‘Lost Manuscript’ of Boone is focus of May history program

Posted 5/10/22

A descendant of Daniel Boone’s close friend, Elijah Bryan, will speak at the Warren County History Museum Thursday evening, May 12, about a newly discovered and published book Bryan wrote while …

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‘Lost Manuscript’ of Boone is focus of May history program

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A descendant of Daniel Boone’s close friend, Elijah Bryan, will speak at the Warren County History Museum Thursday evening, May 12, about a newly discovered and published book Bryan wrote while living with the Boones. The book features stories from what has long been referred to as Boone’s “lost manuscript.”

Bryan Broderick’s great-great-grandfather, Elijah Bryan, had lived with the Boones for two years while they treated him for the effects of a snake bite. During his extended stay with the Boone family, Elijah, being one of the few young people who knew how to read and write, was tasked with assembling a manuscript for Boone of his life—Boone’s Manuscript—which was lost by Boone’s son-in-law, Flanders Callaway, when a canoe tipped on the Missouri River during an attack by Native Americans. For more than 100 years, it was known as “The Lost Manuscript of Daniel Boone.”

Many of the stories about the Boones, their neighbors and pioneer life were passed along verbally to Broderick as a child, so imagine his astonishment in finding a box of papers in his recently deceased sister’s estate. Underneath old deeds and tax records, Broderick discovered a file box with a bundle of notes and typewritten pages titled “Daniel Boone and His Neighbors.” These were the contents of the book written in his great-great-grandfather’s time living with the Boones.

Broderick and his wife, having found the first new literary works about Boone discovered in decades, went to work to find a publisher. The result is the book they will speak about on May 12, which will be offered for sale and autographing at the event. The book offers a vivid description of Boone’s life with his neighbors on the wild frontier — tales of their day-to-day adventures as they settled the valley of Femme Osage, which was central to the Westward Expansion. The stories are funny, poignant and revealing of the traits, personality and character that made Boone one of American history’s most beloved and intriguing figures.

The stories are written in the vernacular of the times, which lends an authenticity that takes the reader back in time to another world. Broderick says he feels the writings will give the reader an impression of what life with Boone in those times was actually like. None of the stories or contents have been altered from the original.

Refreshments will be served at the event starting at 6:30 p.m. on May 12. The presentation will begin at 7 p.m.

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