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Daniel Boone: American Pioneer and Explorer

Colonel Daniel Boone (October 22, 1734 - September 26, 1820) was an American pioneer, soldier, and explorer. Boone was born in Pennsylvania. He founded the first US settlement west of the Appalachian mountains.

A frontiersman and folk hero, Boone explored the Kentucky wilderness from 1769 to 1782. He traveled down the Ohio River and trapped furs in the Green and Cumberland Valleys.

In 1773, Boone brought a group of settlers to Kentucky. As they traveled over the Cumberland Gap, Boone's oldest son, James, and five other members of the party were killed by Native Americans. The settlers went home to North Carolina immediately; Boone and his family spent the winter in the Clinch River Valley, then returned home.

Determined to settle the rich land of Kentucky, Judge Henderson (a wealthy local businessman) organized the Transylvania Company in order to buy land from Native Americans. Boone negotiated the price with the Cherokee Indians; their agreement is called the Watauga Treaty. In 1775, Henderson sent Boone and 28 settlers across the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky, along what is now called the Wilderness Trail. Boone built a fort on the Kentucky River in what is now Madison County.

Boone was captured by Shawnee Indians in 1778 and was given up for dead. After more attacks by Native Americans, he brought more settlers to Kentucky in 1779; among these settlers were Abraham Lincoln's grandmother and grandfather.

Boone was elected to the Virginia legislature in 1781. In later Indian attacks, his brother Edward and his son Israel were killed. These attacks prompted a major campaign against Native Americans by George Rogers Clark.

Boone lost all of his land claims, and spent the rest of his life moving - he lived in Ohio, West Virginia, and Missouri. Boone's book, called "Adventures," detailed his exploits and capture by the Shawnee Indians; it was published in 1784 to much public acclaim.

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