Andrew Leahey History 135 "Objective D


These two essays detail the lives of two men that, on the surface, seem very different; it is only upon closer inspection you see some similarities between Estwick Evans and Daniel Boone. Evans is a "little guy", "insignificant", and you don't know his name. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Boone is a celebrated folk-hero and famous for his pioneer image, and frontier tales. Evans was born in New Hampshire after the Revolution, while Boone was born in of a family of Quakers in Pennsylvania some forty years before we would declare our independence. For both of these men, their perceived "nation" (pre-Independence America for Boone, the United States for Evans) brought with it a sense of endless possibility, of anyone ability to make a name for himself and in the case of Evans, take a real part in the governing of the country. Boone spent the better part of his life looking for a place to call his own, while Evans spent his trying to make a name for himself in the eyes of his countrymen. Both men had a thirst for making their mark, and acquiring all their nation had to offer.

Daniel Boone, raised as a Quaker, is most famous for his exploits involving the frontier and his embellished run-ins with Native Americans. Though he was born some time before the Revolution and the forming of our country, he was born in to a time of great expansion. As pioneers pressed west, staking claim to the seemingly endless amounts of land, there was a hopefulness and a sense of possibility -- that any man could make something of himself. Boone's motives during the outbreak of the American

War of Independence appear quite self-centric; his is a personal quest for independence. He was looking for his personal part of what the expanding New World promised much more than he was fighting for any sort of larger ideal. He lived in both pre-Revolutionary War America, and post, and his motivations never changed. Though he spent his entire eighty-five years struggling for his personal independence, to own land, he would die landless never being able to hold on to any of the property he acquired.

Estwick Evans was a member of the "first generation", that is, the generation raised in a post-Revolution America. He was free to dream, and dream big. Raised by the very generation that had fought for and won our independence from Great Britain, he was instilled from an early age with a sense of politics and a knowledge of all aspects of the Revolution. These aspects all came together to give Evans a sense of destination, almost entitlement. He expected great things from his life and his country, but he also felt a sense of obligation when he saw his country deviating from the path he believed in. Becoming an "average" self-taught lawyer didn't dissuade Evans from declaring himself a candidate for President, as a Whig, and at the advanced age of 78, spurred by his animosity for slavery. Though he was not elected, Evans made significant contributions to his nation as a "Little Big Man".

Comparing the two men, you can see the subtle similarities, and the glaring differences. These men are each, in my opinion, excellent representatives of the attitudes and motivations of their respective generations. Boone, born pre-Revolution, was motivated by personal wealth, landholding, and a quest to make his mark. Boone's vision of what the

Revolution meant to him (personal material growth) stands in stark contrast to what Evans felt about the Revolution. Daniel Boone would die having never had his ambitions sated; Estwick Evans had to have a sense of accomplishment in his later years. Evans, raised post-Revolution and contrary to Boone, had a definite sense of "nation-first". One can assume that this is due to his being raised by the generation that actually took part in the Revolutionary War. You might say Evans was fighting to keep what his parents generation had won, and Boone was fighting to win for himself.