The First American Frontiersmen Weren't Cowboys - Matson, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 36.528 W 090° 47.644
15S E 692073 N 4275674
One of several markers in the Judgement Tree Memorial
Waymark Code: WMXRZB
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 02/22/2018
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member MountainWoods
Views: 0

County of marker: St. Charles County
Location of marker: MO-94, Daniel Boone Judgement Tree Memorial, Matson
Date erected: October 1999
Erected by: Peggy Bradbury, the Town of Matson
Historian: Ken Kemper

Marker Text:

  Long before homesteaders in Conestoga wagons trekked to what modern people think of as the western frontier of America, herds of buffalo roamed east of the Mississippi River into Pennsylvania, and Kentucky and Tennessee were considered to be the far west. Thousands of Native Americans hunted and traded across the continent, with whites as well as each other.

  In those days, England still had the upper hand, sometimes cruel rule by British locals too often deprived American colonists of money, property, even life. For relief, some men turned to courts, to new laws, and finally, war, to gain freedom.

  Others, like Daniel Boone, took to the woods, hunting and trapping, and settling ever farther from government interference.

  Hunting was a way to get rich. A Colonial farmer often scrabbled for a living all year long, his family sometimes close to starvation. But a hunter could make enough money in a single season to buy land and to support his family in style.

  In the era before the Revolutionary War, such men were called long hunters, not only for the long rifles they hunted with, but for the many months spent on a typical hunt. Daniel Boone's most famous long hunt lasted two years.

  Despite the money to be made, fear kept most men from becoming long hunters. The Indians considered the whites to be poachers, and would rob unwary or unlucky hunters; a best-case scenario.

  Hunters needed the skills to anticipate and track their prey, to avoid Indians, and to find their way in the wilderness, living off the forest. Horses were used as pack animals rather than transportation. Dress was distinctive; leather breech clouts and moccasins, such as the Indians wore, plus leggings that went from ankle to thigh. Layers of linen or leather hunting shirts were worn all year long. Hair was often worn long. Daniel Boone wore his hair plaited, or braided, and "clubbed up," the braid tied close to his head.

  "Lung Hunters were the freest Anglo-Americans to live before the Revolution," wrote Ted Franklin Belue in his book, The Long Hunt: Death of the Buffalo East of the Mississippi, published in 1996 by Stackpole Books, (Belue, who teaches history at Murray State University in Kentucky, was also an extra in the remake of "Last of the Mohicans," directed by Michael Mann.)

  "The stark edge of life and death inured the rough, individualistic frontier folk to toil, hardship, heat, cold, rain, snow, ice... Such men were skilled in hunting, trapping, stalking, hiding, reading sign, building shelter, surviving. They were their own doctors, veterinarians, boat builders, coopers, militiamen, cooks, cord wainers, blacksmiths, gunsmiths, skinners, and tanners. And More."

  Belue added, "Most were plain, poor men seeking land, relief from debt, a way to feed hungry mouths."

  Daniel Boone was different from some notorious long hunters, in that he respected Native Americans, relying far more on wits and diplomacy than a gun. Although he loved the wilderness, he also loved his family, giving away land to relatives, and taking his sons hunting with him. When he explored, he kept track of stands of timber, water, and fertile farmland, for future settlement.

  He was a rare man who thrived in the wilderness and on solitufe, yet, he was a sociable, compassionate, calm man, a leader who served his fellows by holding a succession of political and military offices, some nearly to the end of his life.

History of Mark:
Hunter trappers, and those who came past civilization to find what was out there.

Web link: Not listed

Additional point: Not Listed

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