Our Lewis and Clark Journal – Day 7
Day 7: Daniel Boone’s Kentucky Paradise [August 2]
These first days of our family trip are really built around participation in the three-day Presbyterian Big Tent conference. Noelle has had so much to do as national staff that we are only together as a family for (some) meals and for worship. August and I have our own programs (he is having a fantastic time – the photo below is him singing onstage with other children during plenary worship – he’s the long haired boy in liturgical red), so there is little time left for exploring. [The song they are singing is “I’ve got peace like a river” and they are caught singing and demonstrating “in my soul/sole”. This is ignificant, for me, since we are currently beside the Ohio River and will spend the next twenty-four days following the Missouri River to it’s source. Our first spiritual metaphor!]
Nevertheless, we are taking advantage of being in Kentucky. Right next to our hotel is the Louisville Visitors Center, from which it seems local folk are most proud of Kentucky Bourbon, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the fact that there is no generally agreed way to pronounce Louisville. Last night we began reading a children’s introduction to Daniel Boone. Boone figures large in the settling (conquest) of Kentucky in the years leading up to the American Revolution. Boone was born a Quaker in Pennsylvania, lived in Virginia, married in North Carolina, and eventually moved to Kentucky, considered a “great paradise” for hunters and farmers. But in doing so he violated treaties with the Shawnee, Cherokee and others. His sixteen year old son James was killed as part of the inevitable fighting, and the violence prepared the way for congress to legally open the settlement of Kentucky in 1774. (Some of my own ancestors would come this way in 1790, crossing the Alleghenies, floating down the river, and settling in Louisville and Paducah).
Boone would eventually settle in Missouri, and we will pass his home in Defiance, Missouri on Monday. We will stay that night in Boone County, and on Wednesday drive through Boonesville. Like Lewis and Clark, Daniel Boone is ubiquitous in the mid-west. For now, August and I are impressed that Daniel killed his first bear at age 15, and that his rifle was nicknamed “ticklicker” because it was said he was able to shoot the tick of a bear’s nose from 300 yards away.
Read: Who was Daniel Boone? by Sydelle Kramer and illustrated by George Ulrich.