The Center for Legislative Archives

Daniel Boone Petition

Petition of Daniel Boone praying for a grant of land within the territory of Louisiana, introduced to the Senate on January 2, 1810

Daniel Boone (1734-1820) was an American frontiersman and a pioneer who played an important role in the exploration and settlement of western Kentucky, then considered the western frontier. Boone is also credited with defending the Kentucky border against Native American attacks during the American Revolution. In 1784, the widely read book Discovery, Settlement, and Present State of Kentucke, included an account of Boone's adventures, which helped establish him as one of the nation's first folk heroes.

In 1798, the Spanish government offered Boone a post as Commadant of the Femme Osage District, then part of Spanish Louisiana. Boone accepted the post and emigrated with his family to what is now St. Charles County, Missouri. Boone acquired land in Louisiana when it was under Spanish rule, but his title was deemed invalid after the territory came into possession of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase.

In an attempt to reclaim his land, Boone petitioned the U.S. Congress. In this petition, Boone tells Congress that his land "has been wrested from him by a construction of the existing laws," and he is not "disposed to murmur or complain; but is conscious of the value and extent of his services," and "he solicits some evidence of their liberality."

Boone's petition was received by both the House and the Senate in 1810, but no legislation was enacted on the subject during the 11th Congress. Boone's petition, however, was revived during the 12th and 13th Congresses, and on February 10, 1814, Congress passed an "Act for the Relief of Daniel Boone," which confirmed his title to the land.

Refer to CaptionA bill for the relief of Daniel Boone, reported on January 4, 1814; signed into law on February 10, 1814, RG 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives

Read the January 12, 1810 report of the Senate

Read the December 14, 1813 report of the House Committee on Public Lands


More Featured Documents