Draper, the first secretary of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, collected more than 500 volumes of material on the famed frontiersman Daniel Boone. His biography of Boone remained unfinished for 100 years until Ted Franklin Belue, a widely read scholar of early Americana, added his authoritative editing. This long-awaited work is filled ...
Draper, the first secretary of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, collected more than 500 volumes of material on the famed frontiersman Daniel Boone. His biography of Boone remained unfinished for 100 years until Ted Franklin Belue, a widely read scholar of early Americana, added his authoritative editing. This long-awaited work is filled with little-known information on Boone and his family, long hunters, the Shawnee, the fur trade, and frontier life in general.
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Publishers Weekly, 1998-09-14 When he died in 1891, historian Draper left unfinished this massive biography of legendary Kentucky frontier hero Daniel Boone (1734-1820). Now Belue, who teaches history at Murray State University in Kentucky, has transcribed and annotated Draper's rambling manuscript, whose florid, hagiographic prose should not deter readers from some real merits. First, Draper, an indefatigable researcher, drew upon thousands of documents as well as interviews with white, Native American and black frontier dwellers to re-create Boone's colorful exploits, including his blazing of a trail through the Cumberland Gap; his construction of Boonesborough, the first permanent settlement in the "Far West"; and his dramatic rescue of his daughter Jemima and two other girls from Indians. Second, Draper's tome is a treasure trove of early Americana, covering Indian-Anglo wars and relations, the fur trade, the British presence and trans-Appalachian life, flora and fauna. Third, the 76 period drawings, engravings, photographs and maps offer revealing glimpses of both whites and Native Americans. And finally, Belue's entertaining and informative chapter notes diligently correct Draper's romanticization, offering instead a lifelong wanderer from home and family, a failed land speculator, an adventurer who watched his son tortured to death by Cherokees but who still sought accommodation with the Indians. Regrettably, Draper's text breaks off in 1778, but a chronology, epilogue and appendix sketch Boone's later exploits. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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