Drama Based on History: Jemima Boone
In writing Jemima Boone: Daughter of Kentucky,
Moses Goldberg was interested in portraying history through female eyes. His story about early Kentucky settlers’ quest for independence and their delicate relationship with the Indians in the state is told in flashback. This scene opens with an older Jemima recalling an incident from 1773, then transports the audience to that day. Daniel Boone and his son James are setting a trap for food when Jemima arrives to tell Daniel that he is needed back at camp. After he leaves, the two youngsters encounter an Indian who speaks French, and a misunderstanding causes James and the Indian to fight to a tragic end.
- Use as part of a unit on Kentucky history.
- Compare to scenes from Appleseed John (found on the From Page to Stage CD-ROM) in terms of the portrayal of history and the elements of drama.
- Use to initiate a discussion and activities relating to communication barriers and cultural prejudices.
- Have students try to communicate information to one another without speaking. Is the meaning clear?
- Have students choose historical figures or events and write dramatic scenes about them.
- Have students look for other historical accounts written from women’s perspectives.