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History Apps – 1778: Daniel Boone on Trial – An Interactive 3D App

History Apps – 1778: Daniel Boone on Trial

Welcome to 1778: Daniel Boone on Trial – the online app that lets you explore the trial of Daniel Boone and life on the early American frontier. Like the best history apps, 1778 is completely free to use – it provides you with the opportunity to explore a pre-rendered 3D environment in which you will meet Boone and those who accused him of treason in 1778.  As you explore the town of Boonesborough you will encounter historic figures who were involved in the trial and learn why they took the positions they did. To get started simply click the ‘Get Started’ button on the above app. If you want more information, here are some frequently asked questions:


What is the purpose of this app?

This app has been designed to be provide a fun, educational experience. It is designed to provide users with a chance to learn about Daniel Boone’s little known court martial by interacting with virtual recreations of various historic figures. It is not designed to take the place of the various books, articles, etc which provide a true understanding of this subject.  Rather, it is the purpose of this app to provide a fun introduction to the topic. It is also designed to give some insight into the problems which historians face when they go about the task of trying to build an image of the past. By using this app you will explore the past by looking for insights from historic figures, all of whom will deliver you a slightly different perspective on the same events.


Where can I learn more about the events/period described in this app?

I have made plenty of resources available on this site. I would start by CLICKING HERE.


So, this is a videogame?

No, not really. It is an app which gives you the chance to explore the town of Boonesborough as it existed around 1778.  Unlike well known games like Call of Duty, this app is not about progressing from one level to another, or gaining high scores, or even accomplishing a set of pre-determined goals.  That being said, there are some elements of this app that are game-like.  The 3D environment is somewhat reminiscent of games like Myst and you will have the chance to collect evidence from various witnesses, etc – but do not expect an Xbox or PlayStation quality experience.  First and foremost, this is an educational tool.


Is it historically accurate?

Yes and no – allow me to explain.  The setting described in this app did occur; Daniel Boone was placed on trial for treason, for the reasons explained in the app.  Also, all of the characters you will encounter are based upon real historic characters and their interactions with you are based upon the available documentary record.  The town of Boonesborough as it appears in this app is also based upon documentary evidence.  There was, however, a need to apply a certain amount of artistic license.  Booneborough, though mostly accurate, has been altered slightly to accommodate the educational goals of the app.  The landscape that surrounds the town is also entirely fictional – it was created in this manner in order to progress the app’s narrative. Finally. the character of John Slover was not present for the events described in this app.  Though he was a real individual and his interactions with you reflect what we know about the real historic character, he was not present in Boonesborough in 1778.  He was included in this app because his experiences provide an important educational encounter.


This is an app. Will it be made available for mobile phones/tablets?

Possibly, but there are no definite plans at the moment. If there is sufficient interest I may develop a mobile version of the app.


Will this app receive updates?

Possibly. Again, this depends on the level of interest the app receives. If enough people want to see it grow then I will endeavour to make that happen. It was always my goal to open up every building in Boonesborough for exploration. I would also like to have seen some interactions with Native American figures but had I tried to implement all of this before release, the app might never have seen the light of day.


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Daniel Boone App

Press Release


“1778” Puts Frontier Legend Daniel Boone on Trial

1778: Daniel Boone on Trial is a free web app that allows players to explore the circumstances surrounding the little known court-martial of a frontier legend.  Based upon actual historic events and documents, 1778 explores the aftermath of Boone’s capture by the Shawnee.  On trial for treason, Boone’s reputation suffered greatly during this period as his fellow pioneers attempted to sort fact from fiction, hearsay from truth.  By exploring a pre-rendered 3D world, players will be able to talk with historic characters involved in the trial in order to form their own conclusions about the events of that time.  The app features a recreation of the town Boone founded in which players have to find and question characters ranging from Boone’s daughter, Jemima, to Richard Henderson, a land magnate who helped to drive American settlement in the early west.  By exploring the environment, interacting with historic figures, and discovering hidden historic documents, players of 1778 will have the chance to explore this fascinating episode in America’s frontier history in a uniquely new way.


1778 was developed and released by academic historian Dr. Darren R. Reid as an educational tool designed to provide history enthusiasts of all ages with a chance to explore the past in new way.  “Although many people know of Daniel Boone, very few realise that he once faced a court-martial for treason,” Reid explains.  “This is a complicated episode in Boone’s life and many of Daniel’s compatriots appeared to believe that he had betrayed them to the Shawnee and the British.  The purpose of this app is to give people interested in history a chance to explore this period, to gather evidence, to understand why some stood by the pioneer and others turned against him.”


The app has been made available freely on his website ( and can be played instantly in a web browser.  The app compliments an existing array of freely available materials which explore life on the early American frontier – among other things Dr. Reid has produced a series of podcasts and articles which can all be accessed from his main site.  For more information please visit  To play 1778: Daniel Boone on Trial please visit

One response to “History Apps – 1778: Daniel Boone on Trial – An Interactive 3D App”

  1. jacob powell says:

    This is great. Thank you for creating it.

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