was a custom to shake hands, and the moment the savages took hold of each white man's hand they endeavored to hold him fast. Boone felt the sinewy grasp, and his companions were betrayed into a like perilous position. Now arose a mighty struggle, a contest for life--
"Now gallant Boone, now hold thy own,
No maiden's arm is 'round thee thrown;
That iron grasp thy frame would feel
Through bars of brass and triple steel."
Fortune favors at this moment of peril her gallant son, and the knife of Boone found a bloody sheath in his adversary's bosom; his men and himself escaped to the fort. The Indians were compelled to raise the siege after a heavy loss and retired. Such was the life that Boone led until the defeat of the Indians by Wayne, in 1792, which brought peace to this lovely section. Boone, when this new territory came into the Union, by carelessness on his part, and cunning and chicanery of others, lost his possessions in Kentucky. This he did not much regret, as he said the country had become too crowded, and "he wanted more room." He went to Missouri, where he lost his wife, in 1813, and he returned to the house of his son,*
* Major Nathan Boone was
afterward a lieutenant-colonel in the United States army, and died at
Springfield, Miss., January, 1857, aged 75.
Major Nathan Boone. In 1810 he went to live with his son-in-law, Flanders Calloway, and died at Chariton, Missouri, September 26, 1820. (Drake's Dictionary of "American Biography of Men of the Times," 1876.)
* Major Nathan Boone was afterward a lieutenant-colonel in the United States army, and died at Springfield, Miss., January, 1857, aged 75.
The character of Boone represents the type of the men in the early age of our Republic, brave, enterprising, noble and generous; nor is his character confined to our own country; it has been celebrated in the exquisite lines of Byron.
"Of all men
Who passes for life and death, most lucky
Is Daniel Boone, backwoodsman of Kentucky.
Crime came not near him. She is not the child
Of solitude. Health shrank not from him,
For her home is in the rarely-trodden wild."
"And tall and swift of foot were they
Beyond your dwarfing city's pale abortions,
Because their thoughts had never been the prey
Of care or gain. The green woods were their portions.
Motion was in their days, not in their slumbers,
And cheerfulness the handmaid of their toil;
Nor yet too many or two few their numbers;
Corruption could not make their hearts her soil.
Serene. not sullen; even the solitudes
Of this unsighing people of the woods."
--Don Juan, viii, lvi.
John Sevier, born September 23, 1745, died September 24, 1815, was a contemporary of Boone and possessed many similar traits of character with that daring, distinguished and enterprising patriot. He was a member of the 1st Congress (1790) from North Carolina, from a portion of territory formed that year into the State of Tennessee.
General Sevier descended from an ancient family in France whose name was Xavier, and his own uniform, bold and unique signature is something like that chirography. The chirography is a beautiful and curious specimen. His father, Valentine Xavier, was born in London, and emigrated to America in the first part of the last century--settled on the Shenandoah, in Virginia, where John Sevier was born about 1744.
When but a young man he married Miss Sarah Hawkins, by whom he had six children.
She was delicate, and never moved from Eastern Virginia, but died there soon after the birth of her sixth child.
During Sevier's visit to his family in 1773, Lord Dunmore, the Governor of Virginia, then fitting out an expedition against the Shawnees and other tribes north of the Ohio river, presented to Sevier the commission of captain, to command a company raised under his own eye and care in the County of Dunmore. This expedition ended with the perilous and fearful battle of Point Pleasant, where James Robertson and Valentine Sevier entitled themselves to much honor and distinction.
The settlers on the Holston, Watauga, and Nolachucka were beyond the influence and power of the State laws and executive officers of North Carolina, and therefore, as wise men, who knew the advantage of laws and officers, acknowledged as authoritative, they, in 1772, adopted a form of government called the "Watauga Government," and they elected John Sevier as one of four delegates to a convention at Halifax, North Carolina. He attended a session of the General Assembly, and in 1777 procured the establishment of a district and the extension of State laws, establishment of courts, &c. The patriotic sentiments of the man were avowed in the selection of the name for this district where he had cast his lot, and where were the bold and hardy pioneers with whom he was associated. This was "Washington District," North Carolina. The people had enjoyed the advantages of their inchoate and infant government of Watauga from 1772 to this date, and had accomplished many things worthy of note. They opened paths across the mountains, felled the forests,
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