Frontiersman Daniel Boone (October 22, 1734-September 26, 1820) lived for several years in western Virginia. Boone was born near present Reading, Pennsylvania. In 1751, Boone’s family resettled in North Carolina on the North Fork of the Yadkin River. He served as a teamster on the ill-fated 1755 Braddock campaign during the French and Indian War. He first visited Kentucky in 1767, where he hunted along the Big Sandy River. In 1775, he led a group of settlers associated with the Transylvania Company to the site of Boones-borough, Kentucky, cutting the Wilderness Road through Cumberland Gap. Later that year, he moved his own family to Kentucky.
When Kentucky was created as a county of Virginia in 1776, Boone became captain of militia, soon promoted to major. While engaged in the defense of the Kentucky settlements, he was captured by the Shawnee in February 1778 but escaped in June. He moved his family to Maysville in 1783, where he kept a tavern. Boone claimed thousands of acres, but because he did not properly enter his claims he was subjected to several ejectment suits in the 1780s. At his death he owned no land in Kentucky.
In 1788, Boone and his family settled near the mouth of the Kanawha River. He represented Kanawha County in the Virginia General Assembly in 1791 and won a contract to supply militia companies in Western Virginia. Never an acute businessman, Boone lost his contract and in 1792 moved to a site near present Charleston, then back to Kentucky in 1795. Following the issuance of an arrest warrant for debt by Mason County, (West) Virginia, authorities, he and his family moved to Missouri in 1799.
Daniel Boone died in the Femme Osage River Valley in Missouri and was buried beside his wife, Rebecca, on the farm of his daughter, Jemima. In 1845, the Boones were disinterred and their remains were removed to Frankfort, Kentucky. Boone County, West Virginia, is named for the great pioneer.
This Article was written by Philip Sturm
Last Revised on September 26, 2012
Draper, Lyman C. The Life of Daniel Boone. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1998.
Faragher, John Mack. Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer. New York: Holt, 1992.
Hale, John P. History of the Great Kanawha Valley. Madison, WI: Brant, Fuller & Co., 1891, Reprint, Gauley & New River Pub. 1994.
Cite This Article
Sturm, Philip "Daniel Boone." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 26 September 2012. Web. 19 April 2015.