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Daniel Boone Court-Martial: 1778

Neither Patriot Nor Loyalist, Boone "adopted" By The Shawnee, Boone's Return Met With Suspicion

Defendant: Daniel Boone
Crime Charged: Treason
Chief Defense Lawyer: No record
Chief Prosecutor: No record
Judges: A panel of Kentucky Militia officers, the names of whom were not recorded
Place: Fort Logan, Kentucky
Date of Trial: 1778 (the exact date is unknown)
Verdict: Not guilty

SIGNIFICANCE: The trial showed the fluid nature not only of the early American frontier, but the difficulty of drawing lines in the West between races, ideologies, and loyalties. It also showed that Americans were willing to forget, explain away, and even whitewash the reputation of its early popular heroes.

Daniel Boone is one of America's great frontier legends, remembered for being a frontiersman, a land agent, an Indian fighter, and one of Kentucky's earliest settlers. The legend often overshadows the man who stands behind it, and it has helped to obscure the darkest episode of his life—his court-martial for treason.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1637 to 1832