On the History Channel’s recent documentary on the life of Daniel Boone from the series’ first installment called The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen…

 

As someone who has studied and written about the life of Daniel Boone and America’s Westward Expansion for the last thirty years or so—and has traveled to most of the places Daniel Boone lived—and also traveled the Boone Trace in 2016, I would have to say that this documentary is the worst, most historically incorrect I have ever seen! There are so many things wrong with it, I cannot even begin.  First of all, Daniel Boone had long hair and no beard; in fact most men did not grow beards in the 18th century—his hat was also incorrect.  Further, the guns were wrong; some of the guns depicted utilized an ignition system that had not even been invented yet.  Why weren’t American Longrifles used? People traveling into Kentucky in the early years did not use carts or wagons, the either walked or used horses, especially packhorses—the Boone Trace was not a finished road.  The rescue of Jemima Boone—wrong, the capture of Boone and his escape—wrong, the siege of Boonesborough—wrong—that is to say many inaccuracies. I was also embarrassed the way Native American’s were depicted—especially the Shawnee Chief Black Fish. There was no mention of other important people on the frontier either like Simon Kenton and George Roger’s Clark: I could go on. I commend the History Channel for finally doing something that pertains to history (instead of Swamp People, Ice Road Truckers and other non-related history stuff) but whoever wrote the script for this so called documentary should be fired–even if Leonardo DiCaprio helped produce it.  One can only hope the series will get better, but right now I sincerely doubt it.

10 thoughts on “On the History Channel’s recent documentary on the life of Daniel Boone from the series’ first installment called The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen…

  1. Husband and I were watching and also noticed so many things that were wrong with this production . Sorry but that IS a fact !!

    • I couldn’t agree more! Last night I watched the next installment and it also was a Trainwreck. I don’t know what the people at the History Channel are thinking but they have missed the mark by a mile!

  2. Mark, I was recently working with some upper middle class 5th and 6th graders in a public school. I told them true stories on Daniel and my family. They loved it. Next, I took them to the “Expedition” and showed them the Trailer with you riding up. They loved it. They stated “you are the best teacher we have ever seen.” I was recently invited to a local high school to do a lecture on the Boone family and settling America.
    So, I am wondering if there is any way to raise funds to put together the true story, using clips from the expedition? We could all start raising funds. Sam and Carolyn are maxed out with expenses, so this is why I am writing to you. What do you think we could do? I had a movie producer approach me just prior to the Expedition. He wanted to come with me and film. He is not in integrity, so I refused him. Sam was excited and wanted the exposure, but as you have discovered, it must be true. The young in America want the true. They are waiting for us to tell them.
    Nancy Eggert Boone, M.A.
    Boone Pioneer Educational Foundation
    6192271664

  3. I Nancy, there is a great movie 0iginally aired by the History Channel called the hunter heroes it the covers the life of Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett. I highly recommend that movie. You might be able to get it on Amazon. It is good for kids to watch; I know the man that produced it and he has also done some very other excellent movies for the History Channel.

  4. Glad to hear it is not just me irritated by inaccuracies. I could not believe how they portrayed Lewis and Clark meeting the Shoshone.Clay S Jenkinson narrated that Lewis and Clark were ambushed. Lewis and Clark were not together. Lewis made contact with the Shoshone on August 13 1805 and had already established friendly relations.Sacajewa was with Clark and did not arrive in the Shoshone camp until August 17.Suprising that Jenkinson an author and supposed historian hasn’t bothered to read the journals of Lewis and Clark .

  5. Hi Kurt,
    The whole series is riddled with inaccuracies–sadly! Most of the characters don’t even resemble the men they are portraying, don’t get me going on the clothing, guns, sets and dialog. The best that can be said is that at least the History Channel is doing some history. However, they are spending a lot of money just to get thing wrong!

  6. As an author of American History book published by McFarland I agree with all these comments – the program displays a compete lack of integrity on the part of the writers and producers to say the least.

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