The Thirteen Fires
THE battle of the Blue Licks practically closed the Revolution, and opened a relatively peaceful period in Daniel Boone's troubled life. It was a needless battle, for the British were slowly losing ground in the East and were gaining nothing on the frontier. In November, 1782, preliminary peace negotiations were opened and about this time Sir Guy Carleton officially notified Washington that American independence could be taken for granted. Long before the treaty of peace was signed and while battle, murder, and sudden death still reigned in the frontier forests, American fishing vessels were peacefully casting their nets in the Gulf of St. Lawrence under license from an accommodating British commander. The treaty was actually signed April 19, 1783, and Daniel Boone had his first news of it from a mounted messenger who rode into Boonesborough stockade with a paper bearing the word "Peace" stuck in his cap.
There was an immediate slackening of Indian raids but not by any means an end of them. The British ceased to arm and encourage the warriors, and the wiser chiefs began to reflect ruefully what might happen if their Great Father across the Big Lake withdrew his redcoats and the Long Knives of the Thirteen Fires came to take revenge. Even so, it was by no means easy for the British to control the Indians or to stop the attacks entirely. Savage warfare is easier to launch than to halt.