American trailblazer Daniel Boone (1734 - 1820) explored the Appalachian mountains, the area now known as Kentucky, and opened up a westward trail for thousands of settlers that followed him into what is now called Missouri. Although television portrayed Boone in a coonskin cap, it is more likely that he wore a black felt hat, and had a pigtail of his own hair (not of a raccoon.) Learn more about the facts and myths surrounding this famous pioneer at the following sites.
Boone's autobiography "The Adventures of Col. Daniel Boon" was first published on his fiftieth birthday. It tells of his adventures in the Kentucky wilderness from May, 1769 to October,1782, including "his capture by the Shawnee Indians, his adoption by Chief Black Fish as his son, and his daring escape on foot through the forests covering 160 miles in 4 days." Scroll down to the bottom of this introduction page for links to the book chapters..
"The name Daniel Boone will forever be synonymous with the saga of the American frontier. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Boone was the inveterate wayfarer who achieved lasting fame guiding land-hungry settlers to the Kentucky frontier and fighting to defend them against Indian attack." This single-page biography has an interesting set of links at the bottom of the page that point to articles from the Historical Society of Berks County, Pennsylvania. Best bets for additional exploration are Early Years of Daniel Boone, Story of Benjamin Franklin's Mortgage on the Daniel Boone Farm, and Daniel and Squire Boone.
"Today Daniel Boone's indelible image in the minds of Americans is a mixture of fact and legend. But this mingling of the real and the fictional is not solely a result of the passage of time or of the liberties taken in movies and television; it occurred even while Boone was alive." Visit for further exploration of the Boone myth and a timeline chronology of his life.
As Daniel Boone worked to settle Kentucky, "a little-known incident happened that would haunt Daniel Boone for the rest of his life. It was something he never talked about. It was something he did not tell his biographer. It is something that is difficult to learn about today because most of the records were destroyed. In 1778, Daniel Boone stood trial for treason against the United States." This story is a fascinating read. I recommend it for both high-school students and adults.