Sunday, October 18, 2009

happy birthday, mr. boone

I can't let October slip away without acknowledging the birthday of Daniel Boone. If you hadn't guessed, he was the prototype for Lael's father in The Frontiersman's Daughter, though Boone, a believer and former Quaker, had fewer rough edges than Ezekial Click. There is some dispute as to whether Boone's birthday was in October or November. This just lends itself to his legend.

I love these little known facts about him... He disliked coonskin caps (he thought them uncouth) so wore fur felt instead. When courting his future wife he decided "to try her temper" so cut her precious cambric apron with his hunting knife. She kept her cool and he married her. He lost everything he owned in Kentucky and moved to Missouri. Kentucky had quite a fight to bring his body back.

I love this photograph of Boone's last cabin in Kentucky on Brushy Creek. Very simple but beautiful in its own way. He was a simple man who did extraordinary things. I think the cabin was mostly for Rebecca's benefit.

Last week I heard from my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Buckner, who reminded me that I'd studied Kentucky History in her class. I'm sure this helped me keep my facts straight in the novel! Two of her ancestors were at Fort Boonesborough with Boone himself, one having come into Kentucky in 1775. She and her husband belong to the Boonesborough Society and First Families of Kentucky. It's a thrill when someone from your very distant past reads your book and is thoughtful enough to write and tell you about it. That certainly went into my scrapbook:)

Anyway, happy birthday, Mr. Boone! I'm sure you wouldn't like the fuss being made over you today.


  1. So neat your 4th grade teacher reads your book and comments etc. to you! Priceless! I love the Boone cabin pic and try to imagine exactly how he lived then....your book is very helpful in that way! I remember when I was young watching the TV series "Daniel Boone" everyday after school and loved that show! That was the early 70's and I was in love with Mingo, ha! :)Too bad we can't travel back in time through a time capsule just to really get a glimpse!

  2. Sooo good to hear from you, Rhonda:) I'm chuckling as I'd forgotten all about Mingo! I loved the Boone show, too, and it's colored my view of the real deal every since, coonskin cap and all! Would love to do the time capsule thing, then immediately come back to my hot shower and coffee:)

  3. Well I had a coonskin cap as child and thought they were very couth. :) Boone and Crockett were childhood fascinations for me too. No Barbies for this girl-child. I played frontier reenactments, and used pokeberry juice for warpaint.

    That's wonderful about your 4th grade teacher. My 5th grade teacher was important to me, in becoming a writer. Mrs. Baird is in heaven now so I'll have to wait and thank her later.

    Happy Birthday Daniel. Maybe we shared the same day, straddling the border of Oct/Nov with 29 minutes to spare.

  4. Unfortunately, we missed the Daniel Boone sites on our trip to Kentucky! Time and money limited our travels in the Blue Grass state, darn it! Thus, it didn't occur to me that Ezekiel Click was modeled after Boone. Love all the history!

  5. Love the pokeberry juice, Lori:) That's my kind of kid. You and Daniel might well have the same birthday - according to the old calender he was right around the end of October, first of November. A fine coincidence, seeing as how you love the 18th-century!

  6. Mary,
    I'm glad you didn't see the Boone-Click connection so that Ezekial could stand alone, so to speak. One day you'll get back to the bluegrass state - I know you loved your trip there - and you saw some wonderful things! I really enjoyed the pics you posted. Hope this is a happy writing week for you!

  7. Lori, I forgot to mention how much it would have meant to your teacher to know she was instrumental in your love for writing. I do think you'll be able to covey that one day! Teachers really have a lot of influence over their students for good or ill. Glad to hear of another teacher who fostered good.

  8. I always like hearing about Daniel Boone. I wish I knew more. I have a family bible that lists Katherine Boone in our family lineage. However, the scrawl next to it says she was his sister or his cousin. I can't read it well. Did he have a sister named Katherine?

  9. Very interesting question about your possible Boone link through Katherine! I'll look that up today and then post it on here:)
    I do know that the Boone clan was very big and there were lots of cousins, etc. Boone himself had several sisters and daughters so will check that out.
    Glad you find another Boone fan on here:) He really is a worthy hero. In all my research I never found anything negative about him except that he was a poor businessman, probably because he was generous to a fault.
    Thank you for such an interesting comment!

  10. Back to your very interesting Boone question...
    I looked up Boone's genealogy and found that he had these sisters - Sarah, Elizabeth, Mary, and Hannah. These sisters had many children and there were a multitude of cousins. I haven't come across a Katherine but it's safe to assume there probably was one, esp. if your family Bible makes a note of it.
    When I was at Fort Boonesborough last fall there was a big wedding quilt on display under glass and it had names of many of the Boone women on it who'd helped piece the quilt. Wish I had taken down the names - there might have been a Katherine in there:)
    Keep that Bible close! What a keepsake!

  11. Thanks. I did some research too and found he did have a cousin by that name. It took a lot of searching online though. : )

    BTW, I loved this book! I can't wait to read more from you. I couldn't put it down and was so sad to leave Kentucke when it was done. I want to go back to those woods and swim in that river!

    I read a lot and have to say that I really enjoy your style of writing. There is depth to it and it feels real, not contrived. I love books I can immerse myself in and your book sure did that!

  12. Wonderful to hear about cousin Katherine! You are very blessed to have Boone in your family line:) Wish I could say the same!

    And thank you so very much for your gracious words about TFD. I love the "real and not contrived" part and that you hated for the book to end. I certainly felt that way writing it. Readers like you make writing so worthwhile!

    I hope you enjoy my next book just as much. My pub. has moved the release date up to next July 1 and I'll be posting the cover on here as soon as I can, probably in a couple of weeks. It's really beautiful and very different than the first but then Morrow is very different than Lael.

    Please come back by - I so enjoyed hearing from you here! Have a blessed day!