A portrait of Daniel Boone held by the N.C. Museum of History

The Boone Tract in Davie County

On February 21, 1764, famed frontiersman Daniel Boone sold land near what is now Mocksville to settle debts before exploring westward. Aaron Van Cleave, a former ship’s captain from New York, paid Boone “80 pounds Proclamation money of the state of North Carolina” for his 640 acres at the forks of the Yadkin River.

The property had been the Boone family’s first home in North Carolina. Squire Boone, Daniel’s father, had moved his family there from Pennsylvania and acquired the tract along Bear Creek from John Carteret, Earl Granville, in December 1753. Squire Boone sold the tract to his son in October 1759. The original 1764 deed, in which Boone and his wife Rachel, transferred the property to Van Cleave, can still be found in the Rowan County Register of Deeds office in Salisbury. It bears Daniel’s signature and Rachel’s mark.

Between 1767 and 1775, Boone helped blaze the Wilderness Road across the Appalachian Mountains via the Cumberland Gap and lead three expeditions into Kentucky, opening the west for settlement. In 1775, he founded the village of Boonesborough, Kent., and moved his family there, along with some North Carolina friends and neighbors. That group included five of the Van Cleaves’ sons and their only daughter.

Image from N.C. Museum of History.

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