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Rebecca Bryant Boone


Among the incidents of the early settlement of Kentucky none is more significant than the Rustic Parliament, which convened at Boonesborough, May 24, 1775. Without any warrant other than a common desire and reverence for justice, seventeen delegates convened. They were five hundred miles from any organized society or civil government. Nominally within the jurisdiction of Virginia, nominally subjects of the British crown, without knowledge of the battles of Lexington and Concord or even the Declaration of Independence, coming into the wilderness without a charter, they proceeded to the enactment of laws for the establishment of the courts of justice for their common defense, for the collection of debts, for the punishment of crime, for the restraint of vice. Having no early education, knowing only the meaning of the word "duty," they proceeded to express it in the laws made. The names of these worthy delegates were: Squire Boone, Daniel Boone, Samuel Henderson, William Moore, Richard Callaway, Thomas Slaughter, John Lythe, Valentine Harmon, James Harrod, Nathan Hammond, Isaac Hite, Azariah David, John Todd, Alexander Spotswood Dandridge, John Floyd, and Samuel Wood.

The wife of Daniel Boone, born about 1755 in the Yadkin settlement of western North Carolina, and her daughter Jemima, are supposed to be the first white women residents of Kentucky. In 1773, in company with her husband, she set out for their new home. It is believed that no women suffered more hard-ships or showed more heroism than these two white women, the first to enter Kentucky. This little band was attacked by Indians in the mountains, and six men of the party were killed among them her eldest son.

 They took up their home in the Valley of the Clinch River, where they lived until 1775. Daniel Boone had undertaken a surveying trip for the Government extending from tide-water to the Falls of the Ohio, a distance of about eight hundred miles. After attending the Rustic Parliament, he returned to Clinch River and brought his family back to Boonesborough.

In February, 1778, Daniel Boone was captured by the Indians while out trying to secure a supply of salt. He was carried north of the Ohio River, and all tidings of him to his family ceased. His wife, of course, supposed he had been killed, and taking her children, she returned to Yadkin, North Carolina. In 1778 Boone escaped and returned to Boonesborough, joining his family the following autumn and bringing them into Kentucky in 1780. In 1782 another son was killed in a massacre by the Indians.

Mrs. Boone died in 1813, leaving a record of heroism unequalled by any woman of that time, living as she had, much of her time alone and constantly surrounded by savages, her life and that of her children in constant peril Kentucky has shown its appreciation of this heroism and her part in the early history of the state by the legislature passing a resolution to bring her remains and those of her husband back to the state and burying them with honor at Frankfort

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


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