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tv   History Bookshelf Bob Drury and Tom Clavin Blood and Treasure  CSPAN  August 20, 2021 10:01am-10:53am EDT

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rise and fall of osama bin laden and director scott horton argues that the war on terror has been counterproductive and too costly to continue in his book "enough already: time to end the war on terrorism." watch american history tv and book tv every weekend on c-span 2. and find a full schedule on your program guide or visit >> bob drury and tom clavin talk about their book "blood and treasure". daniel boone and the fight for america's first frontier. they examine america's westward expansion and brutal conflicts with native americans through the eyes of daniel boone. water marks books and café of wichita, kansas, hosted this event and provided the video. i want to read a couple of paragraphs from a pitch letter
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from the executive editor at st. martin's crest about this book. he says for years bob drury and tom clavin have been taking forgotten pieces of history and turning them into compelling narratives that illuminate the subjects, making the historical figures or events leap off the page, and i concur. with daniel boone, they have found the perfect subject for their unique brand of history. he's a well-known historical adventurer shrouded in legend. this fast-paced fiery narrative fueled by contemporary diaries and journals, newspaper reports and eyewitness accounts, is a stirring chronicle of the conflict over america's first frontier that places the reader at the center of this remarkable epic. and it's a gripping tale of courage and sacrifice.
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bob drury and tom clavin are the number one "new york times" best selling authors of "the heart of everything that is," "last man out," which is one of the marine corp. heritage's general wallace m. green junior award. they just learned today that the book is on "the new york times" bestseller list, and it is number one at water mark books and café on our best seller list. so i just want to give you both a warm welcome, and i will turn the virtual stage over to you. bob? >> thank you, sarah. thank you so much. thank you so much. and thank you to lauren and thanks to everyone at watermark. i have never been there, as you know. tom has, and he just sings your praises.
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so it's not only a pleasure to be here tonight with all of you but it is an honor. thank you all whoever is out there. i thought we might have a brady bunch screen in front me, but i can only see tom and you. it's probably better that way, i get distracted easily. i guess i will kick it off by saying both tom and i are well aware that the four most important words in any public speaker's vocabulary are "and so in conclusion." so, we will try to make this as short and as sweet and i hope as informative as possible. i suppose i want to start tonight -- or i should start tonight, we've been getting -- as sarah mentioned, we have been getting some terrific reviews on this book and one of them was very -- it just sang the praises, but towards the end the reviewer did say -- i feel like i'm in one of those mppa,
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whatever those warnings are before a cable show. i cannot disagree with the reviewer's injunction that "blood and treasure" is not for the faint of heart. i mean, the narrative opens with daniel boone's 16-year-old son james bleeding out, he's been gut shot from an indian ambush, cherokee, delaware, shawnee and he's about to die anyway. and the leader of the ambush, a shawnee named big jim who actually had died eating at the house is just gratuitously plucking out one by one his fingernails and then his toenails. and then we come almost full circle to later in the book very late in the book where daniel boone's son -- his other son -- israel, one of his other sons, dies in boone's arms. he's got an indian musket ball lodged in his heart. in his dying breaths, he's
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spewing blood. so, yes this book is not for the faint of heart i suppose. one historian called the era that we write about in the mid 18th century, mid 1700s, i want to get this straight, a whirlwind of blood and carnage. this was the era when the first stirrings of what was later to be called manifest destiny were sprouting up among the american colonists who were stuck on the east coast by the appalachian mountains, the appalachians as they call them down there. they were anxious to complete what they thought was their own manifest destiny, a phrase by the way which wasn't even coined for 50 years. and the butchery that i spoke of earlier was par for the course for the era. i mean, we're talking dis em
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boumts and scalpings and burning at the stake was big. and both sides. both sides. one of the reasons for that is because the white people wanted the red people's treasure. the blood i already told you about, the treasure was the land. and indigenous people who had been in the north american continent for millennia were not about to give it up without a fight. so in a way that led even -- preacher, cotton mathers, a famous boston preacher, he would preach about extinguishing the red sons of satan. and even such luminaries as thomas jefferson proposed exterminating the savages, closed quote, between the atlantic coast and the mississippi so there would be room for white settlers.
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now, this did not shock tom and i, the fact that there was a butcher's bill that ran on both sides. we knew that from the first moment that white immigrants from europe reached the fatal shores of the new world there had been constant conflict between native americans and whites. it's no coincidence that for the jamestown colony with john smith and the plymouth rock pilgrims with myles standish hired soldiers of fortune to be there leaders and emissaries. but once again, i want to emphasize because i think there's been a bit of a dignified occasion and the savages as they would call them. the butcher's bill ran both ways so for every white infant that was scalped or every white militia man that was captured and made to dance while his
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fingers or his arms were chopped off or for every time a soldier was -- there's one scene where they capture one of george washington's best friends and they burned him alive at the stake. after fileting him. a witness describes his brains bubbling in his skull until his nose starts whistling like a tea kettle. but once again, for every indian atrocity there was a wide white atrocity. you had the spanish in the floridas running down seminoles with packs of blood hounds and when they had them cornered they would release packs of irish wolf hounds to tear them apart. you had the virginia militia men pennsylvania militia men, falling on villages, killing men, women, and children. including one delaware village where all 96 men, women and children had converted to the moravian faith which meant they couldn't take up arms. so they sang hymns and prayed while the militia men bashed
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in their heads with mallets in order to save musket balls. you had a british governor general gifting an ottawa peace delegation as a parting gifts with blankets purposefully infected with the smallpox figuring it would spread throughout. this was a peace delegation. vermin or vermin is the way he put it. it goes on and on. just as an aside, the same governor general would pay the equivalent today of $10 for a scalp of any indian man or woman over ten years old. how they knew the scalps were over ten years old i do not know, but it backfired on him because when he would send out militias to raid indian villages, they would spend less time fighting and more time digging up the indian graveyards so they could scalp the corpses. so we kind of expected this kind of blood in our book "blood and
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treasure". what we did not expect was that daniel boone would be such a central figure of it. tom and i did not start out to write a biography of daniel boone. in fact, we don't feel we did. there are many fine biographies out there. what we feel we have written and hope we have written is the biography of an era. the geography of the mid-18th century when as i said before, the first stirrings of manifest destiny started to show themselves in the white colonists who were hemmed in by the appalachians along the eastern coast. and we hope that that era where the colonies transformed themselves from 13 colonials -- actually people don't know there were 15 colonies, there was east and west florida but they declined to take part in the revolution. but that era got us digging into it.
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the dis any fiction of daniel boone is such that -- and we blame walt disney forecasting fess parker as both davie crockett and daniel boone. let me dispel to myths right now. one he didn't die at the alamo that was davie crockett, and, two, he hated coonskin caps. he was an average size man for his era, he was 5'7", 5'8". all of his cousins were gigantic. 6'2", 6'3", 6'4". daniel always thought he was short. and he felt wearing a coonskin cap made him look shorter. so he always wore a tall hunter's cap. another thing that really jumped out about us and, once again, keeping in mind that this is not so much a biography of daniel boone but a biography of an era and we're using daniel boone as our guide, is that the man was just everywhere. everything that happened, every
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big historical event either boone or his family was there. now he was also a man out of his time. he did not believe the indians were heathens, were savages. and when i say that he had a 21st century sensibilities, it came as a bit of a shock to tom and i. and i think tom is much more arrow diet at explaining why that is than i am. so if you don't mind, tom -- they probably don't know what i'm talking about so i'm leaving it up to you to clean up my mess. >> i will do what i can. something that you referred to about daniel boone as our main character, but this is not a biography of him, maybe i could invite the viewers behind the curtain a little bit to what writers and certainly us two as writers experienced. daniel boone was not our first thought by any means to be a main -- a main character, the main character in this book.
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we had -- you know, one of our books, perhaps the book that we've gotten over the years the most feedback about is called "the heart of everything that is". i know over the years it's been for sale there at watermark books. and the main character is the sioux leader, red cloud, and the only indian leader to win a war against the u.s. government, not just a battle, but a war. and for the most part, to sum it up very quickly, the story is in 1850s, 1860s, into the 1870s when you have the final battles between the white military, white settlers, white explorers, white business communities and the indian tribes of the plains, the sioux, the crow, the apache, the cheyenne. basically they had been backed up -- there was no place else for them to retreat to. so that's why they were forced,
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by mandate, to go onto reservations in montana, the dakotas, wyoming, for example. when we finished that book, to me there was always a lingering poignance about that. and also had us thinking, in a lot of ways, we talk about the end of the story. if we get a chance it would be interesting to go back to the beginning. where was the template first established, where was the blueprint created of the white settlers and military pushing their way west and the indigenous people who lived there already, the interlopers, the intruders were showing up, many times they were defeated in battle or bob referred to these, you know, smallpox infested blankets, a disease that the indians had no immunity to and ran rampant and killed, you know, probably millions over the course of the 300 years or so
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since the white men arrived. so many were killed or died off, but you also had many of them left. i mean, they had earlier in the united states, even before it was the united states, the option of back up, so to speak, of retreating, of getting out of harm's way because there was always more west to go to. across the mississippi and then across the missouri. so we wanted to -- we had a couple of the books, some people may be familiar with after we did "the heart of everything that is," we did a world war ii story called "lucky 666". and then in 2018, we sort of returned to the early days of america where we wrote, "valley forge," but that was with the revolution on the east coast and the battles in virginia and new jersey and manhattan and long island and places like that. boston, of course. so it kept -- certainly i can
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say this for me -- it kept, you know, bothering me that there was a story to tell about how -- like i said, how that blueprint was established. and so once we determined that we were going to do a story about the early days sort of earlier days of the relationship and interactions between the -- you know, white settlers and explorers and hunters who were unable to restrain themselves from going west and, you know, establishing farms and small communities and forts, and the tribes who were there who got to experience first -- a century earlier what the plains indians were going to experience. so that was the story -- that was the origination of this book, that we wanted to tell that story. what we hoped to do was like with "the heart of everything that is" have a -- our main
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character be an indian, as red cloud had been. but we ran into a couple of problems. one of them being unlike with red cloud who was born in 1821 didn't die until 1909 was a long thread of his existence to draw from, and his experiences. in the case of a lot of the chiefs -- i use the term "chiefs" loosely -- a lot of the chiefs of the ohio valley, of the upper midwest of what became kentucky and tennessee, they usual ly didn't last too long. they either were defeated in battle, they died, they were killed, they left the area. said, i'm getting out of here. there were some very fascinating indian characters who are in our book. cornstalk, the shawnee who was a chief in the diplomatic sense,
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in the political sense, and in the military sense. little turtle, hanging maw, dragging canoe, some of them had even more colorful names. but they didn't -- there wasn't a strong enough or lengthy enough thread for us to latch the whole story on to. then when we thought of daniel boone, a challenge that we faced was, well, what if daniel boone -- everybody knows daniel boone by name. they know the figure daniel boone. as bob mentioned before, some people think he died at the alamo, so they think they know daniel boone. they know if you are from a certain age because daniel boone was in the television show for several years with mingo, his trusty loyal indian side kick. but we thought what if he doesn't measure up. as bob said before, he was
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everywhere it seems. you know, he kept showing up at battles here and the french and indian war, revolutionary war and the adventures, rescuing his daughter and two friends from being kidnapped and all these other exploits that he was involved in. but if we did a deep dive into the life of daniel boone to borrow from that or use from that to connect our story, would he measure up? and that's one of the real delights of "blood and treasure" was to find out that a lot if not most of the legend of daniel boone that's been passed down is based on truth. the coonskin cap is just one example of exaggerations or fictions about daniel boone, but he was somebody who in his early life and his childhood on had regular interactions with indians and came to admire and
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respect and emulated them them in the way he dressed with the survival skills in the forest and everything like that. and he seemed to have this kind of natural ability to lead people. people turned to daniel boone. he was the one that when lord dunnmore's war was to start, he in 1774 -- leaders there were saying we've got -- all across the frontier we have surveyors, settlers, hunters, other people that they have no idea the indians are gathering to begin a large-scale attack on the frontier. they are so vulnerable they will be killed. hundreds might be killed. it was daniel boone they asked and said you are the guy that can get through to the entire woodlands and the entire frontier on foot and warn these people, which he did, and saved many, many lives. he was the one that led the boons borrow which was obviously
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named after him that was first built in 1775, by the time of 1778 when this large british army -- indian ally and british led army was going to cut through kentucky and go through -- over the mountains or through the mountains, the cumberland gap or how they could get into virginia and into north carolina and start a two-front war that probably would have doomed the american revolution, it was daniel boone who was the leader of that -- the fort that everybody turned to for leadership. and they survived that siege, that if boonesboro had fallen we might write a different history of the outcome of the american revolution. and most people, we understand, who think they know daniel boone, have no idea what a pivotal role he played in the american revolution. that he seemed to have this zeal-like way to show up.
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there was daniel boone serving with george washington in 1755 when the british general braddock, during one of the biggest defeats the british army ever suffered in the americas, and barely -- both of them, washington and boon, barely made it out of there with their lives. and we also found humor with daniel boone. he was a man with a good sense of humor. he would like to tell a good story. and one of the stories that already people who read the book already, even though it only was published yesterday are citing is the one where boone is gone for a year on an expedition and when he comes back, his wife rebecca, who he's totally devoted to, presents him with a daughter. he does the math, he was not a schooled person, but boone could do basic math and if i'm gone for a year or more and it takes nine months for the gestation period, something happened here.
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and his wife being quite honest about it said, i thought you were dead, and i sought comfort in your brother ned's arms. so produced the daughter. and boone said i'm glad you kept it in the family. he also understood, which says a lot about boone's character, he said i married a full-blooded woman, not a portrait of a saint. i think that says a lot about him. another incident where again he's gone for a long time, comes back i think it was either christmas eve or christmas day and there's a dance in the settlement community where his family s and his wife is part of this dance with other community members and he's been gone for a long time, he has hair covering his face, his hair is long, looks like somebody who had been in the forest for a year. and he comes walking in and he asks this -- rebecca boone for a dance, she's horrified, who is this -- probably didn't use the word bum, but who is this bum.
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and is appalled this guy would come off the street, basically. he starts laughing, cackling, thinks it's the biggest joke, and she recognizes her husband's laugh and, of course, dances with him despite his appearance. i think the viewers might be interested to know that boone was a process for us. we didn't start at the beginning of this period, the two or three years we worked on the book, say, let's set out to write a book on daniel boone. boone was actually kind of late to the party, but when we did explore his life, we found such a fascinating character that he does provide that thread -- when i first began my talk, he does provide that thread that we needed to hang the story on. he's just a remarkable character. i hope one of the things our book does is offer that opportunity to people who think they know boone to find out the real daniel boone.
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bob, i will kick it back to you. >> tom, listening to what you're saying, the thing that jumped out at both of us, as we were lucky enough there was a near contemporaneous historian who travels 50,000 miles by horseback interviewing -- he didn't interview daniel boone himself, but he interviewed people who had hunted and fought -- old men by this point -- hunted and fought and pioneered with daniel boone and his contemporaneous papers were so useful, so worthwhile to us in our research. and the thing that tom and i would go back on the phone saying, do you believe this? do you believe this? i mentioned before, cotton mathers, exterminate the heathens. daniel boone had an empathy and a sympathy -- there is a difference between the two. he had both for the indigenous people's who had populated this
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continent mill flea before we showed up from europe. for instance, he told his first biographier, a schoolteacher named john fillson, he said i'm not much of a religious man, but i have as much esteem for the shawnee or the cherokee great spirit as i do for the christian god. it seems to me they're both the same people. he had perhaps naively a feeling that if he can only -- and this greats on 21st century sensibilities on the ears, t was his quote, if we could make the indians more white we could live with them instead of having to exterminate them. he was a captive for four months, adopted by a shawnee head man, he tried too convince him, you have to get the cattle, you have to get the loom and the shawnee didn't want anything to do with this, but at least boone was out there trying, as opposed to everyone else who was basically just picking up their kentucky long rifle at the first sight of an indian and blowing their head off before they got
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their own head blown off. that struck me about boone. he was a man out of his time. tom and i have seen stories now about -- i guess there's statues of daniel boone that have been defaced, petitions to take them down. i know there's been graffiti in the daniel boone national forest in kentucky. daniel boone was not one of those men. he had his faults, he was a man of his era, like washington, jefferson, and john hancock and benjamin franklin. i think 46 -- like 46 of the 51 signatories to the declaration of independence, later in life daniel boone did own slaves. he owned black human beings. he bought seven females and their children to work in his trading post. so the man was not -- he was not a saint by any means, but there was something about the man out of his time that coincided with the forest gump
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type. he's there for the french and indian war, he's here for the american revolution, he's here for lord dunnmore's war. i mean, he was just everywhere. that made him the perfect guy, just like he was a path finder in his own time, he was a path finding for us looking through as we tried to write this biography of an era. all that said, i get a sense that sarah is in the back somewhere with one of those hooks that she wants to put around my neck and pull me off the stage. so let me beat her to the punch by uttering those four words i told you about "and so in conclusion." we're about to wrap it up. you know, what tom and i -- what we tried to do, what we contend is that the characters who inhabit "blood and treasure" both white and native american, they constitute a generation that shaped the core values of what is today the united states. we hope what we have
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accomplished with this book as the anthropoloists said is to make the familiar strange and the strange familiar. not long ago there was a visiting chinese people's army communist army general lecturing at the army war college. and he just offhandedly happened to mention, the longest war in recorded history is the european/american war against the native indigenous people and the army officers there were like, whoa, what are you talking about? europe had -- we've been in afghanistan for 20 years now but europe had the 30 years war, the 100 years war, what are you talking about? and the chinese general explained, i'm talking about your 300 year war against the native americans. and many of the officers came around to agree with him. and there was one history professor, my desk is such a mess, but here it is.
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peter maslovski who taught at west point, he wrote, they waged a war against indians in order to acquire their land and its resources. the proof is in the numbers, of the 3030-odd million americans a wood 46 million of them can claim that their ancestors -- tom, we didn't even talk about the cumberland gap -- can claim that their ancestors came through t cumberland gap. the gap that was not discovered by daniel boone, the indians knew it was there for sent reese, but he tacked through it for trade. it was called boone's trace for 30 years before it became known as the wilderness road. talking about coming full circle. i started out this with the perhaps macabre scene of james boone -- 16-year-old james boone as he's bleeding to death, being
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tortured to death by big jim the shawnee. decades later, boone is 52 years old, on his last indian war fight and they ride across the ohio, fighting the shawnees and he hears the bag of indian hounds ands he's been around, he knows what this means. it means indians are escaping. so he and a small platoon of men turn their horses from the main forest and see the indians escaping across the meadow. and one of them turns, aims his kentucky long rifle, fires, the soldier -- the militia men blows him out of the saddle. boone spurns his horse, getting closer to the indian, frantically reloading, it's big jim. it's big jim who killed and tortured his son james. boon looks at big jim -- they knew each other -- big jim looks at boone as he's reloading they look at each other, boone is
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shocked. finally, is this my time for revenge? he pulls out his saber, which is where the origin of the long knife, that's where the indians starting calling the americans long knives, he pulls out his saber, big jim is reloading, boone spurs his horse and what happened next was -- well, you know, if you want to know what happened next you have to read the book. thank you to everyone who tuned in tonight we really appreciate it. i'm sorry to leave you hanging like that, but tom is the scholar here, i'm the shtick-meister. there you go. >> i love a cliff-hanger. i have a couple questions and then i have some questions from people who are attending. but first of all, the entire title of the book is "blood and treasure: daniel boone and the fight for america's first frontier". you explained to all that he wasn't the primary, but where did the blood and treasure come
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from? >> tom, i'm going to ask you to take this one because while you were talking i spilled tea all over my sweater. i'll be right back. i'll be right back. >> the joys of doing in-home zoom interviews. towards the end of his life when boone was being interviewed, and bob eluded to the fact that there was people that went to see boone and interviewed him and asked him to talk about his life and experiences. he does make a reference, says he's looking back on -- you know, he's at that point in his later years living a life of contentment. he would live to almost 86 years old and die in his daughter's house with her husband and children around him. but he looks back and said what took him on this journey cost him so much in blood and treasure. he's referring to blood, he's talk being that he lost two sons
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and a brother to violence. and with treasure, there were -- over and over again daniel boone found himself bankrupt. he was not a good businessman. and i guess treasure too he's talking about property he lost. he didn't end his life as a successful man, even though he had done so much and had so many adventures. that's where the quote comes from him later in life referring to blood and treasure. >> you referred to, in my introduction, i think, you know, you used newspapers, original documents, journals, all sorts of sources for your information, and i wonder how -- what was the -- was there a single primary -- when i say "primary," i mean was there a dominant area where you got -- and how do you research together and how do you
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divide up the writing? >> i can begin the answer and if bob wants to -- bob made a reference to it. there were a lot of sources that we used, if anyone cares to look at the bibliography we didn't put everything in there, but it's pretty extensive. referred to lyman draper, a sad character. as bob said, he went 50,000 miles, he did all this research, he collected -- >> on horseback. >> on horseback. all these notes. spent years and years and years so he would be able to write this magnum opus about one of the most remarkable characters in american history and he started writing and at a certain point developed writer's block and couldn't write anymore. and he died leaving his book unfinished. thankfully, his notes and interviews and everything are available to researchers and that was an enormous help to us. >> it was. sarah, it was a pile.
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i'm trying to think, it was 130,000 pages, something like that. it's at the wisconsin historical society. and you asked what our -- our system is, i guess is basically what you're asking, how do two people -- tom likes to say he writes one sentence, i write the next, he writes one sentence, i write the next. but what happened is we developed a very henry ford like assembly line. tom is -- you could send me into the library of congress or the national archives and i probably would come out with what i'm looking for. you might have to send out a party with miner's hats and lights to find me, but tom is so adept. he was born to be a researcher. born to be. i cannot compare. when it comes to lyman draper, it was all tom. if we're writing books about people who are still alive, i'm
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good at interviewing them. but tom will point me in the right direction, give me the research, i'll start to write. i'm not going to say i write a chapter and sent is back to him or two chapters, but i'll write a hunk, a chunk with a million questions in it, need this, need this, how do we expand on this, too much of this. i'll send is back to tom and he is as good an editor as he is a researcher and he'll get it back to me. so we kind of have this assembly line going back and forth, so far it's worked for us. >> probably a lot of trust there. >> i don't trust tom at all. >> no. we'd never turn our back on each other. wouldn't do it on screen right now. >> so one of the things that is very compelling is all these descriptions of the landscape and the woodsmen, you know, life and going out and the smells and the look and everything.
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but it's also nice to get a bird's eye view, so you've included some really great maps in the book. they're so helpful. did you decide -- did you know -- you could have probably put lots of maps in, but how did you decide which maps -- >> i'm the map guy. i'm the map guy. since tom and i started collaborating, we both sensed -- we innately sensed that the kind of books we write, people want to see where it happened. where did that typhoon start and how did it sweep across the western pacific? how did that hill near the chosen reservoir, how did the marine perimeter get smaller and smaller and smaller every night when tens of thousands of chinese were attacking a couple of hundred marines?
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we know valley forge, how did washington almost win the battle of germantown and then was turned back at the last moment. because here's the militia men up here on the map who were deceived by the fog of war -- the literal fog of war when the british set the cornfields on fire and they couldn't see through the smoke. we know that the type of books we write, the more happens the better. maps cost money and publishers have been very good to us when we've argued for maps, maps, maps and more maps. >> i think they're well-appreciated. >> good. thank you. >> and i know how hard it is to break up that text and put something in there and then move on. >> this was our first book where i actually wrote captions for the maps. >> good. >> i don't know -- well, we won't discuss inside baseball here whether it worked or not but we never had captions on our maps before, they were always kind of self-explanatory.
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and i just felt, in this case -- i don't know, some of the things confused me. the trial -- when you get off the boone trace and the wilderness trail and you got on the old indian warrior's path, i felt it needed a little more explanation and caption. and st. martin's press was just, yeah, if that's what it needs, that's what it needs. our editor was just -- couldn't have been more accommodating. >> i don't know if you were working -- i think you had this book finished before covid -- >> yes. >> are you working now on something, and how did that affect everything for you? i'm going through people's questions here. >> it's funny -- >> yeah, we were working. >> i'm sorry. >> we're back in world war ii story mindset, and it was -- it was -- we've been working on the book for, it's got to be, over a year. well over a year that we've been
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working on it. and it definitely presented some challenges. we're certainly not the only authors that had to confront this, but trying to -- for example, a very good source for us of holdings of documents we want to look at is at the army war college in carlisle, pennsylvania, and they were in complete shutdown for pretty much all of -- you know, from march on in 2020. we're open now in a limited capacity, but it's something where, you know, what could you do? you couldn't say to people, listen, i really need this. we're not going fo put people's lives at risk because i need the journal of a private in the second ranger company. you know? >> yeah. >> so you just have to be patient and take your place in line. and i think people who are in these positions at these research facilities, respond to and appreciate that kind of cooperative, you know, rapport that you have. and they've done the best they can, we've done the best we
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could to get as much information we could that was available. >> i still have a $500 deposit with a guy to take me through the forest on the german/belgian border. i had made these arrangements to tour -- that's the one thing tom and i like to do, with he like to get out on the road when we're research. for "blood and treasure" i followed boone down from pennsylvania into the blue ridge, into eastern tennessee and very western virginia, not west virginia, through the cumberland gap, my wife flew down into knoxville and we went the weekend at the cumberland gap at a b & b and then she flew back. and then tom and i both traversed the dakotas, wyoming, nebraska, montana. i mean, i remember tom telling me stories -- i'm driving my rented ford fiesta 80 miles on a dirt road so i can eyeball the site of the battle of crazy woman's fork.
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and tom is in these historical societies where some of the diaries they're bringing out you can't even touch with your hands. i guess they were written on some kind of we will thumb where the oil on your hands -- so they bring it out in a plexiglas tomorrow and tom is telling me he's turning the pages with a spatula -- not a spatula, but tweezers. several of our books we've actually interviewed the soldiers who were involved, but other times when we're going back to the 19th and 18th century, when tom can find diaries where a 12-year-old girl is writing, she made it across the oregon trail in utah and writing back to st. louis, well, paul got killed in wyoming and the next wagon train through said that wolves or indians had dug up his grave so we're going to have to go back and rebury him, that's almost like you're interviewing somebody.
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>> that's amazing. that would be the fun of it, too. it's like -- i mean, you're providing armchair travel experiences to all of us that aren't going out because your descriptions are so vivid. there's a question that -- about rebecca. and, you know, most women are overlooked. most women's stories are overlooked, especially during this period. and, you know, in the shadow of this great man. how did you find out about her? >> well, rebecca boone, unlike many women who a lot of times did not have very long lives because they died in childbirth or from disease or endless hardship, rebecca boon lived into her 70s and she and daniel were married for 56 years. she came from a family her maiden name was bryan b-r-y-a-n,
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so they became a rather prominent and -- you know, there was a lot of bryan family members and a rather prominent family. there's graveyards of bryans that could be found in missouri, for example, and certainly in some parts of kentucky and elsewhere. so, you know, we didn't have nearly, of course, the kind of information about rebecca that we had about daniel because let's face it, not too many people are interested in interviewing rebecca, daniel was the star of the family, but there was information there, and we also had one source of information which was very good, very helpful to us was the reminiscences of nathan boon who was their youngest child -- youngest son or youngest child. and in his later life he was interviewed by lyman draper and he talked a lot about the
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dynamics between his parents. there was an extremely strong attachment to them over the decades that obviously was put to the test by daniel's long absences, but nathan was an example, he revered both his parents. >> and nathan also turn over what boon papers there were to lyman draper which we got ahold of it the wisconsin historical society. tom told you that great story about he fathered the child it's all in the family, so much the better. there's another good one. not the little girl who daniel boone rescued after she was kidnapped by indians. and james finmore cooper took it from the headlines for his last of the mmohicans. but there's another story about suzie boone, an older daughter. she's one of two women when boone first hacked his way through the boone trace, the
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cumberland gap and hacked a trail into kentucky, she was one of two women there. this young irishman -- suzie was 16 or 17, a young irishman came to boone and said i want to ask for your daughter's hand in marriage. and daniel very diplomatically tried to dissuade the irishman. let's say, suzie was -- what's a good way to put it. she was a sporting girl, suzie was. but anyway, the irishman would not be dissuaded. they married and a few weeks later he returns to daniel boone and he's kind of complaining about, and i'm quoting here, suzie's frolics and waves with other men. and daniel looks at him, son, i think i told you, you've got a trot father, a trot mother and you expected a pacing colt. i don't think you're going to get one. so anyway, that's a -- just
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another example of daniel boone's equanimity towards life, his philosophy towards life. i'll take anything you throw at me. >> yeah. >> you kidnapped my daughter, i'm going to get her. kill my two sons i'm going to rebound. we talked about his brother, at one point they're coming back from another indian war, netty, the younger brother, and daniel brace off to do some hunting and netty looks so much like daniel, it's one of the reasons that rebecca fell in love with him and had a child with him. so daniel is chasing this bear he has wounded and he hears shots and he runs back to where they're watering horses and there's three shawnee standing over netty and they're sawing off his head. they thought they killed daniel boone. they want to bring the head back to the village. we killed the great daniel boone. so, of course, boone gets into a gun fight with them. but the point is, as tom mentioned, my footsteps have
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been traced by blood. and i have lost much blood and treasure two sons and a brother have i lost. but he just never lost that -- that confidence that life would turn out okay. out okay. >> uh-huh. uh-huh. it is remarkable. it is remarkable. well, i want to thank you both for taking the time to be with us. and i want to thank you on the congratulations on the "new york times," the book is "blood and treasure." it is available, watermark books and cafe and in the chat link, and i hope that we get to welcome you back to wichita in person. >> i am going to get there, i promise, sarah, i will be there. >> i know. come rain or whatever weather. and now i want to say that even for the paperbook or whatever it is for next you are working on and i wonder if you have started on it? >> we have.
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and as you know, because of a, several reasons and covid being among them, the publication of "blood and treasure" was postponed three months and another three months and just got work on the world war ii months and as tom said we need to get to the army war college and i need to get to europe to tour the war fields, but we will get out there. we will get out there, and sarah, i will let you out there in on a secret and you have to get me a coffee cup, and i will have to tell you that there is not tea in this coffee cup. >> i knew that. and it is a pretty big cup i noticed. >> it is full of blood and treasure. >> there you go. blood and treasure. thank you so much for everybody tuning n and independent bookstore day is saturday, and we appreciate your time. and look forward to seeing you again.
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