The man who lived from 1734 to 1820 left a mark on this nation as great as anyone ever did. Frontiersman, fortune seeker, restless spirit who still treasured home and hearth… Dan’l Boone was all these things and more.
Many myths surround the legendary figure, but there is much fact known about him as well. Horn in the West deals mostly with the factual Daniel Boone, the explorer and negotiator who was hired by Judge Richard Henderson to survey and purchase “Kin-tuh-KEE” from the Cherokee. There is much debate about how much time Boone spent in the valley that now bears his name. We know he had a camp just over the hill to the northeast (Meat Camp, NC), and along what is now Rivers Street running through the Appalachian State campus there was a monument erected from the hearthstones of a Mr. Howard’s hunting cabin, in which Boone and Howard were said to have stayed at times while hunting in this area. This cabin sat in the middle of what is now Rivers Street, at approximately the intersection with Stadium Drive.
Daniel was truly a legend in his own lifetime, as pamphlets and books published by John Filson and Timothy Flint embellished Daniel’s recounting of his adventures. As a man of few words, Daniel was dismayed and more than a little annoyed to find his interviews with these two authors to have resulted in flowery language he would have never used, as well as greatly enhanced versions of the events he had related. There is a brief mention of the book by the character Boone in the beginning of the play, alluding to his distaste for the final product.
Daniel was also immortalized throughout Europe by the poet Lord Byron, who wrote of him:
Of the great names which in our faces stare,
The General Boon, back-woodsman of Kentucky,
Was happiest amongst mortals any where;
For killing nothing but a bear or buck, he
Enjoyed the lonely vigorous, harmless days
Of his old age in wilds of deepest maze
There are many books and reference materials available about the life and times of this great American hero.
Here are a few to get started: