'Daniel Boone' to visit Shelbyville

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By Bobbie Lanham

Daniel Boone always claimed he was innocent of the charges of treason brought against him after an Indian attack on Boonesborough in 1778.

Thursday night the public will have an opportunity to judge for themselves the truth he maintained.

Painted Stone Settlers will present "Daniel Boone" at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Stratton Center, when living historian Scott New will present Boone's life through a first-person portrayal.

His focus will be the court martial of Boone after the 1778 Indian siege of Boonesborough in which Boone was accused of surrendering his men and fort to the Shawnee Indians after he was captured and taken to Chillicothe, Ohio.

He eventually was acquitted of all charges, although, some still doubted his innocence.

Kathy Cummings, president of Painted Stone Settlers, is enthusiastic about New's visit to Shelbyville. "He is excellent," she said.

Cummings said her group wanted to let the community witness an historic first-person portrayal, similar to parts of the Long Run Massacre reenactment, held at Shelby County's Red Orchard Park in September.

But Cummings said many times that first-person portrayals at the Red Orchard event are overshadowed by the action of the massacre reenactment.

New, a native of Berea, has an academic degree in history, has worked at the Wilderness Road State Park in Ewing, Va., and in Colonial Williamsburg. He portrays Boone during school visits and is on site at Ft. Boonesborough State Park April through October. His presentations are part of The Kentucky Chautauqua series of the Kentucky Humanities Council.

Cummings said she feels "the way he teaches history is through his portrayal" of Boone. "He has mastered the 18th Century language. You think it's Boone," she said.

The program is about 45 minutes long. After his performance, New will answer questions from the audience.

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.