In 1912, after illustrating the new Boy Scout Hikebook for the Boy Scouts of America, Rockwell was offered a permanent job on their new monthly Boys’ Life. After just six months, he was promoted to art director, at a salary of $50 per month. He was responsible for producing the cover art, illustrating one story per issue, and hiring and editing all the additional artwork for the magazine.
In 1914, Rockwell produced 19 paintings and drawings to illustrate Everett T. Tomlinson’s Scouting With Daniel Boone in eight installments of the magazine. In Tomlinson’s story, set in 1773, Boone is hired by Virginia’s Governor Dunmore to lead five families from Yadkin, North Carolina, through the wilderness hunting grounds of the Shawnee Indians to a settlement in Clinch, Virginia.
Daniel Boone, Pioneer Scout and The Road Led Through the Passes of the Hills illustrated the stories second and fourth installments. In the first, Daniel Boone, Pioneer Scout, Rockwell shows Boone as he is described by the text─“a tall man, quiet in his bearing, lean almost to thinness, in the prime of middle life and with every indication of self-control as well as of strength stamped upon his face and form.” Later in the story Boone escorts a band of 27 men, hired to clear a road from the settlement in Clinch, to a region in Kentucky. The Road Led Through the Passes of the Hills depicts Boone as sentry during their journey.
Both illustrations are painted en grisaille, French for “in gray.” When illustrators knew their work would be printed in black-and-white, they often painted in tones of a single color, usually gray, brown, or blue, enabling them to better judge how the illustration would look in print. Rockwell used either brown (sometimes called sepia) or gray for his en grisaille paintings.
Odds & Ends:
To encourage faithful readership of the eight monthly issues containing the Daniel Boone series, Boys’ Life offered $300 in prizes in an essay contest. Writer of the best essay on “the qualities of Daniel Boone, which made him a good Scout and a valuable citizen, and why those qualities are important in life today,” won a grand prize of $50. 56 runners-up won prizes from $1.00 to $25."