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100 Years Ago


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Daniel Boone

Within a few years, fighting broke out again with the start of the American Revolutionary War. The Ohio Valley Indians wishing to have no part in it; claimed it was a white man’s war. Unfortunately, they were soon drawn into the fray in a violent struggle to hold on to their ancestral lands against the Virginia militiamen who crossed the Ohio River to attack Shawnee villages in an attempt to control the Ohio Valley. The principle Shawnee villages in our area were Tecumseh’s town Old Piqua, near modern day Springfield; Blue Jacket’s town located close to Bellefontaine, Chief Blackhoof’s village at St. John’s east of Wapakoneta, the Shawnee villages of upper Piqua and lower Piqua.

To resist this new encroachment, the tribal chiefs declared war on the Americans and joined together in raids against whites in Kentucky, and laid siege to Boonesborough, Kentucky, a log cabin town founded by Daniel Boone. Boone (pictured at top right) was later captured by the Shawnee and promptly adopted by Black Fish. It is unclear whether Black Fish was aware that the Shawnee on an earlier occasion had killed Boone’s eldest son, James, during a hunting expedition in 1773. His son, Israel, was also killed by Indians.

After three months in captivity, Boone’s escape back to Boonesborough was followed by another siege of the town by Black Fish attempting to retrieve his adopted son. During the war, the British kept the Shawnee and other tribes fully supplied with arms and ammunition. The commander at Fort Detroit, Henry Hamilton, paid a bounty for white scalps.

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Daniel Boone

My son, you are now flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone. By the ceremony performed this day, every drop of your white blood was washed from your veins; you were taken into the Shawnee nation...you were adopted into a great family."

Black Fish, Shawnee, recalling 1778 adoption of Daniel Boone into tribe

'Indian' segment written in December, 1997 by David Lodge

 

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