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show the part which joy has evermore tended to play. Sometimes

posting time:2023-12-06 21:17:08

Boone settled at the Femme Osage Creek on the Missouri River, twenty-five miles above St. Charles, where the Missouri flows into the Mississippi. There were four other Kentucky families at La Charette, as the French inhabitants called the post, but these were the only Americans. The Spanish authorities granted Boone 840 acres of land, and here Daniel built the last cabin home he was to erect for himself and his Rebecca.

show the part which joy has evermore tended to play. Sometimes

The region pleased him immensely. The governmental system, for instance, was wholly to his mind. Taxes were infinitesimal. There were no elections, assemblies, or the like. A single magistrate, or Syndic, decided all disputes and made the few regulations and enforced them. There were no land speculators, no dry-mouthed sons of the commercial Tantalus, athirst for profits. Boone used to say that his first years in Missouri were the happiest of his life, with the exception of his first long hunt in Kentucky.

show the part which joy has evermore tended to play. Sometimes

In 1800 he was appointed Syndic of the district of Femme Osage, which office he filled for four years, until Louisiana became American territory. He was held in high esteem as a magistrate because of his just and wise treatment of his flock, who brought him all their small bickerings to settle. He had no use for legal procedure, would not listen to any nice subtleties, saying that he did not care anything at all about the EVIDENCE, what he wanted was the TRUTH. His favorite penalty for offenders was the hickory rod "well laid on." Often he decided that both parties in a suit were equally to blame and chastised them both alike. When in March, 1804, the American Commissioner received Louisiana for the United States, Delassus, Lieutenant Governor of Upper Louisiana, reporting'on the various officials in the territory, wrote of the Femme Osage Syndic: "Mr. Boone, a respectable old man, just and impartial, he has already, since I appointed him, offered his resignation owing to his infirmities. Believing I know his probity, I have induced him to remain, in view of my confidence in him for the public good."

show the part which joy has evermore tended to play. Sometimes


*Thwaites, "Daniel Boone. "To this and other biographies of Boone, cited in the Bibliographical Note at the end of this volume, the author is indebted for the material contained in this chapter.

Daniel, no doubt supposing that a Syndic's rights were inviolable, had neglected to apply to the Governor at New Orleans for a ratification of his grant. He was therefore dispossessed. Not until 1810, and after he had enlisted the Kentucky Legislature in his behalf, did he succeed in inducing Congress to restore his land. The Kentucky Legislature's resolution was adopted because of "the many eminent services rendered by Colonel Boone in exploring and settling the western country, from which great advantages have resulted not only to the State but to the country in general, and that from circumstances over which he had no control he is now reduced to poverty; not having so far as appears an acre of land out of the vast territory he has been a great instrument in peopling." Daniel was seventy-six then; so it was late in the day for him to have his first experience of justice in the matter of land. Perhaps it pleased him, however, to hear that, in confirming his grant, Congress had designated him as "the man who has opened the way for millions of his fellow-men."

The "infirmities" which had caused the good Syndic to seek relief from political cares must have been purely magisterial. The hunter could have been very little affected by them, for as soon as he was freed from his duties Boone took up again the silent challenge of the forest. Usually one or two of his sons or his son-in-law, Flanders Calloway, accompanied him, but sometimes his only companions were an old Indian and his hunting dog. On one of his hunting trips he explored a part of Kansas; and in 1814, when he was eighty, he hunted big game in the Yellowstone where again his heart rejoiced over great herds as in the days of his first lone wanderings in the Blue Grass country. At last, with the proceeds of these expeditions he was able to pay the debts he had left behind in Kentucky thirty years before. The story runs that Daniel had only fifty cents remaining when all the claims had been settled, but so contented was he to be able to look an honest man in the face that he was in no disposition to murmur over his poverty.

When after a long and happy life his wife died in 1813, Boone lived with one or other of his sons* and sometimes with Flanders Calloway. Nathan Boone, with whom Daniel chiefly made his home, built what is said to have been the first stone house in Missouri. Evidently the old pioneer disapproved of stone houses and of the "luxuries" in furnishings which were then becoming possible to the new generation, for one of his biographers speaks of visiting him in a log addition to his son's house; and when Chester Harding, the painter, visited him in 1819 for the purpose of doing his portrait, he found Boone dwelling in a small log cabin in Nathan's yard. When Harding entered, Boone was broiling a venison steak on the end of his ramrod. During the sitting, one day, Harding asked Boone if he had ever been lost in the woods when on his long hunts in the wilderness.

* Boone's son Nathan won distinction in the War of 1812 and entered the regular army, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Daniel Morgan Boone is said to have been the first settler in Kansas (1827). One of Daniel's grandsons, bearing the name of Albert Gallatin Boone, was a pioneer of Colorado and was to the forefront in Rocky Mountain exploration. Another grandson was the scout, Kit Carson, who led Fremont to California.

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