The Taking of Jemima Boone: The True Story of the Kidnap and Rescue that Shaped America

Matthew Pearl. Harper, $27.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-293778-0
Novelist Pearl (The Dante Club) makes his nonfiction debut with a riveting account of the July 1776 kidnapping of frontiersman Daniel Boone’s daughter and two friends by Cherokee and Shawnee Indians. Pearl vividly evokes life on the Kentucky frontier and details how Jemima Boone and sisters Betsy and Fanny Callaway dropped clues along the trail telling the rescue party how many captors there were, and where they were being taken. During the rescue, the son of Shawnee leader Blackfish was killed; in retaliation, raids on colonial settlements increased. Months after the girls’ rescue, the Shawnee captured Daniel Boone and 28 other men from the settlement of Boonesboro and adopted many of them into the tribe. Boone became the replacement for Blackfish’s murdered son and developed a strong rapport with the Shawnee chief that lasted even after Boone made his escape. Pearl illuminates shifting alliances and betrayals among Native tribes, British soldiers, and American colonists during the early years of the Revolutionary War, and notes that Blackfish advocated diplomacy over violence and tried to turn the frontier into an “integrated shared space.” Instead, the Kentucky settlements became “a testing ground” for manifest destiny, with catastrophic results for the tribes. This enthralling, meticulously researched tale sheds news light on Daniel Boone and early American culture. Agent: Susan Gluck, WME. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/17/2021
Release date: 10/05/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-293781-0
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-06-311833-1
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