By Charles Reed Mitchell
Actor Kevin Hardesty brings the famous frontiersman Daniel Boone to life in the one-man play, “The First Kentuckian,” on Tues., October 9  at 7 p.m. in the First United Methodist Church in Barbourville, Ky. Part of the Daniel Boone Festival, the play will take place in the church’s Fellowship Room, back of the sanctuary, at 312 North Main Street, three blocks from the Court Square. There is no charge and the public is invited to come and learn about the man for whom this festival is named.
Hardesty portrays Boone as a man who established himself as an accomplished hunter and explorer in our region. In 1767, he first visited Kentucky and found this new territory as beautiful as it was dangerous, as it was hotly contested by native populations and the ever-advancing British colonists. He hunted and camped in what is now Knox County, Ky.
We learn how Boone became famous as an intrepid adventurer and natural leader whose exploits justify his larger-than-life reputation. In 1784, John Filson published “The Discovery, Settlement and Present State of Kentucke,” which chronicled the adventures of Boone and established him not only as an important settler and explorer of Kentucky and the West, but recognized worldwide as an American legend.
“Daniel Boone, the First Kentuckian” is sponsored by the Kentucky Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and locally by the Daniel Boone Festival Committee and the Barbourville First United Methodist Church.