If you were once a Kentucky school kid, then you remember at least one anecdote about Daniel Boone from grade school. It probably has to do with carving "D. Boon Kilt a Bar" on a tree. (His father, Squire Boone, is believed to have said of his own children's education, "Let the girls do the spelling and Dan will do the shooting.") As much as it pains this editrix to say, I suppose spelling isn't the most important skill one needs for the trailblazing life of a frontiersman.
What is important to the Commonwealth of Kentucky is that, on March 10, 1775, the soldier and explorer Daniel Boone, working for Judge Richard Henderson of the Transylvania Company, undertook an expedition that would lead to the settling of Kentucky. Exploring the new Transylvania Colony, Boone foraged a trail known as the Wilderness Road into central Kentucky. There he founded Boone's Station (later Boonesborough) as the capital city of Transylvania County, in an area near the modern-day town of Athens in Madison County. He later said of first spotting the area:
We viewed Kentucke situated on the fertile banks of the great Ohio, rising from obscurity to shine with splendor, equal to any other of stars of the American hemisphere.
Boone's adventures have become the stuff of legend. The kidnapping of his daughter Jemima, along with two other young women, was the basis for Last of the Mohicans. Boone himself was robbed, kidnapped, and attacked many times along the way.
In his later days, Boone was a statesman and businessman, and emerged as a symbol of frontier life and the establishment of Kentucky.Two hundred thirty-nine years later, we still remember Daniel Boone as the trailblazer who faced unknown circumstances, violence, and physical hardship to found our beautiful Commonwealth.