In the past I have related things I liked and enjoyed in my life, besides collies who will like always have their say here. As those who know me or have read my blog know I love history. Recently, with my new job supplying me with free cable TV I got to see a TV show I haven’t seen in over 40 years. Daniel Boone… while other kids may have been Crockett fans, not me I liked Boone. Not dissing Davy, just Boone was more to my liking, more of the strong, rugged individualist that was strongly family oriented and silent and humble.
As I watched the show I found I still loved it, but for many other reasons than when I was a kid. While of course it was hollywoodized a bit, Fess Parker did a good job at portraying Boone for he was a fighting man who really tried to make peace, would rather not kill (he claimed to only have killed 3 times in his life and when you consider what he went through, that is rather amazing) and he loved the Native Americans and their ways. He actually got into trouble with many settlers for they claimed he was an “Indian Lover.” He was in a way, for while he did fight with certain tribes and lost many a family member in these wars, he befriended many more and actually thought they were getting a raw deal. He was known for his love of justice and was many times referred too on the frontier for solutions to problems in the area of justice. This is well portrayed in the show.
Later of course I also became a Buffalo Bill fan… but Boone … well 20 years ago I made a pilgrimage to his recreated Boonesborough in Kentucky and visited his grave (he has two you know… LOL….some of his remains are in Missouri and others were moved back to Kentucky in the 1840’s.) and visited his and Rebecca’s kin fort site called Bryan’s Station. The Bryans and Boone’s friendship and kinship actually started before Daniel and Rebecca married and it lasted for generations past them as the two families intermarried for a long time. They lived together through the Carolinas, in Kentucky and into Missouri. Bryan daughters married Boone sons and Boone daughters married Bryan sons just not in Daniel’s line but his other sibling lines.
Those familiar with the TV show remember that Rebecca Boone was played by Patricia Blair who looked like what one would imagine a Irish descended Lass would look like. Well, while Fess Parker did look something like Daniel, Patricia was not what Becky Boone looked like,. Descriptions of her were that she was almost as tall as Boone, who was around 5 foot 8 inches tall which was tall in those days and since she was around 5 feet 7 she was a tall woman for her time! She also had dark hair and was very beautiful by all accounts. Just a side note, it is known that was also a fine shot and when Daniel was away would shoot her own game …..
But, I digress. Seeing the show brought back a lot of memories. It also made me rekindle my interest enough to do some more reading on a childhood hero of mine. Interesting he was 50 when he founded Boonesborough and if you want to read a story that hollywood wouldn’t even dream to pass off as real, read about the siege of the Fort. How 30 some men held off almost 500 Native Americans is not only astounding but it will make your hair stand up on end. One of the settlers ran for help on the night of the biggest attack and he lloked back from a hilltop and said the flames, the firing guns and the smoke lit up the Fort like daylight and he figured it was all over and the smoke gave it a eerie look of death…. but hang on they did! While it was brutal and hard fought the siege had its moments of humor. The Indian who bared his bottom at the Fort insulting them to only be shot in the behind by a marksman who was sick of the insult and laughter brought up big cheers from the Fort. A war of words commenced and insult flew….. some of nasty but lots of it in a good natured teasing manner which makes one wonder at it all. Of course the Indians did get a payback when they wounded Boone’s daughter in the backside.. Jemima never lived that one down…..
While Boone was a boyhood hero of mine, he is now someone I respect for he was a common person. He fit in with the normal everyday ppl and he didn’t flaunt who he was. His wife and he were regular everyday ppl who were part of the society around them, not some wealthy family who led by reason of wealth or power. A interesting man to be sure. I can highly recommend that if you ever go to Kentucky visit his Fort, his grave and the whole cemetary at Frankfort for it is fascinating, the capitol building in Frankfort and Fort Harrod and the lonely, but beautiful site of Bryan’s Station. What a brave group of people who took on the elements, hostile tribes, the British, wild wolves and more…..yet not only survived but overcame it all. There is something to be learned from it all……. In today’s world they like to condemn ppl such as this, but hose who read Boone’s history realize he was fair and equal in his dealings with all ppl…. especially the Native Americans, for he right along with the Natives was robbed of all of his land many times…. that is why he left Kentucky…… But, he was also a forgiving man….. I think he would sort of be humbled and sort of stunned at how he is considered a hero by many ppl today….
A quick tour of the Fort and then that corny famous song…. 🙂
-Everybody knows it was his collie that actually took on the Natives and got all the game!!! Tell the truth old Booney was a great collie…. what? Dad, that is my story and I am sticking to it… well, he was part scottish…. Dad… stop ruining my story!