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Daniel Boone Through Cumberland Gap

Cumberland Gap provided the easy route through the Cumberland Mountain
    One important element of the story "Swift" includes the history surrounding Daniel Boone's successful effort to reach the Kentakee land west of the rough Allegheny mountains. History records Boone made his first unsuccessful attempt to reach the wonderful and bountiful lands in 1767.  Captain John Swift claimed in his journal that he and a company of men mined ore and smelted silver in the same wilderness during the years of 1760 through 1769.
The "Narrows" through the Pine Mountain at Pineville, Ky. 
    Boone negotiated the passes of the Cumberland Gap, named for the mountain through which the eroded valley allowed a horse trail and the narrows of the Pine Mountain following the Cumberland River. He and his party became disoriented and failed in their first attempt. On his second attempt in 1769, with John Finley as his guide, Boone reached the great hunting land and beautiful level savannas that he had heard about and his old friend John Finley already knew about. On June 7, 1769 Boone climbed the mountain today known as Pilot Knob and viewed "with pleasure the beautiful levels of Kentakee."
Pilot Knob as seen from the Parkway crossing Eskippathikiki
 So as it turns out both characters supposedly were in the Kentucky during the same time yet neither mentions the other. Daniel Boone's exploits soon became famous and by the end of the decade he was about the business of bringing new families to settle the frontier.
    Swift, on the other hand, claims through his journal, to have ceased his mining and counterfeiting operations in 1769 and departed the wilderness. He did attempt to find the mines in later years but he was old and blind for his time in prison. Swift died it is believed in 1800.
    In my book Swift, Boone and Swift do encounter each other and the results are quite different than the historical records reveal.


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