Boone was an American Pioneer and most notably a frontiersman who throughout his life loved hunting. He was also a surveyor who went down in American history as the founder of Boones borough in Kentucky.
According to many historians, heroes and villains are defined by the consequences of their actions which more often than not serve as the basis of their arguments. As long as one will be recognized in history, he or she will remain a subject of discussion for many more generations to come. Such is the fate that befalls historical figures such as Boone.
Many historians have described Boone as a person who lived a life full of paradox that earned him both negative and positive reputation from his critics. According to Faragher (p.96), he was a heroic character who fought for the settlement of Americans in Kentucky. He describes him as a “modest, generous and honest man” whose life was a pure paradox.
In my opinion judging from the lyrics of the theme song as well as from the article, Boone was both a hero and villain. In the fourth verse of the theme song, “he fought for America” with the intention of freeing America from the Indian majority. He was a brave man who faced the Shawnee community and drove them out of Kentucky so as to create a home for the white settlers in what came to be known as Boones borough.
Figuratively referring to Boone as a man whose smile would melt ice shows that he was a man of high respect, he possessed something special about him that no one else had. Faragher argues that looking at Boone as a killer and unscrupulous is only but injustice to his legend as he fought for a society that would later on dispossess him. The 2nd last verse of the theme song describes Boone as “...a big man with a dream of a country that'd
always forever be free.” This is a very heroic description that makes me believe that he was indeed a hero. He lived a selfless life as quoted by Faragher (p.65) “I've opened the way for others to make fortunes, but a fortune for myself was not what I was after.” This is true of heroes.
On the other hand however, Boone was a villain par excellence. He is described as an unscrupulous land surveyor and speculator who had minimal rudimentary education that enabled him to take advantage of others (Nicholson). The fact that he was on the fore front in the eviction of Indians from America in my opinion puts him in a difficult position as a hero in as far as morality is concerned. In my opinion, he does not seem to respect the rights of other people and it is because of this that he loses his two sons. The fact that he loved his personal freedom yet he owned quite a number of slaves is a paradox of the highest calibre. Preaching water and drinking wine was his modus operandi and this earned him a bad reputation (Nicholson).
His involvement in the attacks of Shawnees that left many women and children dead also presents him as a villain; his love for hunting went a little too far when he constantly engaged in fighting the Indians despite the fact that he had been captured and detained severally. Matson describes Boone in Verse 3 lines 3 and 4 of the theme song as “The rippin'est, roarin'est, fightin'est man the frontier ever knew.” In as much as he is given credit for being a strong and fearless fighter, the fact that his violent actions brought about death in the course of protecting the interests of his people pities him as a villain.
Judging from the lyrics of the song, Boone is a great man who is admired by very many Americans for his role in fighting to protect “their” land. He is admired for his braveness and fearlessness as both a hunter and a frontiersman. These are his strengths that make him a hero. It cannot be forgotten however that he had his flaws as well depending on the perspective of the critics but in my humble submission, he was a villain as well who engaged in fights that led to lose of many lives. He is a common man who had a private life that involved hunting most of the times. At the end of it all, he pitied Indians against Americans a move that led to further discrimination against race for many decades in the US.