This is a scene from a play about the daughter of famous Kentucky pioneer Daniel Boone. This scene opens with Jemima recalling a date in 1773. The scene transports us to that day. Daniel and his son James are setting a trap for food. Jemima arrives to tell Daniel that he is needed back in camp. After he leaves, James and Jemima encounter an Indian who speaks French. Through a misunderstanding, James and the Indian fight to a tragic end for both.
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Kentuckians are familiar with the exploits of Daniel Boone, but less aware of the contributions of his wife, Rebecca, and daughter, Jemima, the first women settlers to enter the Kentucky territory. The play Jemima Boone: Daughter of Kentucky, written by Moses Goldberg and produced by Stage One, explores important events in Jemima’s life—from her early tomboy years playing with her brother to the significant role she played in defending the settlers’ fort at the Battle of Boonesborough. Goldberg, then-producing director of Stage One, said he wanted to portray Kentucky history through the eyes of a female protagonist.
The play also shows the uneasy relationship between the settlers and the Indians, including Daniel Boone’s enduring respect for his enemy and friend, Blackfish, chief of the Shawnee nation. Jemima is her father’s daughter—a spunky, determined, and courageous woman who willingly suffered the hardships and ordeals the settlers faced as the Boone family made the wilderness their home.
In Goldberg’s play, you will meet the Boone family and identify with their daily lives. They dealt with many of the same emotions and circumstances we deal with today. However, their lives were complicated by daily hardships of defending their lives while settling a new area of land that was already inhabited by Native Americans.
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