Photos supplied by Scott Sibley.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Powder horn and pouch once belonging to Daniel Boone has disappeared.
Shortly after an article about this powder horn and leather pouch appeared in the April 2004 issue of Compass, Gene B. Leslie passed away. At the time of his death, he was in possession of the above pictured powder horn and pouch. His stepson, Richard Ray, who originally sent the photo for Compass, reports that these historic artifacts, treasured by the Leslie family since about 1790, disappeared about the time of Gene Leslie’s 2004 death. Ray is requesting the Boone Society’s help in locating these items.
April 2004 Compass carried the story about the powder horn and leather pouch believed to have once belonged to Daniel Boone. These items were reported to be traded by Boone to William Robert Leslie in about 1790 in Eastern Kentucky.
After Leslie’s death, The Boone Society was contacted by Tim Albert and he explained, “I have never seen this horn or bag, but if they were to be proven legitimate, I would like to make a documented copy of them. I’m a hornsmith and leather worker, specializing in measured replicas of existing artifacts. “I would like to help the Leslie family recover their property. It is my hope to see the bag and horn and, with permission from the family, to make a detailed copy of them as they would have been in Daniel’s day,” says Albert.
These items were offered on Ebay for $500,000, but no bids were submitted. In explaining the provenance, Richard Ray said, “Daniel Boone traded it to William Robert Leslie in about 1790. It has passed from father to son ever since: from William Robert Leslie to Robert Leslie to James Harvey Leslie to John Buchanan Leslie to Shirley Hugh Leslie (Shirley was a male, the father of Gene B. Leslie.) and finally to Gene Bennet Leslie, my stepfather, recently deceased.” (This lineage has been verified through census records by Society President Cochran.)
“The Horn is covered with carvings, Boone’s initials, deer, snakes, daisies, geometric figures and many other things. There is a knife scabbard on the back of the pouch, continues Ray.” The Boone Society is grateful to Tim Albert for his help in researching this valuable Boone artifact. Albert has also sent to the Boone Society with the Leslie family’s permission, copies of the family’s history research. In a November 14, 1951 letter to Mr. Henry P. Scalf, author of the book, Kentucky’s Last Frontier, Shirley Leslie wrote, “I own the shot pouch and powder horn. It is in a glass case at the museum room of the Pikeville College (KY) and I let Mr. Page, President of the College, keep it until I call for it, on loan.” In retrospect, it’s a shame that Shirley Leslie removed these Boone artifacts from the Pikeville College Museum.
Update: I think the bag had a legitimate shot at being the real deal...and the family and community was already convinced it was Boones...someone who knew exactly where the bag was hidden in the home snuck in during the funeral services and stole just the bag...
...but with an advertized $500,000 price tag it could have been anyone... So at that point I decided I better leave it alone and stop asking questions. I assume its safe and sound where ever it is, unless the person with it feels threatened at which point who knows, at the worst they may destroy it to try and stay out of trouble.
I have not followed up on the bag now in a few years...but assume its still missing. It was a fun research project though...especially verifying the family history and the Boone story...
Friday, March 30, 2012
Robert Weil recalls his first meeting with John Davis. Robert states that he regrets losing track of John before he wrote Contemporary Makers, so that John could have been included in the book.
I met John Davis in 1964. At that time he was living in Santa Barbara Calif. This was the first Gunsmith I met that was making "authentic looking" Kentucky rifles. At that time, he was working for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural history doing mostly taxidermy. Davis was/is an amazing artist.
He had great skill and interest in many directions. He scratch built a WW1 airplane, and actually flew it. At the time I met him he had built many Longrifles. He had formed a primitive black powder club of shooters and built most of their arms. They dressed in full historical garb for their events.
John had a vast knowledge of the various Long rifle schools. I had him make me a Lehigh style rifle. We picked it out of the Kindig book. That was the Bible then. It was a simple uncarved gun but remember it had wonderful lines. The cost was $400. Those were the days!!!
Copy by Robert Weil.
The Miami are a Native American nation originally found in what is now Indiana, southwest Michigan, and western Ohio. The Miami Tribe of Oklahoma is the only federally recognized tribe of Miami Indians in the United States. Early Miami people are considered to belong to the Fischer Tradition of Mississippian culture. Mississippian societies were characterized by maize-based agriculture,chiefdom-level social organization, extensive regional trade networks, hierarchical settlement patterns, and other factors. The historical Miami engaged in hunting, as did other Mississippian peoples. During historic times, the Miami were known to have migrated south from Wisconsin from the mid 17th century to the mid 18th century, by which time they had settled on the Wabash River. The migration was likely a results of their being invaded by the more powerful Iroquois, who traveled far from their territory of New York for better hunting during the beaver fur trade. When French missionaries first encountered the Miami in the mid-17th century, the indigenous people were living around the shores of Lake Michigan. The Miami had reportedly moved there because of pressure from the Iroquois further east.
Chief "Little Turtle"
They generally sided with the French in the French and Indian and Pontiac's wars, and with the English against the Americans in the later wars. Their great chief, Mishikinakwa, or Little Turtle (1752-1812), led the allied Indian forces which defeated Harmar in 1790 and St. Clair in 1791, but was himself defeated by Wayne in 1794, resulting in the famous Treaty of Greenville in the next year, by which the Indians surrendered the greater part of Ohio.
The Northwest Indian War ended with the Battle of Fallen Timbers and Treaty of Greenville. Those Miami who still resented the United States gathered around Ouiatenon and Prophetstown, where Shawnee Chief Tecumseh led a coalition of Native American nations. Territorial governor William Henry Harrison and his forces destroyed Prophetstown in 1811, having used the War of 1812 as pretext for attacks on Miami villages throughout the Indiana Territory.
After the close of the War of 1812, in which again they fought on the English side, the Miami began a series of treaty sales culminating in 1840, by which they sold all their territory excepting a small tract of about ten square miles, agreeing to remove west of the Mississippi. The final removal to Kansas was made by the main Miami band under military pressure in 1846, the Wea and Piankishaw having preceded them by a new of years. The main emigration in 1846 numbered about 650. The small reserved tract in Indiana was allotted in severalty to its owners in 1872 and their tribal relations were dissolved. In 1854 the united Wea and Piankishaw were officially consolidated with the Peoria andKaskaskia, the remnant of the ancient Illinois, and in 1867 they removed altogether to their present lands under the Quapaw agency in north-east Oklahoma (Indian Ter.). In 1873 the remnant of the emigrant Miami, having sold their lands in Kansas, followed their kindred to the same agency.
Copy from Wikipedia, New Advent,