Daniel Boone comes alive for historical society

Published 1:38 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2022

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By Gillian Stawiszynski

Contributing Writer

Daniel Boone returned to life in Jessamine County last week, but only for an evening.

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The Jessamine County Historical Society held its quarterly meeting last Thursday with writer William Carman, a hunting and fishing guide. He presented his upcoming release that currently has a working title of, “Fishing with Daniel Boone.”

Boone is known to be a strange historical figure to pin down.

“Mr. Carman emphasized that Daniel Boone was a hero, although he was reviled by the people of Boonesborough because he would spend time with the Indians,” said Lee Robinette, vice president of

the Jessamine County Historical Society.

What Robinette said is accurate; Boone spent much time with the Shawnee tribe- native to the Ohio Valley. But the Shawnee and Cherokee tribes later kidnapped Boone’s daughter, Jemima. These kidnappings were quite common and, according to the Kentucky Museum were not inherently violent.

“The Indians were kind to us, as much so as they well could have been, or their circumstances permitted,” said Jemima Boone.

Boone’s life stories are rife with contention. Though he once had this aforementioned close relationship with local tribes, his goal was to settle on this native land, and he had participated in battles against them to protect Fort Boonesborough.

The historical Boone has had many books written on his life and adventures; Some truth and some folklore. Carman has taken a different approach in his Boone re-tellings, transporting himself to Boone’s lifetime.

Carman stood in the very waters Boone had stood in himself. His book is not a biography, but it is a new way of telling Boone’s stories.

“He imagined how Boone may have felt when he was in these locations,”  Robinette said. She called the experience poignant, “He brought to life episodes. I think it really is a different way to look at Daniel

Boone, maybe personalizing it a bit more.”

When exploring the Kentucky River Palisades, Carman described an overwhelming feeling of the lore of the river in connection to Boone.

Carman brought this lore to the historical society’s event, presenting a PowerPoint with pictures of creeks, rivers, and caves associated with Boone. Through these photos, Carman discussed the locations that had changed since Boone’s exploration and the elements that stayed the same.

“[Carman} interspersed pictures of his fishing and the fish that he caught with episodes from Boone’s past,” Robinette said.

As a pioneer, Boone’s footprint is all over Kentucky. Although this event focused on his fishing habits and the rivers Boone traversed, Carman has recently begun his research on Boone’s experiences with

Kentucky caves – as he had often used them for shelter.

The Jessamine County Historical Society is holding a chili cook-off on October 8th and will host another speaker. Its next quarterly meeting is October 27th. More information on those events to come.

The historical society has many resources for residents who wish to learn more about their genealogy, the history of their home, and much more. The group holds an open house every Thursday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and the second Saturday every month from noon to 5 p.m.

Visit the office at 216 North Main St. in Nicholasville. Make an appointment to use the society’s resources by emailing jessaminehistorical@gmail.com or contacting President Richard Lucas at 859-361-2867.