Daniel Boone (11/2/1734-9/26/1820), born in Berks County, Pennsylvania - on the western edge of British settlement in America - always told his 10 children that he had never gone to school a day in his life.
In 1769, he set out with 5 other men to cross the Blue Ridge, eventually passing through the Cumberland Gap into what was then western Virginia - now the state of Kentucky. For 2 years he explored he area.
In 1773, he led a group of family and friends there, but they turned back after his son James and another boy were captured and killed by Indians. In 1775, he finally succeeded in establishing Boonesborough, one of the first American settlements west of the Appalachians. By 1800, more than 200,000 Europeans had migrated to Kentucky along the route Boone had blazed.
Boone's The Adventures of Col. Daniel Boone, 1784, helped make him one of the most famous American frontiersmen, an ideal of independence and a folk hero.