June 7, 1769, frontiersman Daniel Boone first ventured through the Cumberland Gap—a pass in the Appalachian Mountains—into the land now known as Kentucky. Even though the British, who still ruled their American colonies, had outlawed settling west of the Appalachian mountains, Boone ignored the edict and soon led a team of loggers in widening the path, creating what they called Wilderness Road. This became white settlers' main route to the West, and Boone's own wife and daughter are thought to be the first Anglo-American women to settle in Kentucky.
Daniel Boone helped fight the Revolutionary War against the British whose law he had ignored, and he was able to save the town he had helped found, Boonesborough, by warning “the British are coming.” This warning was apparently not a midnight ride, so it gets no press, but Boone did have to escape from some Shawnee Indians who were holding him prisoner in order to get the news to his family and friends.
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Because Boone is so legendary in Kentucky, that state has declared June 7 to be Boone Day.
- Here is the story of Boone's journey to Kentucky.
- Learn more about Daniel Boone in this earlier post.
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