Robert Emmett McDowell, "Daniel Boone: A Kentucky Myth?" THE COURIER-JOURNAL MAGAZINE 12/2/1962

Robert Emmett McDowell, "Daniel Boone: A Kentucky Myth?" THE COURIER-JOURNAL MAGAZINE 12/2/1962

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Almost everybody howled last month when the author of this article called Daniel Boone a blunderer. The occasion was a speech at the ground-breaking for an amphitheater at Harrodsburg, in which the same author's outdoor drama, "Home is the Hunter," will be presented next summer. Here he explains his opinions which, quoted widely without his balancing remarks, caused a lot of consternation among Boone's admirers, from Governor Bert Combs down. McDowell, a Louisvillian, is the writer of several books and of earlier articles in this magazine.> Robert Emmett McDowell, "Daniel Boone: A Kentucky Myth?" THE COURIER-JOURNAL MAGAZINE 12/2/1962.

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    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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Robert Emmett McDowell, "Daniel Boone: A Kentucky Myth?" THE COURIER-JOURNAL MAGAZINE 12/2/1962

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<This is not an attempt to debunk or belittle or even to expose the clay feet of a great historical figure, because the real Boone was not a great historical figure. He was an uncouth, irresponsible hunter, who through a freak of fate was elevated to the role of folk hero in his own lifetime.> Robert Emmett McDowell, "Daniel Boone: A Kentucky Myth?" THE COURIER-JOURNAL MAGAZINE 12/2/1962.

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Robert Emmett McDowell, "Daniel Boone: A Kentucky Myth?" THE COURIER-JOURNAL MAGAZINE 12/2/1962

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<Was Daniel Boone really such shakes as an Indian fighter? The answer, I'm afraid, is that he didn't hold a candle to pioneer Kentuckinas like Bland W. Ballard.> Quotes Ballard as responding to the question of how many Indians he had killed: <He replied brusquely that he hadn't kept count, but he had once "killed six before breakfast, and not a very good day for the business."> and McDowell quips: <Daniel Boone was not even in this man's league!> Robert Emmett McDowell, "Daniel Boone: A Kentucky Myth?" THE COURIER-JOURNAL MAGAZINE 12/2/1962.

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Robert Emmett McDowell, "Daniel Boone: A Kentucky Myth?" THE COURIER-JOURNAL MAGAZINE 12/2/1962

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McDowell says Boone wasn't much of a pathfinder, wasn't much of a leader. He was <always in a secondary or lower military position and took no noteworthy part either in planning or executing any important military movement.> And for all his skill <seemed to have the most unfortunate knack of getting himself captured or of blundering into an ambush> Robert Emmett McDowell, "Daniel Boone: A Kentucky Myth?" THE COURIER-JOURNAL MAGAZINE 12/2/1962.

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    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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    ID: 27-40-20290-25690
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Robert Emmett McDowell, "Daniel Boone: A Kentucky Myth?" THE COURIER-JOURNAL MAGAZINE 12/2/1962

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Wasn't Boone tricked out of his land? <The fact is that innocent people who had believed in him, as well as speculators, suffered more at his hands than he did at theirs. It was the custom for men who were intimately acquainted with the wilderness to locate land for others on shares. Boone, because of his reputation, had warrants for thousands of acres placed in his hands to locate. He acquired vast holdings in this fashion, but when he lost these holdings as a result of his own careless manner of surveying, or because he had not located the warrants on vacant land, the people who had employed him lost their land also. Thus old Dan's was directly responsible for considerable suffering, not mention whopping financial losses, among his friends and his employers.> Robert Emmett McDowell, "Daniel Boone: A Kentucky Myth?" THE COURIER-JOURNAL MAGAZINE 12/2/1962.


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