Lot 342

D. Boone Signed Receipt As VA Delegate; During His 1st of 3 Terms, Boone Was Captured by British Forces Gunning For Gov. T. Jefferson & Other Legislators!

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D. Boone Signed Receipt As VA Delegate; During His 1st of 3 Terms, Boone Was Captured by British Forces Gunning For Gov. T. Jefferson & Other Legislators!

Estimate: $12,000 - $14,000

Current Bid: $8,000

(13 Bids)

August 17, 2022 10:30 AM EDT
Live Auction
Wilton, CT, US

Description:

D. Boone Signed Receipt As VA Delegate; During His 1st of 3 Terms, Boone Was Captured by British Forces Gunning For Gov. T. Jefferson & Other Legislators!

A document boldly signed by legendary American frontiersman Daniel Boone (1734-1820), as "Daniel Boone." N.d., but ca. 1781-1791, when Boone served as a delegate for the Virginia General Assembly. The document is inscribed in another hand above Boone's signature as: "Received forty four thousand pounds my Wages as a Delegate the present Session - £44,000." Artfully displayed in a cream mat behind Plexiglas, below a high-quality photo reproduction of Boone's portrait after Alonzo Chappell. Expected wear including flattened folds and even toning, else near fine. The receipt measures 7.625" x 1.875" while the mount measures 8.25" x 2.5." The overall mat measures 14.625" x 15.875" x 1."

The name "Daniel Boone" conjures up visions of a weather-beaten face, fringed leather clothing, and perhaps a musket or a hunting dog. But the historical record proves that Boone was many things: hunter, trapper, scout, and explorer, certainly, but also surveyor, horse trader, tavern keeper, land speculator, and slave owner, not to mention Boone's three non-consecutive terms as a delegate in the Virginia General Assembly. This receipt dates sometime from 1781-1791, when Boone represented three different counties in modern-day Kentucky: Fayette (1781-1782), Bourbon (1787-1788), and Kanawa (1791). Before its 1792 statehood, Kentucky was part of the Virginia commonwealth.

Boone's first term as a Virginia General Assembly delegate, from 1781-1782, was definitely the most exciting. The Revolutionary War was still raging across the southern colonies, and the Virginia General Assembly became a veritable "mobile" legislative chamber, forced to relocate in advance of British troop movements. In early January 1781, Richmond, the seat of Virginia's government since 1780, was captured and destroyed by the newly defected Benedict Arnold. Daniel Boone and the other Virginia assemblymen subsequently sought refuge in Charlottesville, Virginia, near Monticello. But that was not safe either, so the sessions met for two weeks in Staunton, Virginia in early June 1781. (The sessions only convened back in Richmond four months later, in October 1781.)

In early June 1781, Boone and other legislators at Charlottesville were warned by a Virginia militiaman named Jack Jouett, Jr. (1754-1822) that the British were on the way. Colonel Banastre Tarleton (1754-1833) was the British cavalry commander of a crack squad known as "Tarleton's Raiders." He had been tasked with kidnapping Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson and leading state legislators. Besides Jefferson, Tarleton's high-profile targets included Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, and Thomas Nelson, Jr. Instead, Tarleton snagged Daniel Boone!

"Jouett's Ride" on the night and morning of June 3-4, 1781 enabled Jefferson and all of the Virginia General Assembly--with the exception of seven of its members including Boone--to safely abscond from Charlottesville. Boone and Jouett were captured as they were apparently loading government paperwork into a wagon. Boone was in British custody for several days before he was released.

It is more than possible, then, that Boone signed this receipt during his first assembly session. Boone was purportedly loath to return to the parliamentary sessions in late 1781, and even the huge sum of £44,000 did not entice him; the assembly sergeant-at-arms was commanded to bring Boone to the sessions on December 7, 1781. (For further information on Boone's first term, we recommend Harry Kollatz, Jr.'s excellent article, "Daniel Boone in the General Assembly" published in the January 10, 2013 issue of "Richmond Magazine.")

During Boone's second and third terms as a delegate of the Virginia General Assembly, he deliberated on such important questions as establishing the city of Lexington, and lobbying for Kentucky statehood. Boone was richly rewarded for his political service, as this receipt illustrates.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.

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