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...