Daniel Boone "Kentucky Colonel"

Daniel Boone was designated with the Honorable tile, Colonel on March 10, 1775 to lead 30 axmen for the Transylvania Company.

Col. Daniel Boone, the First Kentucky Colonel

By blazing a trail through the Appalachian Mountains, Daniel Boone opened the West to white settlement and came to personify the national myth of the indomitable frontiersman. While supporting his family as a fur trapper, Boone survived deadly attacks by the Shawanoe (Shawnee) and other Indigenous groups determined to prevent further encroachment into their homelands. Undeterred, in 1775, he established Boone Trace, a pathway through the Cumberland Gap into central Kentucky. Three years later, the Shawanoe captured Boone and adopted him into the family of Shawanoe chief Blackfish (also known as Cot-ta-wa-ma-go or Mkah-day-way-may-qua). Renamed Sheltowee (Big Turtle), Boone learned the language, traditions, and spiritual customs of his adoptive people. He fled after five months to warn the settlers of Boonesboro of an impending Shawnee attack.

Gateway to the West – Daniel Boone Leading The Settlers Through The Cumberland Gap, Painting by David Wright of Tennessee
Gateway to the West – Daniel Boone Leading The Settlers Through The Cumberland Gap

The temperament and disposition of Col. Daniel Boone surpasses all modern stereotypes that are desired in society today. Although his many heroic achievements, in protecting the inhabitants of the infant settlements from the bloody tomahawk and scalping knife of the Savages, were justly and duly appreciated by the most respectable inhabitants of the state, yet all compensations offered him therefrom in lands, and companies, or lucrative offices proffered him, were unequivocally refused by the Colonel, and although of very decent abilities, (with one exception) he could never be prevailed on to fill a public office—to use his own expression "I had much rather (said he) possess a good fowling piece, with two faithful dogs, and traverse the wilderness with one or two friendly Indian companions, in quest of a hoard of Buffaloes or deer, than to possess the best township or to fill the first Executive office of the State." -John Filson (1782)