Michael A. Lofaro, "The Eighteenth Century 'Autobiographies' of Daniel Boone," THE REGISTER OF THE KENTUCKY HISTORICAL SOCIETY 76 (1978): 85-97

1976

Michael A. Lofaro, "The Eighteenth Century 'Autobiographies' of Daniel Boone," THE REGISTER OF THE KENTUCKY HISTORICAL SOCIETY 76 (1978): 85-97

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TRUMBULL converts Filson into a series of short paragraphs in diary-like form, stressing the rapidity of the sequence of events, giving "Trumbull's version of the 'autobiography' the appearance and sense of a realistic personal chronicle of Boone as the ever-active frontier adventurer, the hunter with little time for words." Perhaps most important is the deletion of the philosophical introduction of Filson's, cutting immediately to "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. . . ." "The psychological impact of this omission upon the reader is important, for the initial impression of Daniel Boone, a glimpse which tends to tix itself in a pre-eminent position in the reader's mind, solely on the grounds of its placement in the narrative, changes from that of the remote philosopher and divinely inspired pioneer to that of a contented family man responding to the call of the wilderness." "By omission Trumbull attempts to negate Filson's portrayal of Boone as the philosophical nature-lover and pioneer, and nowhere is this strategy more apparent than in Trumbull's handling of Filson's conclusion . . . [which] leaves the reader with a far different impression of Boone than does Filson's." (LOFARO1:94, 95, 96)

File: LFRO1.NT1



    Created: 8/11/2017 6:49:29 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20567-27481
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20567-27481


1976

Michael A. Lofaro, "The Eighteenth Century 'Autobiographies' of Daniel Boone," THE REGISTER OF THE KENTUCKY HISTORICAL SOCIETY 76 (1978): 85-97

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(1786) version served as the basic text for all the American versions until 1824, save one [Samuel L. Metcalf, A COLLECTION OF SOME OF THE MOST INTERESTING NARRATIVES OF INDIAN WARFARE IN THE WEST {Lexington, 1821} reproduces the original Filson text]. The Filson text was the favored one in Europe (8 editions by 1797). "If continued publication is a criterion for measuring the success of the altered characterization of Boone, it is certainly Trumbull's 1786 condensation of the ADVENTURES that the American people took to heart. It was Trumbull's version and not Filson's that was widely pirated and printed in America." (12 editions before 1824: Norwich, CT, 1796; Windson, VT, 1793; Hartford, 1794; Brooklyn, 1802?; Norwich, 1810 - twice; Norwich, 1812; NILES WEEKLY REGISTER, 3/13/13; Boston, 1819; Boston, 1822; Brooklyn, 1823; Providence, 1824) (LOFARO1:91n)

File: LFRO1.NT1



    Created: 8/11/2017 6:50:02 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20567-27482
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20567-27482


1976

Michael A. Lofaro, "The Eighteenth Century 'Autobiographies' of Daniel Boone," THE REGISTER OF THE KENTUCKY HISTORICAL SOCIETY 76 (1978): 85-97

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Two distinct versions of DB's "autobiography:" Filson (1784), "the only work of biography ever to receive his [DB's] endorsement," and Trumbull (1786 [in LFRO2:325n, he says by way of correction that this was published in 1785]), which edited out the classical allusions and grandiose descriptions. The Trumbull editing was extensive enought to qualify his as a different version; Trumbull's DB was a far more active frontier hero. "Neither Filson nor Trumbull provides a unified characterization of Boone. Neither intends to present Boone as paradoxical and contradictory, but as each 'autobiographer' struggles in turn to determine for himself and his readers Boone's 'correct' relationship to the frontier he inadvertently reveals the possibility of a dual interpretation of the pioneer's action. In a very real sense, each editor attempts to shape Boone's character to fit his own preconceptions and his audiences' assumed tastes." (LOFARO1:86-87, 88)

File: LFRO1.NT1



    Created: 8/11/2017 6:50:38 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20567-27483
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20567-27483


1976

Michael A. Lofaro, "The Eighteenth Century 'Autobiographies' of Daniel Boone," THE REGISTER OF THE KENTUCKY HISTORICAL SOCIETY 76 (1978): 85-97

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"Implicit in the eighteenth century characterizations of Boone is the typical inner conflict between civilization and the wilderness. He is shown both as the pioneer who paves the way for civilization and civilized life and the natural man who prefers the simplicity and rugged vitality of a wilderness environment as an end in itself. To Boone, the frontier is simultaneously a challenge and an inspiration, something to subdue and improve and something to preserve and enjoy." (LOFARO1:85-86)

File: LFRO1.NT1



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    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20567-27484
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20567-27484


1976

Michael A. Lofaro, "The Eighteenth Century 'Autobiographies' of Daniel Boone," THE REGISTER OF THE KENTUCKY HISTORICAL SOCIETY 76 (1978): 85-97

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FILSON spent much time interviewing DB (as well as many other early hunters, exploreres, and settlers of KY), but the account was tempered by his own personality and motives. "At best, this influence might be described as an unconscious projection of Filson's own romantic impulses as a frontier adventurer and, at worst, as a mercenary publicity stunt in land speculation, designed to draw settlers to Kentucky and thus increase the value of Filson's holdings." (LOFARO1:87n)

File: LFRO1.NT1



    Created: 8/11/2017 6:52:13 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20567-27485
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20567-27485


1976

Michael A. Lofaro, "The Eighteenth Century 'Autobiographies' of Daniel Boone," THE REGISTER OF THE KENTUCKY HISTORICAL SOCIETY 76 (1978): 85-97

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3 characterizations: nature-lover who has retreated from complex civiliation to a simple life of responsible forest freedom; active hunter, Indian-fighter, adventurer; pioneer, the enlightened agent of civilization, commerce, progress. These clash. (LOFARO1:88)

File: LFRO1.NT1



    Created: 8/11/2017 6:52:36 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20567-27486
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20567-27486


1976

Michael A. Lofaro, "The Eighteenth Century 'Autobiographies' of Daniel Boone," THE REGISTER OF THE KENTUCKY HISTORICAL SOCIETY 76 (1978): 85-97

Keywords
None.
People
None.
"The editorial revamping of Filson's 'autobiography' can be considered one of the preliminary steps in the construction of [the] present-day biographical image of Daniel Boone. It is almost a necessary purification of Filson's Boone that brings the character of the hero in line with American needs and expectations." (LOFARO1:93)

File: LFRO1.NT1



    Created: 8/11/2017 6:53:10 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20567-27487
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20567-27487


1976

Michael A. Lofaro, "The Eighteenth Century 'Autobiographies' of Daniel Boone," THE REGISTER OF THE KENTUCKY HISTORICAL SOCIETY 76 (1978): 85-97

Keywords
None.
People
None.
DB the hunter dominant; other characterizations (nature-lover and pioneer) subsumed. "Of all the portrayals -- pioneer, nature-lover, and hunter -- only the least rhetorically embellished of these roles, that of the adventurous hunter, managed to gain the attention of Americans, and it did so only after Trumbull's rigorous editing. Trumbull, in fact, Americanized the ADVENTURES. In his hands Boone cast off his philosopher's robes and picked up his rifle." (LOFARO1:88, 97)

File: LFRO1.NT1



    Created: 8/11/2017 6:53:31 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20567-27488
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20567-27488


1976

Michael A. Lofaro, "The Eighteenth Century 'Autobiographies' of Daniel Boone," THE REGISTER OF THE KENTUCKY HISTORICAL SOCIETY 76 (1978): 85-97

Keywords
None.
People
None.
"Perhaps no one figure has been more central to the frontier experience than Daniel Boone. He is commonly regarded as the prototype and epitome of the American frontiersman." (LOFARO1:85, citing Marshall W. Fishwick, AMERICAN HEROES: MYTH AND REALITY [Washington, D.C., 1954])


File: LFRO1.NT1



    Created: 8/11/2017 6:54:02 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20567-27489
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20567-27489














    

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