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[299] having Finley as his pilot, and four others as
Chap. XLI.} 1769.
companions, the1 young man, of about three and twenty, wandered forth through the wilderness of America, ‘in quest of the country of Kentucky,’2 known to the Savages as ‘the Dark and Bloody Ground,’ ‘the Middle Ground’ between the subjects of the Five Nations and the Cherokees.3 After a long and fatiguing journey through mountain ranges, the party found themselves in June on the Red River, a tributary of the Kentucky, and from the top of an eminence surveyed with delight the beauti ful plain that stretched to the Northwest. Here they built their shelter and began to reconnoitre the country and to hunt. All the kinds of wild beasts that were natural to America, the stately elk, the timid deer, the antlered stag, the wild-cat, the bear, the panther and the wolf, couched among the canes, or roamed over the rich grasses, which even beneath the thickest shade sprung luxuriantly out of the generous soil. The buffaloes cropped fearlessly the herbage, or browsed on the leaves of the reed, and were more frequent than cattle in the settlements of Carolina herdsmen. Sometimes there were hundreds in a drove, and round the salt-licks their numbers were amazing.4

The summer in which for the first time, a party of white men enjoyed the brilliancy of nature near, and

1 Marshall's History of Kentucky, i. 17. Morehead's Address, 17; compare J. M. Peck in the American Pioneers, i. 243. Boone died in 1820; Niles' Register, IV. 33, brings him into the world in 1730. Monette, i. 363, gives him a son of ‘nearly twenty years old’ in 1773. Boone in his Narrative does not give the age of the son.

2 The Adventures of Col. Daniel Boon, formerly a Hunter, &c. &c. dictated by himself to John Filson.

3 Filson in Imlay's Topographical Description of the Western Territory; Third Ed. 308.

4 Boone's Autobiography.

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