A Late President, a Sword, and a Mystery
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Thread: A Late President, a Sword, and a Mystery

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  1. #1
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    A Late President, a Sword, and a Mystery

    Cops says weapon used by William Henry Harrison was recovered; historian says no


    A sword believed to have seen action in the American Revolution, been wielded by eventual President William Henry Harrison in the War of 1812, and gone missing from a Cincinnati museum is now said to be recovered after 40 years, though one historian refutes the claim. Fox News reports on the convoluted story: Police in Windsor, Conn., last month seized the sword–crafted by Jacob Hurd around 1776 and one of 17, per WKRC–right before a Maine historian named James Kochan was about to auction it off. He says he picked it up at a Christie's auction in 2015 and that it's not the missing sword, which the Cincinnati Enquirer reports was first said to have been used in the Revolutionary War by Harrison's father-in-law, John Cleves Symmes, then given to Harrison. The sword kept getting passed down to other relatives, and in the early 1920s, the Symmes family donated it to Hamilton County.

    The sword was loaned to the Cincinnati Historical Society in 1976 and stolen shortly after. A Harrison-Symmes Memorial Foundation Museum member spotted Kochan's auction listed online in October. "I still have not been presented with a single iota of evidence to prove that the sword that I own and which was seized without due process ... is the [missing] sword," Kochan tells the Enquirer. He details what he says are variations between the missing sword and the sword he says is his for the New York Times, and Christie's auction house is cautiously backing him up, noting, "There are differences in key descriptions that would indicate these may be two different items.

    "More on the story of the sword, now being authenticated"

    https://www.cincinnati.com/story/new...ti/4164659002/


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  2. #2
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    sry ,sits behind a paywall. You want to cut and paste the article.?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Force_of_Iron View Post
    sry ,sits behind a paywall. You want to cut and paste the article.?
    It's huge, but I will go for it.

  4. #4
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil displays a Revolutionary War-era sword.
    (Sharon Coolidge/The Enquirer) (Photo: Sharon Coolidge/The Enquirer)


    Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil pulled a silver sword out of its worn black scabbard just as its first owner, John Cleves Symmes, once did during the Revolutionary War.

    And then he outlined why he believes the sword, recovered from auction Oct. 19, is the same one stolen from Hamilton County sometime between 1978 and 1979.

    The engraved names include John Cleves Symmes, President William Henry Harrison and six other members of the Symmes' family. They are the same names engraved on the sword that was once on display in Hamilton County Probate Court, Neil said.

    Additionally, the maker, Jacob Hurd, made just 17 of the swords, Neil said. Another one, Neil said, looks exactly like this one.

    Still, Neil added, there will be an investigation to authenticate the age and provenance of the sword, which will involve Hamilton County Coroner's Office.

    "I personally feel this is the sword that came up missing," Neil said. "But that is just my opinion."

    The sword was set for auction Oct. 19 at Nadeau's Auctions in Windsor, Connecticut. But police from Windsor, Connecticut, where the auction house is located, halted the sword's sale after talking with Cleves Police Sgt. Justin Habig. Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil then sent a deputy bring the sword back to Hamilton County, where it is now considered evidence in a theft.

    Neil handled the sword with white gloves and reverence.

    Seller James Kochan, a former museum curator and expert in early American military artifacts, contends the sword that was stolen was a replica and Hamilton County holds no claim on the sword he was selling. He points out the portrait of Symmes given to probate court along with the sword was also a copy. The original portrait is part of Miami University's art collection.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil shows the signature of Hamilton County founding father John Cleves Symmes, which is engraved a sword that was possibly stolen from Hamilton County Probate Court 40 years ago. (Photo: Sharon Coolidge/The Enquirer)


    Kochan purchased the sword for $7,500 from Christie's in 2015, when it was sold as part of renowned collector Eric Martin Wunsch's estate featuring silver collectibles. At the time the selling point was that it was made by Jacob Hurd, not that once belonging to John Cleves Symmes.

    Kochan is the founder of the Mars and Neptune Trust, which aims to support the preservation of endangered or rare surviving sites and artifacts relating to the military and naval history of America prior to 1850. The proceeds from the sword's sale were to go to the trust, Kochan said.

    The minimum for it at last month's auction was $15,000, but Kochan believed it would sell for up to $50,000.

    "I still have not been presented with a single iota of evidence to prove that the sword that I own and which was seized without due process – no injunction, no warrant, no paperwork – and which violated my constitutional rights is the sword missing, presumed stolen, from the Cincinnati Historical Society," Kochan told The Enquirer by email Wednesday.


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    Not that huge

    The story about the fishing guy who may have found a shipwreck with gold is huge
    devldog likes this.

  5. #5
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    How can he say its a replica of the sword when he paid $7500 for it at Sothby's? Are they selling fake replicas now?
    Last edited by Force_of_Iron; Nov 08, 2019 at 05:52 AM.
    devldog likes this.

  6. #6
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    If this does indeed turn out to be the stolen sword, it is one Great piece of our Revolutionary History. This was a great story. Thanks for posting.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by devldog View Post
    If this does indeed turn out to be the stolen sword, it is one Great piece of our Revolutionary History. This was a great story. Thanks for posting.
    You're welcome.

    A rare sword indeed.
    devldog likes this.

 

 

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