This Week's Story

Daniel Boone, skilled frontiersman, leads a rescue party for his kidnapped daughter Jemima.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Meet My Father

“Eww, my foot hurts!  I stabbed it with a frond from the cane plants. Frances, take the canoe down the river. My foot feels better, if I dangle it in the water.”

“Jemima, that isn’t smart.  Your father told us, “Be careful on the river, because Indians are attacking settlers.”

“Then stay away from the other side of the river.”

“Jemima, I can’t control the canoe.  The current is spinning in a circle.  Elizabeth, Jemima, jump; the boat...it's flipping.”

We fell from the boat by the wrong shore.  Indian hands yanked us up.  We screamed and immediately heard, “Quiet, or we’ll use tomahawks on you.”

For three days we walked.  Often we deliberately tripped, to slow us and leave broken twigs.  I knew my father, Daniel Boone, would see the signs.  He would follow us with rescuers.

Chief Hanging Maw guessed what we were doing.  “No more,” he threatened, “or we’ll kill you.”  He told me that Indians were going to raid farms and communities in Kentucky.

Earlier when we were seized, Father was taking a Sunday afternoon nap. Neighbors heard our screaming and yelled, “Indians have captured the girls.”

Father jumped out of bed, grabbed his rifle, wearing his Sunday pants and no shoes.  Instantly he and a group of men pursued us.  A neighbor boy was sent to get Father’s deerskin pants and  moccasins, and deer jerky.

For two days Father followed our occasional tracks and broken twigs.  His skills in the woods were legendary; and the Indians were fast and experienced. Often their tracks split off in many directions and then came back together.  Sometimes they disappeared, when the Indians walked for miles through water.  Our rescuers couldn’t go faster than the Indians.

Father guessed that the Indians were headed for a river crossing.  He and his men took a short cut off the Indian trail.  They jogged for many miles and hours.  Darkness closed in.  The next morning they found signs that the Indians had killed a snake and a buffalo calf.  They surprised the Indians as they were cooking buffalo meat for their breakfast. During a brief gunfight, a tomahawk was hurled at, but missed my friend Betsy’s head. The Indians retreated, leaving guns and tomahawks behind. Two Indians were wounded.

I reported to Father what had happened, “The Indians are planning several attacks.”

He hugged me and asked, “Jemima, were you, Elizabeth, or Frances hurt?”

I knew that he was afraid of what might have happened to us.  I replied, “Father, the Indians were kind to us, as much as their circumstances permitted.”

We were thankful.  Three years ago in 1773 my brother James was shot in both hips and tortured.  There had been many similar Indian attacks on settlers and hunters.  In fear most settlers were leaving Kentucky.  By 1776, when I was captured, only 200 remained.  The American Indians wanted no more trespassers on their land!

I know many true stories about my father.  If you’ve seen movies about him or read tall tales about him, you may need more facts.   Father did not scalp his enemies or wear a coonskin cap.  He respected many Indians.  He told one of his grandchildren, “While it may have been necessary to fight them, I am very sorry that I ever killed a Shawnee. They have been kinder to me and kept their word more often than the white people I know.”

He could read and often did so by campfires.  Favorite books were the Bible and Gulliver’s Travels. He was a leader in many roles. In the woods he probably was the happiest. He was an excellent path-maker!  Over 200,000 people followed the Wilderness Road he marked out and built with a team of workers.

You can trust my record.  I’m Jemima, one of Daniel Boone’s ten children.

This is Barbara Steiner with an American pioneer.  Please check out thisweeksstory.com.


Facebook Join the conversation.

This Week's Story is a non-profit supported by listeners. [click here to make a donation with ]