PECULIARITIES OF LIFE IN DANIEL BOONE'S MIS-
By Will S. Bryan.
One of the picturesque characters whose eccentricities
gave color to the Boone settlement was James Davis, the man
who was indicted by the first grand jury that assembled in
Louisiana Territory under American auspices for the killing of
William Hayes. This killing was the result of one of those
unfortunate "shooting scrapes" common to all our frontier
communities, and as it possessed none of the elements of murder, Davis was acquitted by the jury that tried him.
This unique individual was a relative and companion of
Daniel Boone, and a hunter and trapper by profession. He
was as rough and courageous as any of his class, but owed his
principal distinction to an adventure which he had with the
Otoe Indians, in the western part of Missouri, during the whiter of 1813. The Otoes were the most civilized as well as the
most sanguinary and cruel of all the tribes west of the Mississippi river. They lived in substantial log houses, with roofs
of dirt and sod, and were so fierce and warlike that no satisfactory treaty was ever made with them until the latter part of
1825. Davis had been a frequent companion of Boone in their
long tramps to the west and southwest, where they went in
quest of game or to procure salt; for the settlement had to be
supplied with that essential condiment from the "licks" in
wdiat is now Howard County. Such a journey was full of danger, and was rarely undertaken alone except by the boldest
As the seasons rolled by Boone began to grow feeble and
became less inclined to incur the fatigues of the winter hunts.
Moreover, his official duties occupied much of his time, while