Daniel Boone and his fellow travelers—his sons' and daughters' families, other relations, friends and family slaves—came to Missouri in 1799. Boone was 65 years old and already famous in America and Europe, thanks to his "autobiography" by John Filson. Boone had fought in both great wars of the time, the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. In between he explored Kentucky and Tennessee and helped blaze the Wilderness Road over the Appalachian Mountains, opening the way for settlers to follow him to Kentucky. Much of Boone's fame was based on rescues, captures and battles involving the Shawnee Indians, as various tribes resisted American expansion into Kentucky's "dark and bloody ground.
Boone came to Missouri because he "was soured against Kentucky," a friend said. He had received land grants in the Femme Osage district from the Spanish lieutenant governor in Louisiana Territory. Lands west of the Mississippi River did not belong to the United States, and Spain was anxious to have settlers of any kind, especially one as respected and influential as Daniel Boone. Boone was appointed "syndic," a combination of justice of the peace and militia leader. Boone made most of his income selling furs in St. Louis.
Frontiersman to the End
Still vigorous, Boone hunted and trapped with his sons, Nathan and Daniel Morgan—soon to be prominent Missourians themselves—along the Missouri River and its tributaries. In 1803, Osage Indians raided Boone's hunting camp and took furs and rifles. Boone and his fellow Americans were intruders to the Osages, who dominated most of what is now Missouri, northern Arkansas, and eastern Kansas and Oklahoma until an 1808 treaty with the U.S. government.
A New Country
After the United States acquired the territory of Missouri, Boone worked for years to sort out legal problems regarding his Spanish land grant. In 1814, his supporters finally passed a bill in the U.S. Congress giving him ownership. Besides that, by most accounts life in Missouri was satisfying for the old woodsman and pioneer. His wife, Rebecca, died in 1813, and Daniel died in 1820. Both were buried, as they wished in a cemetery between present-day Marthasville and Dutzow. Their bodies were removed to Frankfurt, Kentucky's capital, in 1845. Arguments continue to this day about whether it was truly Daniel's and Rebecca's bones that were dug up and moved.