fifty and sixty men, with a large number of women and children, was summoned to surrender, “in the name of his Britannic majesty." Two days were requested by Captain Boone to consider the proposal. This was done partly to enable them to collect the cattle which were dispersed through the woods, and partly in the hope that aid might come from a neighboring settlement. At the end of the time, the garrison announced their determination not to surrender.

Captain Duquesne, in spite of his greatly superior force, seemed reluctant to commence an assault. He proposed that the garrison should send out a deputation of nine men to discuss the terms of a treaty of surrender. After some consultation, this was assented to; and Captain Boone and eight other persons were selected for the duty. The parties met on a plot of ground in front of the fort, and about sixty yards distant. Well aware of the treacherous character of the Indians, Captain Boone, before he left the fort, had stationed twenty men with loaded rifles where they could see the whole proceedings and be ready for the slightest alarm. Very favorable terms were offered by the besiegers, and agreed to by the rep

Pronounced Dukanen

resentatives of the garrison. At the conclusion, the Indiang proposed that two of their number should shake hands with each of the white men, in compliance, as they said, with an ancient custom on such occasions. Captain Boone and his associates agreed to this; and when the Indians approached, each pair grasped the hand and arm of a white man. But the grasp was not relaxed : the red men attempted to drag off Leir white opponents as prisoners. But these latter were prepared for this ; a scuffle ensued; the Kentuckians broke iway from the Indians, and fled back to the fort, while a rolley from the twenty riflemen checked the pursuers. The assault of the fort then commenced in good earnest, and continued with little intermission for nine days, when the enemy retired, baffled in his plans alike of treachery and violence.

At the disastrous battle of the Blue Licks, in 1782, Boone was present, with the rank of lieutenant colonel. The action was brought un contrary to his advice; but he behaved with great courage. In this engagement one of his sons was killed, and his brother was severely wounded.

After the close of the revolutionary war, the settlements of the whites were not disturbed by any serious attacks of the Indians, but there was not entire peace between the two races. On one occasion Colonel Boone was nearly taken prisoner by four Indians, who came to his farm. They found him in the upper part of a small outbuilding used for drying tobacco.* They entered the lower part, and calling him by name, told him that he was their prisoner, and would cheat them no more, at the same time pointing their guns at him. He replied with perfect coolness, and told them he was willing to go with them, and only begged that they would give him a little time, that he

a might finish the work he was engaged in- that of removing sticks of dry tobacco. While thus parleying with them, and diverting their attention from his purpose, he suddenly jumped

• Boone's biographer is careful to state that though he cultivated to bacco, he never used it.

down among

them with his arms full of the dried tobacco, and fung it into their faces, filling their mouths and eyes with the pungent dust. Under cover of this blinding volley, he fled to his cabin, where he had the means of defence; and the baffled Indians retreated, having learned another of the old hunter's tricks.

About 1792, Colonel Boone was dispossessed of his farm at Boonesborough, through a defect of title, and removed to the Kenbawa River, in Virginia, where he lived for a while. But hearing good accounts of the country of the Upper Missouri, he went there in 1795, and established himself about forty-five miles west of St. Louis. The country then belonged to Spain, and Boone was made syndic, or commandant, of a township; but the duties of his office did not interfere with his customary employments of hunting and trapping in the winter season. Having little skill in business, and taking no thought for the advancement of his own fortunes, he lost, through defect of title, at the transfer of Louisiana to the United States, a tract of land which had been granted him by the Spanish government; but this loss was repaired by Congress, which made a special grant to him of about a thousand acres.

The old age of Boone was passed in a tranquil happiness which was in bright contrast with the perilous adventures of his manhood. He lived among his children, the object of affectionate care and devoted attention; and before his death he held descendants of the fifth generation upon his knees. Almost to the very last, he continued his favorite employment of the chase. In his old age he became a sort of historical personage ; his life and adventures were written and talked about; and many persons came to see him and hear his story from his own lips. His wife, his faithful and loving companion for more than half a century, died in 1813. He survived her a few years, and died tranquilly, and by natural decay, September 26, 1820, in his eighty-sixth year, in the midst of his children and grandchildren. He was living at that time in Montgomery county, Missouri.


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