Remember the trick questions you heard in grade school, such as, “Who’s Buried in Grant’s Tomb?” The fact that the question had been asked made the simple answer less obvious.

As the question relates to Daniel Boone, the answer is a little more complex.

An unfinished portrait of the great American explorer, Daniel Boone.

An unfinished portrait of the great American explorer, Daniel Boone.

According to Missouri historian Louis Hock (1840-1925), Daniel Boone left America and came west to what is now Missouri in 1799. Although that sounds a little strange, it is accurate. The land that later comprised the Louisiana Purchase was still under Spanish control when Boone came west to Missouri.

Boone was in his sixties when he made the journey, bringing his wife, Rebecca (Bryan) Boone, several family members and other families with him and encouraging numerous others to settle in Missouri.

Although he was past his prime, Daniel Boone was still an exceptionally strong man. He frequently went on extended hunting trips into the wilderness that was to become “Missouri.” A major draw for Boone in his decision to move west was the lure of free land and the abundance of game. Game was plentiful, but he failed to claim title to the land he had been promised.

After the Louisiana Purchase, Boone was appointed sydic and commandant of the Femme Osage district. He held court under a huge tree that became known as the “Judgment Tree” at the Boone home, serving as judge and jury. His decisions were based more on common sense than law, but that method worked well in the frontier environment.

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