Daniel Boone, Master of the Wilderness

By John Bakeless | Go to book overview
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2.

To the Yadkin Valley

THERE was a steady trickle of settlers in those years out of Pennsylvania into the rich lands of the Shenandoah Valley and onward into North Carolina. But beyond lay the mountains, running north and south, dark, grim and thickly wooded, tangled with underbrush, blocking the westward traveler. No roads ran that way except the "Warriors' Path," a mere "trace" used only by red hunters or war parties, which wound through the Cumberland Gap and vanished, no white man knew whither.

Toward that forbidden land no settler had ever ventured. A stray half dozen hunters and explorers, taking their lives in their hands, had penetrated the wilderness briefly. Adventurers by water had skirted the Ohio and Mississippi shores of Kentucky. The natural trend of wanderers with families in search of farm land was not at first into that dangerous and unknown country, but southward, along the valley that paralleled the coast and the settlements. Many of Squire Boone's Pennsylvania neighbors undertook the journey.

Squire Boone and his family were beginning to find Berks County an unpleasant place to live in. There was friction with the godly Friends of Exeter Meeting, who had been horrified by the marriages of the Boone children. In 1742, Daniel's sister Sarah was "treated with for marrying out"—that is, "out of Unity with Friends." Sarah Boone was a dreadful example of

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