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Simon Kenton

Kenton, Simon, 1755–1836, American frontiersman, b. probably Fauquier co., Va. In 1771, believing he had killed a man, he fled westward, assuming the name Simon Butler. He settled in Boonesboro, Ky., in 1775 and defended the settlement against frequent Native American attacks; in one of these encounters he saved Daniel Boone's life. During the American Revolution he accompanied (1778) George Rogers Clark on his expedition to Kaskaskia and Vincennes and helped Boone in the raid on Chillicothe. He was later captured by the Native Americans, who brought him to the British in Detroit, but he escaped (1779) and again joined Clark as a scout. Learning that the man he thought he had killed was alive, he resumed his original name, and eventually settled (1799) in Ohio. Kenton was elected a brigadier general of militia in 1804 and served in the War of 1812 at the battle of the Thames.

See biography by E. Kenton (1930, repr. 1971); P. Jahns, The Violent Years: Simon Kenton and the Ohio-Kentucky Frontier (1962).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History: Biographies

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