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(While you’re waiting, I thought you might enjoy this story from The Life and Times of Col. Daniel Boone)

Daniel Boone protects his family - a story

 

Boonesborough was stirred by a startling disaster. The settlement was greatly in need of salt, and, as it was a work of extreme difficulty and danger to secure its importation from the Atlantic States, the much simpler method was resorted to of having it manufactured at the Blue Licks, where there was such an abundance of brackish water that the work was easily done. Collecting some thirty men, Boone set out for the Blue Licks which were at no great distance, and they began immediately the process of evaporating the water and collecting the saline deposit.

Salt is one of the prime necessities of life, and they were desirous of making enough of it to last them for a long time to come. The operation of salt-making is not a complicated one, even in these modern days, and there was scarcely the work to keep the whole thirty men busy all the time. As might be supposed, Boone spent many hours in hunting. It is probable that the Indians, learning of the weakened condition of Boonesborough, had determined on attacking it with a force which promised to insure its capture. For this purpose they gathered two hundred warriors and started for the settlement, without Boone or any of his party suspecting the danger that was moving down upon their friends. Still further, knowing that the unsuspicious white men were engaged at the Licks, the large force of Indians turned in that direction and advanced with the noiselessness of so many shadows.

Daniel Boone, at that juncture, was alone, hunting in the woods, when he came face to face with the two hundred warriors, who appeared as suddenly as if cast up by the earth. Without stopping to parley, Boone whirled about and started on a dead run, darting in and out among the trees, doing his utmost to dodge the bullets that he expected would be sent after him, and to place himself beyond sight of the Indians, who were desirous of securing so renowned a man as he. But Boone was not so young as when he had his former desperate encounters with the red men, and the dozen warriors who instantly sped after him were among the fleetest of their tribe. The pioneer made good progress, but as he glanced furtively over his shoulder every few seconds, he saw that the savages were gaining rapidly upon him, and his capture was certain. He held out as long as there was the slightest hope, but soon abruptly halted and surrendered.

There is something singular in the consideration which the Indians showed Boone on more than one occasion. It will be remembered that when he and Stuart were captured, they were kept day after day, until they gained a chance to escape; and, in the present instance, the captors conducted him back to the main body, where he was still held a prisoner, no harm being offered him. This was at a time when the fury of the savages was stirred to the highest point against the settlers, and when the treacherous bullet, the crashing tomahawk, the deadly knife and the smoke of the burning cabin were more typical of the manner of warfare, than were any of the amenities of civilized, contending forces.

It may have been the Indians recognized the importance of the capture they had made in the person of the great Daniel Boone, for they treated him kindly and conducted him back to the Blue Licks, where the rest of the settlers were encamped.

 

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