Col. John Floyd, Col. Richard Callaway, Daniel and the Jemima Boone's Rescue

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Date: 1750 to 1783
Location: Bedford, Virginia, United Statesmap
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Jemima Boone, Elizabeth and Frances Callaway, Capture and Rescue

"On July 14, 1776, a raiding party caught three teenage girls from Boonesborough (Virginia, now Kentucky) as they were floating in a canoe on the Kentucky River. They were Jemima, daughter of Daniel Boone, and Elizabeth and Frances, daughters of Col. Richard Callaway. The Cherokee Chief Hanging Maw led the raiders, two Cherokee and three Shawnee warriors. The girls' capture raised alarm and Boone organized a rescue party. Meanwhile, the captors hurried the girls north toward the Shawnee towns across the Ohio River. The girls attempted to mark their trail until threatened by the Indians."

"The third morning, as the Indians were building a fire for breakfast, the rescuers came up. As one captor was shot, Jemima said, "That's daddy's!" (gun). He was not immediately killed. Two of the wounded Native men later died. The captors retreated, leaving the girls to be taken home by the settlers."

  • Draper, Lyman. The Life of Daniel Boone, edited by Ted Franklin Belue, [Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1998].

"Draper, first secretary of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Draper, an indefatigable researcher, drew upon thousands of documents as well as interviews with white, Native American and black frontier dwellers to re-create Boone's colorful exploits, including his blazing of a trail through the Cumberland Gap; his construction of Boonesborough, the first permanent settlement in the "Far West"; and his dramatic rescue of his daughter Jemima and two other girls from Indians. "

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"The kidnapping of the daughters of Richard Calloway and Daniel Boone is a key example of the kind of attack that affected the larger community as a whole. Boone entered a combat situation to recover the girls from their captors."

Overview and Locations

Col. John Floyd, born in Amherst County, Virginia, was in Daniel Boone's Rescue Party that rescued Daniel Boone’s daughter Jemima Boone and Col. Richard Callaway’s two daughters, Elizabeth and Frances, who were riding in a canoe on the river when kidnapped by Indians. Note: Amherst County is separated from Lynchburg, and separated from Bedford County and separated from Campbell County by the James River.

In 1753, a William Callaway contributed 100 acres of land to the Virginia General Assembly for the creation of a new town which would soon serve as the county seat of the newly formed Bedford County, Virginia. This tract of land became New London. Bedford County was formed and New London was established as the county seat. Col. Richard Callaway was appointed as one of the trustees of New London and patented lands in Bedford County during the period 1762-70. New London was also home to a Revolutionary-era arsenal.

New London was situated near the intersection of the Great Wagon Road and the Wilderness Road, the town was an important stopping point for settlers heading west.

During the Revolutionary War, New London was home to an arsenal used by the Virginia state militia. The weapons and supplies manufactured in the arsenal were used to help support the campaigns of General Nathaniel Greene in the South and Colonel George Rogers Clark (1752–1818). Clark was a surveyor, soldier, and militia officer from Virginia who became the highest-ranking American patriot military officer on the northwestern frontier during the American Revolutionary War. He served as leader of the militia in Kentucky (then part of Virginia) throughout much of the war.

Clark's military career began in 1774, when he served as a captain in the Virginia militia. He was preparing to lead an expedition of 90 men down the Ohio River when hostilities broke out between the Shawnee and settlers on the Kanawha frontier; this conflict eventually culminated in Lord Dunmore's War.

Col. Richard Callaway (1717-1780) of Bedford County, Virginia was also in Boone’s Rescue Party that rescued Jemima Boone and his ( Col. Richard Callaway’s) two daughters.

Richard Callaway was a longhunter and early settler of Kentucky. He joined Daniel Boone in 1775 in marking the Wilderness Road into central Kentucky, becoming one of the founders of Boonesborough, Kentucky.

After the siege of Boonesborough where Boone was captured, Colonel Richard Callaway brought charges against Boone, alleging that Boone "was in favour of the British government". Boone was then court-martialed.

Flanders Isham Callaway, born in Bedford County, Virginia, and nephew of Col. Richard Callaway, was also in Boone’s Rescue Party that rescued Jemima Boone and ( Col. Richard Callaway’s) two daughters.

Subsequently, Flanders Isham Callaway, married Daniel Boone’s daughter Jemima Boone.

Boonsboro and Boonsboro Road were originally located in Bedford County, Virginia. Boonsboro and Boonsboro Road were named after Daniel Boone, where he visited his friend Col. Richard Callaway.

In 1782, Bedford County was split to from Campbell County and New London became a part of Campbell County. In 1786, Virginia's General Assembly recognized Lynchburg as a settlement on the James River. In 1805 the TOWN of Lynchburg was incorporated. In 1852 the CITY of Lynchburg was incorporated. Afterwards, Lynchburg annexed portions of Bedford County and Campbell County. Today, Boonsboro and Boonsboro Road are located within the City of Lynchburg. New London remains a part of Campbell County, just a few minutes' drive from the Lynchburg city limits.

2021-05-28 Boonsboro - New London - Lynchburg Virginia - Map ANNOTATED 3.JPG

Col. John Floyd of Amherst County, Virginia and Boonesborough Kentucky

James John Floyd (1750–1783) was born in Amherst County, served in the Revolutionary War, was a pioneer, surveyor, judge, and early settler of Kentucky. John was killed by Indians at age 33. Floyds Fork, a tributary of the Salt River, Floydsburg, Kentucky¸ and Floyd County, Kentucky were named in his honor.

John [Floyd (1783-1837) was born 12 days after his father was killed by Indians. John was a surgeon, Brigadier General in the War of 1812; elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1817, 1819, and 1821, and was the 25th Governor of Virginia (1830-1834). Floyd County, Virginia was named in his honor. Two of John's sons and a grandson are mentioned below.

John Buchanan [Floyd (1806-1863) was the 31st Governor of Virginia (1849—1852) and succeeded Jefferson Davis to become the 24th United States Secretary of War (1853—1857).

George Rogers Clark Floyd (1810-1895), was the 5th Secretary of the Wisconsin Territory, and a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates. His son, John B. Floyd (1854–1935) also served in West Virginia House of Delegates and West Virginia Senate.

Back to Amherst County, Virginia. James John Floyd (1750–1783) was born in Amherst County to Col. William Floyd (b. 1720 in Accomack Parish, Colony of Virginia), who moved to Amherst County and married Abadiah Davis of Amherst County in about 1747.

At age 18 (about 1768), Floyd married Matilda Burford, daughter of Amherst County Sheriff Daniel Burford. However, Matilda died a year later during the birth of their daughter, Mourning Burford Floyd. Morning was raised by Matilda's mother.

In about 1770, Floyd moved to Fincastle in Botetourt County. He taught school, worked as a deputy sheriff, and as a surveyor of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Floyd surveyed land for George Washington and Patrick "Give me liberty, or give me death!" Henry along the Kanawha River. At this time the Colony of Virginia stretched as far west as the Mississippi River. In 1774, Floyd was made chief of a surveying party in lands that would become West Virginia and Kentucky. Shawnee Indians attacked Floyd's surveying party, killing two, but Floyd escaped. He bought a 2,000 acre site for himself in what is now St. Matthews, Kentucky.

In 1776 Floyd was living in Boonesborough, Virginia (now Kentucky, founded as Boones' Station by Daniel Boone), one of the first English-speaking settlements west of the Appalachian Mountains.

A true story in Virginia and Kentucky history. On July 14, 1776, while paddling a canoe, Daniel Boone's daughter Jemima Boone and Elizabeth and Frances, daughters of Colonel Richard Callaway, were kidnapped by a Cherokee-Shawnee raiding party. Floyd was a member of Daniel Boone's party that rescued the three girls. This famous rescue was portrayed in James Fenimore Cooper's fictionalized novel, The Last of the Mohicans (1826).

Floyd returned to Virginia and married Jane "Jenny" Buchanan of Augusta County on November 2, 1778. In October 1779, Floyd, Jenny, their son William, and Floyd's brothers Isham, Robert, and Charles, and sisters Jemima and Abadiah, returned to the 2,000 acres he bought in 1774. They built a temporary cabin in what is now Louisville, Kentucky.

In 1780, Floyd served as one of seven trustees of Louisville. In 1781, Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson appointed Floyd as Colonel of the Kentucky Militia, Justice of the Peace, and surveyor of Jefferson County. In 1783, the government of Kentucky was organized and Floyd was appointed to be one of its first two judges.

The area was regularly attacked by Indians. Floyd's brother-in-law Billy Buchanan had just been killed a month earlier. On about April 8, 1783, (some records say April 12), while riding through the woods, Floyd was ambushed and mortally wounded. He died as a young man, age 33.

Col. Richard Callaway of Boonsboro, Bedford County, Virginia and Boonesborough Kentucky

Martha Helen Cleveland Craddock, in her book, The Streets of Lynchburg (1986) quotes Lula Jeter Parker in her book, The History of Bedford County, Virginia. Lula writes that Boonsboro and Boonsboro Road were "named for Daniel Boone, who visited his friend, Richard Callaway, in this vicinity before their adventurous trip to Kentucky."

Col. Richard Callaway (1717-1780) was sergeant, lieutenant and major of forces active in the French and Indian Wars. He was appointed as one of the trustees of New London and patented lands in Bedford County during the period 1762-70. Richard married three times. He first married Frances Walton (1727-1766) in about 1745 in Bedford County. They had 13 children. Their 9th child was Elizabeth "Betsy" (1760-1850). Their 11th child was Frances (1763-1803).

Col. Callaway and family left Boonsboro and Bedford County and went with Boone and his road markers and assisted in the founding of Boonesborough (now Kentucky), settling there in 1775.

When Boone’s daughter Jemima and Col. Richard Callaway’s two daughters Elizabeth and Frances were kidnapped by Indians, Col. Callaway and his nephew Flanders Isham Callaway (1752 - 1829, born in Bedford County), were also members of Boone’s rescue party.

Subsequently Jemima Boone would marry Flanders Isham Callaway in Kentucky. They would have 10 children including Capt. James Richard Callaway (1783-1815) for whom Callaway County, Missouri was named. Capt. James Richard led a frontier life and was also killed by Indians.

Daniel Boone's Service in Virginia

"Boone served again in 1781 when British forces under Col. Tarleton tried to capture outgoing Governor Thomas Jefferson (in Charlottesville), but the Virginia legislature slipped away."

The images of Daniel Boone as a pioneering, trail-blazing, Indian fighting, hunter and frontier explorer are incomplete. Boone was also elected to three terms in the Virginia General Assembly.

In November 1780, the Virginia legislature divided Kentucky County Virginia, then a part of the commonwealth, into Jefferson, Lincoln and Fayette counties. There, Boone, served as sheriff, coroner, deputy surveyor and lieutenant colonel of the militia.

In 1780 Boone was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates from the newly created Fayette County, Virginia (which became Fayette County Kentucky in 1792).

In 1787, Boone won election to the Virginia House of Delegates from Bourbon County. Bourbon County was established in 1785 from a portion of Fayette County, Virginia.

In 1791 Boone was elected to the General Assembly a third time, representing Kanawha County, Virginia, which became Kanawha County, West Virginia. During all three of his House terms Boone sat on the Committee on Propositions and Grievances, and in his final term he was also appointed to the Committee for Religion.

Boonsboro - Bedford Co. Virginia was Named After Daniel Boone

Martha Helen Cleveland Craddock, in her book, The Streets of Lynchburg (1986) quotes Lula Jeter Parker in her book, The History of Bedford County, Virginia. Lula writes that Boonsboro and Boonsboro Road were "named for Daniel Boone, who visited his friend, Richard Callaway, in this vicinity before their adventurous trip to Kentucky."

XXXXX Later.

2021-05-24 Boonsboro - Bedford Co Virginia Named After Daniel Boone ANNOTATED.jpg

2021-05-28: Boonsboro Today, Notable & Unique

If knowledge is power, then imagine the cumulative power of one neighborhood where many of the adults have earned an advanced degree, such as a Masters, law degree, medical degree, or even a Ph.D. This is certainly the case in the Boonsboro neighborhood, where 33.8% have earned an advanced degree. Compare that to the average neighborhood in America, where just 12.4% of adults have completed a post-graduate degree, and you can see why this neighborhood is a stand out. In fact, this neighborhood has a higher rate of adults with an advanced degree than 95.3% of the neighborhoods in America.


  • Draper, Lyman. The Life of Daniel Boone, edited by Ted Franklin Belue, [Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1998].
  • William A. Crafts, Pioneers in the Settlement of America, Boston, 1877.
  • Blackmon, Richard D., Dark and Bloody Ground, [Yardley, PA: Westholme Publishing, 2012].

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THANK YOU, Richard, for this profile (free space page) on the intertwined lives of the historical figures who spent their lives settling Kentucky. The added history of Amherst County, VA, with these figures is fascinating and likely not known by many researchers. THIS IS AN OUTSTANDING WIKITREE ADDITION TO THE HISTORY/SETTLEMENT OF KENTUCKY BY THESE AMERICAN EXPLORERS.
posted by Juliet (Adams) Wills