Then, in the mid-1840’s, as the Boone legend was created by novelists (and with hundreds of trees baring marks supposedly carved by Daniel, which increased the property value) investors in Frankfort, the capital of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, decided that the late Daniel was just the draw they needed to attract new customers (and investors) in their new municipal cemetery. One booster wrote that it was “…fitting that the soil of Kentucky should afford the final resting place for his remains, ….that the generation which was reaping the fruits of his toils (should)…have in their midst…the sepulcher of this Primeval Patriarch whose stout heart would be watched by the cradle of this now powerful Commonwealth.”
The next morning, July 17, 1845, the determined delegation appeared at the front door of Harvey Griswold, who now owned the graveyard. Harvey argued, but the lawyers from Kentucky answered every protest, promising to erect a monument to replace the missing relics of Daniel and Rebecca. And with the approval of the two grandaughters, it appeared the law was on the Kentucky side. Three local men had been hired to disinter the graves; King Bryan, Henry Augbert, and Jeff Callaway. Jeff had been a slave for the Callaway family, and now as a free man he was digging up the father of his one time owner, Mrs. Flander Boone Callaway.
On Friday, September 12, 1845, the “remains” of Daniel and Rebecca Boone laid in state in the (old) State House. That night, the skeletons were arrainged on a table to be examined as if they were paleontology exhibits. Daniel’s skull, minus his jaw, was passed around, examined even by eight year old John Mason Brown. When the skull had finally been examined by a phrenologist, all the bones were reloaded into two elaborate coffins and finally allowed a measure of peace.
- 30 -