Daniel Boone

by Arnold Nelson

    I grew up watching Daniel Boone on TV. I enjoyed the show. I recently started watching the series again on Retro TV. I still enjoy it but this time I notice all the little things that are not right in the show. It makes me laugh. I guess in making a TV show they have to change history to make a show better. The bottom line, like always, is money. They need to make a show that people will watch and companies want to sponsor. In order to make money. I thought I would write about them and give you the facts. Then at the end I will give you a little info about some of the key actors in the show.

      First thing that I see when I watch the show is Daniel Boone's pants. They look like they are made of some kind of elastic material. They would not last a month in the wilderness. In the 1770s (which is the time period this show takes place) most of the men wore buckskin cloths because that was what was available and lasted for a long time. Also Daniel's cap in the show he wore a coon skin cap because they wanted to make a show about Davy Crockett. Walt Disney held the rights to Davy and refused to let them do it. So the made Daniel Boone and made him like Davy Crockett. Even the same actor that played Davy was hired to play Daniel (Fess Parker). Daniel preferred a beaver skin cap. Fess Parker was a big man Daniel Boone was not. Daniel Boone was average height for the time. Also Daniel Boone was portrayed as a man who love to get into fights and love to shoot. Daniel did love to hunt. He would go off for months at a time on hunting trips. Daniel never liked shooting another man. When he did it was because there was no other way out of it. It was either shoot or be shot.. One of his kids asked him how many Indians he killed. Daniel said one that I know of but there are others wearing my lead.

     Next Patricia Blair. She was a very beautiful woman. The problem was the wives of the settlers were not that attractive. These were hard working women who would spent a lot of time outside. They were tough women and it showed in their faces. Most of them did not have access to cosmetics . People would rather watch a beautiful woman on screen then a plain one. Michael Learned (Olivia Walton) and Karen Grassle (Caroline Ingalls) did a much better job playing down their beauty for the sake of the show.

     Mingo (Ed Ames) Daniel Boones side kick for the first few years. Mingo was educated in English schools and spoke perfect English even passed for English officers in 2 episodes. The Indians of that time had very little contact with Whites and most of the contact was when they were attacking the settlers. The Indians in Kentucky at that time were most likely Iroquois. There was a tribe called Mingo I guess that is where the name Mingo came from. The Indians of the time spoke very little English most of the talking between Whites and Indians was done with sign language. Also The Indians, until White man civilized? Them, prided themselves on never showing emotions. Ames shows a lot of emotions when he played Mingo. Daniel respected the Indians and they respected him, but they were not on friendly terms with each other.

    Daniel Boone had 10 children they only showed 2 in the show (Jemima and Israel). In the show they showed Jemima as being older but Israel was actually 3 years older. One of the strange things about TV is how people appear and disappear without and explanation. It happened in Daniel Boone. Jemima suddenly disappeared from the show without any explanation at all.

    Towards the end of the show a new character was added, Gabe Cooper played by Rosie Greer. Gabe was a citizen in Boonsboro just like any other. The problem is Gabe was black. Back then blacks had no rights they were slaves, they were property. (Just to let you know I don't like slavery and I have nothing against black people. I am just telling you how things were back then). Daniel Boone owned slaves.

     I know they had to clean things up for television in order to sell their shows. It is still funny to me how far they stray from the truth sometimes. One more thing in some episodes Daniel was working with the English in others against them. In reality the settlers hated the English and would never help them. The wanted their own country without England making the rules.

     Now that I have finished pointing out flaws in the series I will give you some facts about Daniel Boone and his family. Daniel Boone was born a Quaker in 1734 in Ovey Valley Pa. They were kicked out of the Quaker church when 2 of his siblings married non-Quakers. Daniel only had a couple of years of formal education. He spent most of his time out hunting meat. His father said that was more important then schooling. Daniel was one of the first to travel through the Cumberland gap into Kentucky. On 8/14/1756 he married Rebecca Ann Bryan. They had 10 children together. Rebecca was willing to go with him every time Boone decided it was time to go farther into the wilderness.

     Boone became a land speculator after Spain gave him a lot of acres in what is now Missouri. (Spain wanted people to settle there so they gave large land grants to encourage settlers). Boone never made it as a speculator. He could not take advantage of people so he went broke.

    Daniel Boone and Rebecca had the following children:

    James born in 1757 he was killed by Indians in 1773.

    Israel born in 1759 died in 1782 in the revolutionary war.

    Suzanne born 1760 died 1800 Jemima born 1762 was taken captive with 2 of her girl friends by the Iroquois later Daniel Boone tracked them down and got all 3 girls back. She died in 1834

    Lavine born 1766 died 1802 Rebecca born 1768 died 1805

    Daniel born 1769 died 1839 Jesse Bryan born 1773 died 1820

    William born 1775 died the same year

    Nathan born 1781 died 1856

    Rebecca died in 1813 Daniel died in 1820.

   200 years after his birth the USA minted a special Daniel Boone half dollar. The coin was minted from 1934 to 1936 to recognize Daniel Boone's 200th birthday.

    Now a little on the actors that were in the series

    First, Fess Parker played Daniel Boone, Fess was born in Texas on 8/16/1924. He was best known for playing Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone he had 2 children. He also owned a winery in Texas. Fess died 3/18/2010

    Patricia Blaine played Rebecca Boone, she was also know for playing Lou Mallory on The Rifleman series. She was born 1/15/1931 in Texas.

   Veronica Cartwright was born 4/20/1949 in England. She played Jemima Boone. She just disappeared form the show without any explanation. She has a sister Angela Cartwright who is better know. Angela was on Make Room for Daddy and Lost in Space Angela is 3 years younger the Veronica

   Darby Hinton born 8/19/57 in California, he played Israel Boone. Darby is married and has 4 children.

   Dallas Mckennon played Cincinatus. Cincinatus was the innkeeper on the show. He was known mostly for doing voices for cartoons. He also did voices on some of Disneyland's rides. He was born in Oregon on 7/19/19 and died 7/14/2004. He had 8 children.

   Ed Ames born Edmund Dantes Urick in the Ukraine on 7/19/27 he was the youngest of 9 kids. He is better known for his singing. He was in a group called the Ames Brothers. One of his best known songs was My Cup Runneth Over.

   Jimmy Dean played Josh Clements. He was born in Texas in 8/10/28. He was a Country Western singer. His big hit was Big Bad John He also was famous for his Jimmy Dean Sausage. He was know as the sausage king. He died on 6/13/2010

   Rosie Greer played Gabe Cooper. He was a professional football player, Part of the fearsome foursome. He was called the gentle giant. He was known for his needlepoint and macrame. He was born 7/14/32 in Georgia.

    In closing I just want to say again Daniel Boone was a good series despite all it's flaws and all the actors did a good job in it. I just had to say my piece on the subject. I hope no one takes offense about anything I said. After all this is the USA where you are allowed to say what every you want, isn't it?

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