Page:American History Told by Contemporaries, v2.djvu/411

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



CHAPTER XXII —THE WEST

134. "The Adventures of Col. Daniel Boon" (1769-1775)

BY JOHN FILSON (1784)
 
This narrative purports to be autobiographical, but was put into its literary form by John Filson, an emigrant from Pennsylvania just after the Revolutionary War. Filson was a school-teacher, surveyor, and historian. — Bibliography: Winsor, Narrative and Critical History, VI, 708; Roosevelt, Winning of the West, I, ch. vi.
 

IT was on the first of May, in the year 1769, that I resigned my domestic happiness for a time, and left my family and peaceable habitation on the Yadkin River, in North-Carolina, to wander through the wilderness of America, in quest of the country of Kentucke, in company with John Finley, John Stewart, Joseph Holden, James Monay, and William Cool. We proceeded successfully, and after a long and fatiguing journey through a mountainous wilderness, in a westward direction, on the seventh day of June following, we found ourselves on Red-River, where John Finley had formerly been trading with the Indians, and, from the top of an eminence, saw with pleasure the beautiful level of Kentucke. . . . In this forest, the habitation of beasts of every kind natural to America, we practised hunting with great success until the twenty-second day of December following.

This day John Stewart and I had a pleasing ramble, but fortune changed the scene in the close of it. . . . In the decline of the day, near Kentucke river, as we ascended the brow of a small hill, a number of Indians rushed out of a thick cane-brake upon us, and made us prisoners. The time of our sorrow was now arrived, and the scene fully opened. The Indians plundered us of what we had, and kept us in confinement seven days, treating us with common savage usage. During this time we discovered no uneasiness or desire to escape, which made them less suspicious of us ; but in the dead of night, as we lay in a thick cane-brake by a large fire, when sleep had locked up their

383