First Attempt at Settlement
THERE is a haze over Daniel Boone's next two years. The second Indian robbery had left him with nothing to show for his winter's hunting and the capital outlay it involved. But with a farm and a rifle and some growing sons to bear a hand, it was pretty hard to starve in the backwoods. When the farming season was over, Daniel hunted as a matter of course. An old weaver in the vicinity had a famous pack of bear dogs, and the two chased bear in the mountains, coming home with their horses loaded down with bearskins. On one of these trips Boone went as far as French Lick on the Cumberland River, where he met French hunters who had come from the opposite direction, overland from the Mississippi.
By 1772 he was living in or near a hamlet called Sapling Grove in what is now Tennessee. Captain Evan Shelby, of Frederick County, Maryland, hard pressed by debt, had set up there as a store-keeper, with Daniel Boone as one of his customers. The entries in the Boone charge-account suggest that Rebecca and the children had come with him. Why else should a man be buying "17 pounds and half of Loaf Sugar"? In January, 1772, Daniel was buying "2 quarts of Rum"—plain evidence that the pious biographers of early days, who assert that Daniel never touched liquor, didn't know what they were talking about. Daniel himself later described to Audubon an incident