1819 – Intelligencer Letter about Boone’s Lick

[transcribed from Missouri Intelligencer and Boon’s Lick Advertiser, Vol. I, No. 19, Franklin, Mo. (Aug. 27, 1819), p. 2]

1819 Aug 27 Intelligencer Masthead

1819 Aug 27 Intelligencer p3 upperTo the Editors of the Missouri Intelligencer.


In the 18th number of your paper I observe an extract from the “Albany Plough Boy,” in which are contained these words:

“What think you, reader, of a newspaper at Boon’s Lick, in the wilds of Missouri, in 1819; where in 1809 there was not we believe a civilized being excepting the eccentric character who gave his name to the spot—who delighted in the dreary and awful solitude by which he was surrounded—and who has since travelled further into the wilderness, to avoid society, and enjoy his favorite life of a hunter.”

Some months ago the good natured and sagacious editors circulated a story, invented, perhaps, by some waggish fellow, that Col. Daniel Boone, the person alluded to by the editors of the Plough Boy, the first explorer and settler of Kentucky, had died in the wilderness in the act of shooting a buffaloe. In the mean time Col. B. was living in a populous settlement with his son Major Nathan Boone, and quietly making ready for a crop of corn. It is not true that the person who draws on him as much of the attention of those editors, ever lived in the tract of country vulgarly called “Boon’s Lick,” or gave his name to it.

1819 Aug 27 p.3 Intelligencer lowerAbout the year 1809, Col. Daniel [Morgan] Boone, junior, and Maj. Nathan Boone, sons of the old Col. B. made salt at some springs now occupied by Messrs. Becknell & Morrisons, and from them these springs were called Boone’s Lick; and from these springs, people as ignorant as these wise editors, have called, by the name of Boon’s Lick, the whole tract of country comprehended in Cooper and Howard Counties, extending on both sides of the Missouri from the mouth of the Osage to the western Indian boundary, a distance of about 200  miles. Col. Daniel Boone, sen. lives & has for many years lived, near the Charette village, one hundred miles below Franklin, surrounded by his descendants to the fourth generation.

Until two years past he was in the habit of hunting a few weeks in each year for amusement. The last attempt he made was in the latter end of the year 1816. He was attacked by a pleurisy at Loutre Lick, on his route to the hunting ground. That was the first time he had ever been obliged to have recourse to medical aid; he for a long time refused it. Doctor Hubbard, of St. Charles, accidentally [ ] before the disease [ ] and relieved him. Since that time he has lived at the place above named. It is most certain that Col. B. has many neighbors and sees much company. Many intelligent persons, who have visited him, have told the writer that few men are more interesting in conversation, or in his mind delight in it than this [ ] eccentric character. The writer of this obtained most of his knowledge of Col. B.’s life from his sons—he also once saw the Col. and during an hour be [ ] in his company could discover nothing of the eccentric [ ] either in his conversations or deportment. Perhaps it might be found upon enquiry that Col. B. left Kentucky to settle on the Missouri, because he had lost his lands there, and was [ ] to buy more [ ] land titles were so doubtful.