Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers
(pages 63 - 65)
Col. Daniel Boone, though never identified with the Baptists, was a Baptist in principle, and had a brother, Squire Boone, who was a noted Baptist preacher in Kentucky. According to Haywood and Ramsay, Baptists are as much indebted to Daniel Boone for an early and a good start in Tennessee as to any other man. This is my justification for giving him a place in this volume.
Daniel Boone was a son of Squire Boone, Sen., and was born in Pennsylvania about the year 1734. When four or five years old he removed with his parents to North Carolina, and settled in Yadkin, eight miles from Wilksborough. In 1760, according to Ramsay (see inscription on Boone Tree, in Appendix to this volume), Boone visited the country now known as Boone's Creek, in Washington County, nine years before what is now Tennessee became the Watauga Association and thirty-six years before it became an independent state. In 1764 Boone, with a kinsman, again visited the Watauga to further explore the country. As he approached the spurs of the Cumberland Mountain, in view of the vast herds of buffalo grazing in the valleys, he exclaimed, "I am richer than the man mentioned in scripture, who owned the cattle on a thousand hills. I own the wild beasts of more than a thousand valleys!" Whatever his confusion in his quotation of scripture, it was clear to him that the land, and what was on it, belonged to him who had the faith and courage to go up and possess it. May 1, 1769, Boone, with three others, left his "peaceable habitation on the Yadkin River in quest of the country of Kentucky." In the fall of 1773 Boone made an attempt to take his family to Kentucky,. "Before this time no white female, no family, had crossed the Cumberland range. Boone prevailed on four or five other families to join him, and with them advanced towards Cumberland Gap. The little party was joined in Powell's Valley by forty hunters, well armed. The whole formed a caravan of eighty person. While passing a narrow defile in their mark, on the fifth of October, they were startled by the terrific yell of Indians, in ambuscade. Some of the men flew to the protection of the women and children, while the others rushed to encounter the enemy. There was a scene of consternation and confusion for a time, but the Indians, surprised at the fierce and resolute resistance of the men, fled in every direction. The first fire of the Indians, however, killed six men and wounded the seventh. Among the killed was a son of Boone, aged about twenty. The party fell back to the nearest settlement, where the emigrant families remained for a time." (Ramsay). Boone had no little part in negotiating with the Indians for the purchase of lands connected with the Watauga settlement, purchases being made in 1774 and 1775. (Haywood.)
To Daniel Boone, Cathcart (Baptist Encyclopedia, Vol1, p. 113) pays this high tribute: "He was a man of great integrity, enlarged charity to his race, and profound reverence to God. His bravery was undaunted, and he was almost womanly in the gentleness and amiability of his manners. His love of the beauties of nature, rather than his fondness for adventure, led him to spend most of his life in the great forests of the west. He explored Kentucky from 1769-71, moved to the territory in 1775. About 1795 he went to Missouri, where he died, September 26, 1820, in the eighty-sixth year of his age. His remains and those of his wife were removed to Kentucky and interred in the state cemetery at Frankfort in 1845."
Burnett, J .J. Sketches of Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers. Nashville, Tenn.: Press of Marshall & Bruce Company, 1919.
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