This lunette in the Missouri State Capitol, painted by Victor Higgins, depicts the sons of Daniel Boone manufacturing salt at Boone’s Lick in central Missouri. [Missouri State Archives, Ken Raveill Collection, MS386, 004-030]

Daniel Morgan Boone was born on December 23, 1769, the seventh child of Daniel and Rebecca Bryan Boone, at their home in North Carolina along the banks of the Yadkin River. He moved to Kentucky with his parents in the autumn of 1773 and settled at the site of present-day Boonesborough.

During the autumn of 1787 Boone hunted with his father north of the Ohio River in Indian Territory. A decade later he traveled to Missouri in search of good lands and to call on the Spanish governor to inquire about land grants and restrictions on settlement. In Missouri he found the Femme Osage River valley appealing. On behalf of his father, Boone asked the lieutenant governor, Zenon Trudeau, about the possibility of a land grant to settle a group of immigrants. The governor offered Daniel Boone a grant of 1,000 arpents (about 850 acres) as well as 600 arpents for each family that migrated. Morgan Boone and four people enslaved by him then built a cabin and began clearing land near the mouth of Femme Osage Creek at a location known as Darst’s Bottom. He returned to Kentucky by the autumn of 1798. A year later, in September 1799, he left with his family for Missouri, embarking with his mother and other family members in a pirogue, while his father drove their livestock overland. They settled about twenty-five miles southwest of St. Charles.

On March 2, 1800, Boone married Sarah Griffin Lewis, a thirteen-year-old girl who had recently immigrated with her parents from Virginia. After the wedding in St. Charles, they returned to his farm. During the winter of 1800–1801, he trapped along the Niangua and Pomme de Terre Rivers and at the headwaters of the Grand Osage. The next winter he trapped with his brother Nathan Boone, William T. Lamme, and William Hayes Jr.

In January 1805 the voters in the St. Charles District elected Boone to the position of justice in the court of common pleas. He also joined Nathan in the manufacture of salt at Boone’s Lick in Howard County until 1810. In 1814 he helped Nathan survey the road from St. Charles to Boone’s Lick. Boone continued to live on his farm until 1821. He served on the commission that selected Jefferson City as the site for the capital.

In September and October 1812 Boone served as a spy for General Benjamin Howard. He also built a stockade, called Boone’s Fort, at Darst’s Bottom at the mouth of Femme Osage Creek near the present-­day town of Matson. During the War of 1812 the frontier people considered it the largest and strongest fort in St. Charles County. Boone also served as the captain of a company of local militia, known as Howard’s Rangers, which formed part of the Missouri Rangers, from July 19, 1813, to June 21, 1814, after which he reenlisted. He was responsible for building fortified posts along the Missouri River. In 1816 he moved to Montgomery County, where he worked as a surveyor for the government, and he also surveyed much of the land in St. Charles, Warren, and Lincoln Counties.

In 1825 Boone moved to the present-day site of Kansas City. The next year, however, William Clark, superintendent of Indian Affairs, appointed him to the position of farmer for the Kansa tribe. During the autumn of 1827 Boone settled about seven miles west of present-day Lawrence, Kansas, on the north bank of the Kansas River. He taught agricultural practices to the Kansa for five years. On June 6, 1831, he also entered 80 acres and, on September 12, 1831, another 160 acres of government land in Jackson County, Missouri. He claimed an additional 80 acres on April 28, 1836, but sold 80 acres to Boone Hays on June 27, 1837.

In 1836 Boone was appointed as one of the commissioners to locate a county seat for Johnson County, Missouri, and they chose Warrensburg. Daniel Morgan Boone fathered nine children. He died of cholera in Jackson County on July 13, 1839.

Further Reading

Faragher, John Mack. Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer. New York: Henry Holt, 1992.

Foley, William E. The Genesis of Missouri: From Wilderness Outpost to Statehood. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1989.

Hulston, John K. “Daniel Boone’s Sons in Missouri.” Missouri Historical Review 41, no. 4 (July 1947): 361–72.

Morrow, Lynn. “Daniel Morgan Boone’s Missing Years: Sending Ozarks Pine to St. Louis.” Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley 11 (Spring 2011).

Published January 3, 2023; Last updated May 30, 2024

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