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Daniel Boone was a man with a vision. The thrill of nature and journey within it were grounded in him since childhood and stuck with him all of his life. Ahead of his time he was a pioneer in all aspects of the word. He was a man of the frontier and an exploring trailblazer in search for new and promising lands west in the new country. But most importantly he was a man who developed new techniques and new areas of thought when it came to hunting and dealing with the native peoples. Because of this he was able to gain such insight into many concepts foreign to his anglo-european people that would prove to be lifesaving and groundbreaking on several occasions.
Daniel began shooting rifles at a young age and realizing his talent for it he became quite fond of hunting for game. Because of this he was often in the woods for days as a teenager and met a diverse group of people from this. He learned the hunting ways of the Indians by being in their woods with them and was able to gain a wealth of knowledge and respect from them. His Grandfather George Boone was known to the Indians for befriending and assisting natives as he helped retrieve two native girls kidnapped by settlers with terrible intentions. So in the woods young Daniel realized the name Boone meant well with the Indians as he was befriended by them. I especially liked the way Faragher put it when he described these natives young Daniel met in the woods as his, “forest teachers.” (Faragher 19) He goes on by explaining that, “These men of the forest frontier instructed Daniel in a way of life that combined elements of both cultures and bridged many differences between Indian and European.”( Faragher 20) This why I also believe Daniel was a pioneer in understanding and communicating with the natives in a peaceful and mutual relationship. With a respect for the land and its people Daniel realized and understood the ways of Indians at a very young age from hunting and interacting with them in the woods in his nearby Pennsylvania home. These hunting techniques and philosophies learned in the forest would prove to be some of the most valuable insight Daniel would come across in his life.
Understanding the ways that these different people thought enabled him to have such confidence in dealing with altercations, and the ability to come to a reasonable solution.
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Leadership qualities are not those that can be taught easily, they are more instinctive and gained through experience and reason. The people trusted Boone in leading them to new lands and expeditions not only because he knew the trails better than anyone, but because he was so well respected among them as well. He was not just out to improve the status of his own family, but the status of his fellow community members. He felt obligated to lead and help if they were in distress because he knew he was best for the job. He led peace treaty missions, hunting missions, exploration missions, and vigilante missions. One included gathering over 40 men and saving a young girl who was taken from local settlers by a gang of outlaws who were going to rape her. He took it as his obligation to do whatever he could in times of crisis in order to help his people.
By leading small groups of his people at early stages in his life, he was able to rapidly gain experience and learn effective ways in which to deal with people and gain their respect. His honest nature combined with this incredible ability to lead at such a young age were essential for Daniel to be able to accomplish all that he did in the early stages of our countries foundation. In working for the Transylvania Company he was able lead his party down the Wilderness Road and through the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky and found Boonesborough despite rapid Shawnee attacks, and soon brought his family thereafter. On this same trail marked by Boone thousands of people crossed into Kentucky with their families, in effect paving the way for growth and expansion throughout our country. He was also a militia officer during the revolutionary war were he lead and fought against British troops who allied with certain Indian tribes.
Boone meant so much for this country in the times of the Northwest expansion because he was able to give the people leadership and confidence to move to these new lands. He was never out to kill Indians as some tales claim, as he actually said that he hated killing and only did it when absolutely necessary. Despite his lack of formal education Boone gained knowledge on the road by coming in contact with vastly different people and learning something from each individual experience. I think these values he had instilled in him at a young age were the most important aspects of Boone's development from a seemingly cocky teenage hunter with extreme talent to a countryman and leading pioneer in the expansion and development of our country.