American History 1785 - 1849

United States History Frontiersmen - Settlements in the West

Frontier settlements started near a river that would provide transportation. First the trees were cut down. The trees were used to build a fence around the land that would be cleared. Next the trees inside the fenced-in area would be cleared. Once the trees were gone grass would grow. This was used to feed the livestock. Next a small cabin would be built. Crops would be grown in the spring.

Neighbors helped build the first house. A house could be built in two days. The men hunted, cleared the land, and planted crops. The women and children made clothing, tended the crops, cooked, and carried water. The only fun was a trip to a neighbor's house or going to church.


US Map 1789

US Map 1846

 Daniel Boone

Daniel Boone

Daniel Boone was one of the most famous frontiersmen in America. He is best known for being the first white man to create a settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains. He was born on November 2, 1734 in Pennsylvania. Even though he learned to read and write, Boone was a better hunter than a reader.

Daniel Boone moved to North Carolina when he was 15. He married Rebecca Bryan in North Carolina. They had 10 children.

During his exploration, Boone heard about the great hunting grounds in Kentucky which he explored from 1769 - 1782. On one trip, Boone came through the area that is now Johnson County, Tennessee. His horse became lame, and Boone left him in a valley next to a creek. The next year as Boone was traveling through the same area he saw his roan horse. The horse was fat and healthy. The valley is now named Roan Valley after Boone's horse.

Boone negotiated a treaty to buy land from the Cherokee called the Watauga Treaty. In 1775, Boone led a group of men through the wilderness across the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky. This became known as the Wilderness Trail. The men built a fort on the Kentucky River.

After the Revolution, Boone thought the area was becoming too crowded. The Spanish government allowed him to guide a group of settlers into the Missouri territory.

Boone was captured by the Shawnee in 1778. Many thought he was dead. After escaping the Shawnee, Boone continued to lead settlers into Kentucky.

In 1781, Boone was elected to the Virginia legislature. After Boone’s brother and son were killed, George Rogers Clark began a campaign against Native Americans.

Boone lost all his land claims. In his last years, Boone continued to hunt and explore the land of Ohio, West Virginia, and Missouri. He was living in Missouri when he died on September 26, 1820 at the age of 85.


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