My Father, Daniel Boone: The Draper Interviews with Nathan Boone
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One of the most famous figures of the American frontier, Daniel Boone clashed with the Shawnee and sought to exploit the riches of a newly settled region. Despite Boone's fame, his life remains wrapped in mystery.The Boone legend, which began with the publication of John Filson's The Adventures of Col. Daniel Boone and continued through modern times with Fess Parker's Daniel Boone television series, has become a hopeless mix of fact and fiction. Born in 1819, archivist Lyman Draper was a tireless collector of oral history and is responsible for much of what we do know about Boone. Particularly interested in frontier history, Draper conducted interviews with the famous and the obscure and collected thousands of manuscripts (he walked hundreds of miles through the South to save historical materials during the Civil War). In an 1851 visit with Boone's youngest son, Nathan, and Nathan's wife, Olive, Draper produced over three hundred pages of notes that became the most important source of information about Daniel. The interviews provide a wealth of accurate, first-hand information about Boone's years in Kentucky, his capture by Indians, his defense of Fort Boonesboro, his lengthy hunting expeditions, and his final years in Missouri. My Father, Daniel Boone is an engaging account of one of America's great pioneers, in which Nathan makes a point of separating fact from fiction. From explaining the methods his father used to track game to detailing how land speculation and legal problems from title claims caused Boone to leave Kentucky and take up residence farther west, Nathan Boone's portrait of his father brings a crucial period in frontier history to life.
Neal O. Hammon is an architect and amateur historian. He is the co-author of Virginia's Western War: 1775-1786 and numerous articles on Kentucky history.
This little volume will remain the standard for many years. -- Arkansas Review
Draper's material is as close as we'll ever get to an honest, myth-free life of Boone. -- Bob Edwards in the Lexington Herald-Leader
This is the first time this wealth of information has been organized into book form and made readily accessible to the public. Rather than a larger-than-life caricature, what eventually emerges is an affectionate, down-to-earth, immensely likable American hero. -- Booklist
Offers fascinating information, and Nathan himself seeks to sort fact from fiction. -- Choice
Must reading for Boone family genealogists, as well as for readers interested in the life of Daniel Boone. . . . Rich with information about the extended Boone family that has been omitted from narratives that focus on the life of Daniel Boone. -- Compass: Newsletter of the Boone Society
An invaluable source of information about Daniel Boone. -- Florida Historical Review
Whets the appetite to read more about this famous man and the times in which he lived. -- Indiana Magazine of History
Students of Daniel Boone and the early frontier should delight in My Father, Daniel Boone. -- Journal of Illinois History
Read as an illuminating recollection of Daniel Boone’s life, or used to establish facts of chronology, this book is a reliable source. -- Journal of Southern History
Hammon’s accomplishment is to make this vital primary source available to the reading public in an attractive, accessible book format. -- Journal of the West
Nathan Boone and his wife, Olive, dispel many half-truths and myths about the legendary pioneer. -- Kentucky Living
Few people know a father better than a son and it shows in My Father, Daniel Boone. -- Kentucky Monthly
Considered the most important source of material about Boone. -- Knoxville News-Sentinel
Nathan provides invaluable records of Boone’s years in Kentucky, capture by Indians, defense of Fort Boonesboro, his hunting expeditions, and his final years in Missouri. -- Library Booknotes
This is one of the most important sources on Daniel Boone’s life. It will be welcomed by readers interested in Boone and the frontier period. -- Lowell Harrison, Western Kentucky University
Nathan Boone was obviously aware that he had the opportunity to correct the historical record concerning the activities of his father. -- McCormick (SC) Messenger
An important contribution to the fields of Boone studies and the American frontier. -- North Carolina Historical Review
Offers a fascinating look at the famous pioneer from the viewpoint of his oldest son. -- Publishers Association of the South Newsletter
We can learn much about Daniel Boone, his family, and life on the frontier from this important contribution. -- Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
Certainly, Daniel Boone would have remained little more than John Filson’s creation had Draper not interviewed or corresponded with so many who knew Boone. -- Stephen Aron, UCLA
Brings the Draper interviews back to life in a compilation of a very interesting series of narrations that cover much of Daniel Boone’s life. -- Virginia Quarterly Review
For anyone interested in life on the frontier, this book is an important addition to that understanding. -- West Virginia History
Provides access to source accounts that generations of scholars have heretofore found available only at the Society. -- Wisconsin Magazine of History
Daniel Boone was, in the early accounts, the subject of exaggeration and inaccuracies by those who chose to write about him without knowing him well. [His son] Nathan was perceptive and assiduous in trying to correct the historical record. -- Steve Goddard’s History Wire