On June 7, 1769, frontiersman Daniel Boone first saw the forests and valleys of present-day Kentucky. For more than a century, the Kentucky Historical Society has celebrated June 7 as "Boone Day."
Born on November 2, 1734, in Berks County, Pennsylvania, Daniel Boone spent much of his youth hunting and trapping on the North Carolina frontier.* By the late 1760s, Boone had ventured into the Cumberland Gap region, which was little known to whites. Although the westward opening in the Appalachian Mountains had been identified by Virginian explorer Thomas Walker in 1750, the French and Indian War discouraged exploration and settlement of the Kentucky territory. After the war, lacking the manpower or resources to protect their empire's trans-Appalachian frontier, the British prohibited westward migration. Boone was among the many settlers who ignored the Crown's ban.
Daniel Boone [October 22 (November 2 new style), 1734 – September 26, 1820] was an American pioneer and hunter whose frontier exploits made him one of the first folk heroes of the United States. Boone is most famous for his exploration and settlement of what is now the U.S. state of Kentucky, which was then beyond the western borders of the Thirteen Colonies. Despite resistance from American Indians, for whom Kentucky was a traditional hunting ground, in 1775 Boone blazed the Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap and into Kentucky. There he founded Boonesborough, one of the first English-speaking settlements beyond the Appalachian Mountains. Before the end of the 18th century, more than 200,000 people entered Kentucky by following the route marked by Boone.
Not a breeze shook the most tremulous leaf. I had gained the summit of a commanding ridge, and, looking round with astonishing delight, beheld the ample plains, the beauteous tracts below.— Daniel Boone
If I were not to tell you of the stories handed down to us by our father of Daniel Boone, the most adventurous of our states heroes, you would justly feel that we had not been taught the true folklore of the Kentucky forest and the stories of the huntsman. It was John Finley, a fur trader of Pennsylvania that led Daniel Boone and his brother-in-law, John Stuart, into Kentucky by way of Cumberland Gap, that famous trail which was afterward known as the Wilderness Road, which was travelled by the pioneers…— Mrs. William Price