Oh Yeah, Daniel Boone…

What Daniel Boone, like George Washington, was up to was intruding upon sovereign Native land so as to covertly survey it and sell it to white settlers, who would then form themselves into militias to murder the families who had been living there for generations. Some were successful and grew rich and powerful, such as George Washington, while others, like Boone, never attained wealth, his land speculations resulting in bankruptcy. Regarding Boone’s hunting career, it was purely commercial; he killed animals not for food, but to sell their pelts for profit. Boone made a modest living as a market hunter. Annually, trekking alone or in small groups of other market hunters, he would go on “long hunts”–months-long expedition into unceded Indian hunting grounds. Collecting hundreds of buck deer skins in the autumn, he would then trap beaver and otter for the valuable pelts over the winter. In the Spring, market hunters returned to sell their bounty to commercial traders. In this business, buckskins came to be known as “bucks,” originating the slang term for “dollar.” But the legend and lore that mushroomed around Daniel Boone advanced notions of the hero explorer and adventurous hunter, and were written over the fact that he was a merchant, a trader, a land speculator, and a failed businessman. -from “Loaded,” Chapter Five – Myth of the Hunter, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

If you’re interested, more on this book here.

Rant (and quote) on.

-T

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