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Early Youth

In 1750, as just a young man in his teens, Daniel Boone and his family left their home in Berks County, Pennsylvania, starting a long trek south on Great Wagon Road to Carolina. Daniel’s parents, Squire and Sarah, were on a quest of acquiring land and establishing a new home in the Yadkin River Valley. They landed in what is now Davie County. At the time, it was an untouched wilderness teeming with wild game, including elk, dear, bear, and wolves - a hunter’s paradise.

The setting was perfect for young Daniel.

In those early days, Daniel learned two trades from his father: blacksmithing and weaving. Of course, there were always farm chores to be done, and at times he also engaged himself in surveying and the laying out of roads, but it was hunting that won his heart.

Animal pelts became excellent trade items and were taken to Salisbury or Salem for export to England. A fine buck hide brought a dollar in trade value or currency, creating a good resource for many settlers and hunters.

One buckskin could have been traded for a small hatchet, a few flints, or 60 lead bullets. Two hides may have made a good trade for a hat or axe. A pricier trade or purchase would have been a long rifle - it would have taken from ten to twenty hides to fetch one.

Starting His Own Family

In the summer of 1756, Daniel married Rebecca Bryan. The two families were neighbors and well acquainted. For the next seventeen years, the couple lived in several homesteads dotted along the Yadkin River Valley. One homestead was situated along Sugar Tree Creek, near what is now Farmington. Later, they lived farther north, in several cabins on the upper Yadkin - west of present day Wilkesboro.

During these years, eight of Rebecca and Daniel’s children were born. The young family experienced the uncertainty and fears of the French and Indian War, which spawned Indian attacks along the Carolina frontier.

Leaving North Carolina

It was here at his log cabin on Beaver Creek, east of Ferguson, that John Finley, an old friend, found Boone. The two had worked together as teamsters at Braddock's Defeat in 1755. Finley had been down the Ohio river and wanted to go back, taking Boone with him. Boone agreed to the trek.

In May 1769, with six in the party, they traveled through the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky. Boone returned two years later, only to venture out again. Finally, in 1773, Boone pulled up stakes and with his family and five others struck out to establish a settlement in Kentucky.

North Carolina is proud to have been Daniel Boone’s home for 21 years - nearly a quarter of his long, impactful life. His long ties to North Carolina were over, but never forgotten.

North Carolina counties that have a Boone connection include:

  • Alexander County
  • Caldwell County
  • Davie County
  • Davidson County
  • Forsyth County
  • Iredell County
  • Rowan County
  • Surry County
  • Wilkes County
  • Watauga County
  • Yadkin County

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