This note’s face features Daniel Boone who as you probably know was a well-known American Pioneer, explorer and woodsman and frontiersman. His exploits as a frontiersman made him a folk hero especially for his exploration and settlement of Kentucky, which at the time, and something I didn’t realize, was part of Virginia on the other side of the mountains. Supplementing his farm income by selling furs and pelts, he learned the easy routes to the area. This led to the creation of the Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap in the Appalachian Mountains connecting North Carolina and Tennessee (which is the next state in this series) to the interior of Kentucky. There he founded the village of Boonesborough (wonder how that name came about) one of the first American settlements west of the Appalachians. By the end of the 18th century over 200,000 Americans migrated to Kentucky (and I am sure it is a few more now).
Boone remains an iconic figure in American history. His name became legendary after an account of his adventures was published in 1784 by John Filson. Filson’s book also made him famous across Europe as the face of the rugged all-American frontiersman.
The reverse side features the Kentucky Derby. It is impossible to think of a better depiction, except maybe some Kentucky Whisky, but that could be another story told over a bottle of Kentucky Bourbon. I am sure Tom Stebbins won’t mind me revealing that he loves to draw horses, so a perfect scenario here. He never told me if he loves drinking bourbon though.
The Kentucky Derby is held annually in Louisville and this year saw the 141st running of the race and if I am not mistaken for the first time in many years we saw a triple crown winner. The derby is the crowning event in a two week festival and is run (by horses of course) over 1¼ miles and is known as the “fastest 2 minutes in sport”, which is about the time it took me to run between the wickets in cricket – another story again. However, talking of cricket this race is also known as a run for the roses and as many of my non US readers will know in England the roses race means the cricket match between Yorkshire and Lancashire – but I digress. The winner of this race (owner this time, not the horse), apart from the prestige and I am sure breeding royalties, receives a minimum of 2 million dollars. I am sure they could afford to buy a few of these notes with their winnings.
This beautiful Kentucky banknote brings together American history, folk lore and sports, all rolled into this amazing banknote. I am looking forward to receiving the artwork for this note, especially of the horse as I am sure a print will adorn one of my walls.