Clarence Walworth Alvord, "Daniel Boone," American Mercury 8 (1926), 266-70

1926

Clarence Walworth Alvord, "Daniel Boone," American Mercury 8 (1926), 266-70

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"Scientific research offers no support for his fame, which is a myth, like that of William Tell, conceived in caprice, reared by uncritical history, and perpetuated by popular sentimentality." (ALVORD1:266) ASSESSMENT BOONEMYTH

File: ALVRD1.NT1



    Created: 8/2/2017 5:41:37 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20239-25553
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20239-25553


1926

Clarence Walworth Alvord, "Daniel Boone," American Mercury 8 (1926), 266-70

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People
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"The established facts in the life of Boone are few, homely, and insignificant. He was an ordinary frontiersman of the FIN DE SIECLE DIXHUITIEME." "Here is nothing extraordinary, nothing to mark him off from his fellows, who dressed in the same fashion and made the same trek." (ALVORD1:266) ASSESSMENT BOONEMYTH

File: ALVRD1.NT1



    Created: 8/2/2017 5:42:01 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20239-25554
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20239-25554


1926

Clarence Walworth Alvord, "Daniel Boone," American Mercury 8 (1926), 266-70

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The romantic myth: ". . . projected against the background of a romantic West where hid the crafty Indians. Into this there moves a vast army of peaceful and liberty-loving settlers consummating a momentous conquest; the common people are making history. Popular caprice has placed Boone at the head of this army of invasion, and he is idolized as the most heroic of Western explorers, as the first to make known to settlers the fertility of the 'dark and bloody country' of Kentucky, and as the first to plant in the West a permanent settlement of Americans. After him followed the pioneers by hundreds and then by thousands until the Mississippi Valley was populated. Thus he is made to symbolize a great epoch. Even during his life time he was depicted by tradition as the superman of his generation of Westerners. In his old age he had become convinced of the truth of the tale that was told and declared himself an instrument 'ordained of God to settle the wilderness.' Succeeding generations have only fortified the legend." (ALVORD1:266) BOONEMYTH

File: ALVRD1.NT1




    Created: 8/2/2017 5:42:45 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20239-25555
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20239-25555


1926

Clarence Walworth Alvord, "Daniel Boone," American Mercury 8 (1926), 266-70

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"But it requires only the most superficial research to knock the story into a cocked hat." (ALVORD1:266) Thousands had come to Kentucky before him, the impetus to come west was there before him, and "Finally, in this whole complex movement across the mountains Boone played a subordinate part; he was little more than the employee of an empire builder." (ALVORD1:266) BOONEMYTH

File: ALVRD1.NT1



    Created: 8/2/2017 5:43:05 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20239-25556
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20239-25556


1926

Clarence Walworth Alvord, "Daniel Boone," American Mercury 8 (1926), 266-70

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Those who had come before:

1692 Arnout Viele 1673 James Needham 1690-92 Jean Couture 1698 Captain Walsh 1767 twenty large French pirogues in Kentucky waters 1720-70 average of 20 French hunted and traded annually in Kentucky 1750s George Croghan 1739 governor of New France sent company of soldiers via the Ohio to participate in the war against the Chickasaw 1756 British prisoners, among them 3 women, sent down the Ohio 1766,68 famous geographer Thomas Hutchins a passenger on the vessel of Baynton, Wharton & Morgan supplying their trading post at Kaskaskia. This firm also sent yearly hunting parties with land speculating attachments into Kentucky. By then the buffalo herds had been practically eliminated. "If we count all those who had visual proof during this century of the fertility and general desirability of Kentucky, either by hunting within its bounds or skirting along its northern border, their number must be in the neighborhood of 4000." (ALVORD1:269) PRECURSORS KENTUCKY

File: ALVRD1.NT1



    Created: 8/2/2017 5:43:42 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20239-25557
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20239-25557


1926

Clarence Walworth Alvord, "Daniel Boone," American Mercury 8 (1926), 266-70

Keywords
None.
People
None.
"Legend affirms that Boone was the agent who called the people across the mountains. The reverse is the truth. Boone was among the conjured, not the conjuror." (ALVORD1:269) BOONEMYTH

File: ALVRD1.NT1



    Created: 8/2/2017 5:44:04 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20239-25558
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20239-25558


1926

Clarence Walworth Alvord, "Daniel Boone," American Mercury 8 (1926), 266-70

Keywords
None.
People
None.

"He was one of the many pawns in the magnificent game of chess being played on Kentucky territory. Of the superman there is no trace. Without doubt the unlearned will continue to exalt the name of the simple soul whose fictitious career exemplifies so fully their idea of historical causation and typifies so fittingly their conception of the common man in history. But the historian must reconcile himself to the inevitable neglect of his scientific research and extract what pleasure he can from the contemplation of truth. A lonely occupation indeed! There is for him, however, a source of self-complacency in the realization that he has freed himself from the hallowed tradition of the multitude, and that he belongs to the small group of the elect who understand the impossibility of compressing into the naive symbolixm Of the Daniel Boone myth the complex forces which culminated in the settlement of Kentucky." (ALVORD1:270) BOONEMYTH



File: ALVRD1.NT1



    Created: 8/2/2017 5:44:23 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20239-25559
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20239-25559














    

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