Different theory

Curtis

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Ran across this and hadn't seen it before. Seems this guy has some info on Swift that maybe historically true....Swift may have been a pall bearer to a famous person...needs checked out of course.

 

KY Hiker

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Curtis, according to research done in Robert Prather's book Swift was a friend to Washington and was a member of his masonic lodge and at his funeral. The book is worth picking up if for nothing else Prather's research is extensive. Look for the third edition. Good find, the author of the piece you posted proposes a similar theory I tend to share although not entirely. Swift's father-in-law General Roberdeau was in charge of protecting and operating a lead mine in then Western PA during the revolution. Silver is often found in lead deposits, hard to believe that as a coincidence. Also, General Roberdeau was a partial owner in a privateer company that operated out of Philly. Not a pirate but privateer. He later moved to Alexandria... There may have been a larger network of these lead mines being operated on the frontier away from British and loyalist eyes before and during the war that produced silver as a bi-product of lead.
 
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EC.Mason

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I’ve read on this book off and on for a couple years and finally read it straight through a couple weeks ago. I am currently rereading it to make sure I am comprehending everything he is saying. His research is off the charts although there are a few stretches I believe. However I am reading it again to make sure I am not missing something. I don’t find a strong argument In the Treasure Island/Swift Silver connection. I feel the book would have been stronger without that part. But again I’m the one critiquing another man’s work. His research is awesome and I wish I had the talents he had to discover real historical evidence that may have a connection with this intriguing legend.
 

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I’ve read on this book off and on for a couple years and finally read it straight through a couple weeks ago. I am currently rereading it to make sure I am comprehending everything he is saying. His research is off the charts although there are a few stretches I believe. However I am reading it again to make sure I am not missing something. I don’t find a strong argument In the Treasure Island/Swift Silver connection. I feel the book would have been stronger without that part. But again I’m the one critiquing another man’s work. His research is awesome and I wish I had the talents he had to discover real historical evidence that may have a connection with this intriguing legend.
Agreed, if you find the Roberdeau family lineage online and read it, you'll find everything he sites in his book there. I think the imagery used in Treasure Island may have been taken from the Swift legend but the rest of those connections are a stretch! The author probably had inspiration from the legend to write Treasure Island?
 

franklin

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While growing up in Southern West Virginia, I hunted for Wild Ginseng in the mountains of at least five southern WVa Counties, Northern Virginia and into parts of Kentucky. I marked a topo map of all the areas I had searched, everything within 50 or 60 miles of where I lived in McDowell County, WVa. I remember two of my trips quite well but not the exact area where I was hunting at that time.

There was some small cliffs on the right of the highway, my partner and I climbed those to find a creek that went and went through laurel thickets. The laurel was so high it blocked out the noon day bright Sun. We went under two large stones that met above this branch shooting out of the laurel. Nothing else of importance that day except the two large rocks meeting above the branch in thick laurel.

Later I was hunting in another area in a southeast hillside that had been burned during a forest fire the previous years. The going was really rough and I was not finding any ginseng. As I rounded a rocky ridge with a few cliffs but mostly the hill was just layered rock. I noticed something that looked like long candlesticks shining each about one inch in diameter and about 2 feet long in pieces extending all down the hillside. The fire had melted them out of the layered rock. I was really young then and I thought it could possibly be aluminum. I even picked one up and wondered to myself if aluminum was this heavy when it was melted. For the life of me, I can not remember where I was at. I have went over and over the hills where I thought I was but I could never find the melted metals again.

After I talked to one of my oldest brothers, he said when he was a boy he saw melted metal out of rocks and layered in the rock where he was born and raised. I have hunted ginseng in that area as well and my brothers and my father and uncles. I am going to give that area one more look. And a couple hollows above there to as I believe that is where the fire had burned through on the SE side of a dry ridge. I will let you know next Summer if I find anything.
 

EC.Mason

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While growing up in Southern West Virginia, I hunted for Wild Ginseng in the mountains of at least five southern WVa Counties, Northern Virginia and into parts of Kentucky. I marked a topo map of all the areas I had searched, everything within 50 or 60 miles of where I lived in McDowell County, WVa. I remember two of my trips quite well but not the exact area where I was hunting at that time.

There was some small cliffs on the right of the highway, my partner and I climbed those to find a creek that went and went through laurel thickets. The laurel was so high it blocked out the noon day bright Sun. We went under two large stones that met above this branch shooting out of the laurel. Nothing else of importance that day except the two large rocks meeting above the branch in thick laurel.

Later I was hunting in another area in a southeast hillside that had been burned during a forest fire the previous years. The going was really rough and I was not finding any ginseng. As I rounded a rocky ridge with a few cliffs but mostly the hill was just layered rock. I noticed something that looked like long candlesticks shining each about one inch in diameter and about 2 feet long in pieces extending all down the hillside. The fire had melted them out of the layered rock. I was really young then and I thought it could possibly be aluminum. I even picked one up and wondered to myself if aluminum was this heavy when it was melted. For the life of me, I can not remember where I was at. I have went over and over the hills where I thought I was but I could never find the melted metals again.

After I talked to one of my oldest brothers, he said when he was a boy he saw melted metal out of rocks and layered in the rock where he was born and raised. I have hunted ginseng in that area as well and my brothers and my father and uncles. I am going to give that area one more look. And a couple hollows above there to as I believe that is where the fire had burned through on the SE side of a dry ridge. I will let you know next Summer if I find anything.
Hey thats an interesting story Franklin; thank you for sharing. Yeah I would for sure go back and check that area if I was you. You never know what may be in that area. There is a lot of rugged terain in that area.
 

EC.Mason

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Agreed, if you find the Roberdeau family lineage online and read it, you'll find everything he sites in his book there. I think the imagery used in Treasure Island may have been taken from the Swift legend but the rest of those connections are a stretch! The author probably had inspiration from the legend to write Treasure Island?
Yeah man that reasearch is unreal. I am still trying to wrap my mind around some dates about the years he shows Swift bought property in Kentucky; and when Swift was first mentioned in the land grant FIlson and Breckenridge applied for. They applied for the grant mentioning Swift in 1788 I think. They said that 17 years before, Swift had mined in that area. Most of the land the Swift in the book bought was in 1792 and after I believe. Again I am reading it again to make sure im comprehending correctly. Just seems like maybe the Swift Prather is talking about came a few years after the Swift of legend. Maybe Prathers Swift and the Swift of our legend were mixed up? Maybe the real treasure burying Swift was a Tom or another name. Perhaps Prathers Jonathan Swift got mixed up in legend with another Swift who was in the area beforehand? Maybe a relative of Prathers Swift told him about the area and he bought land later on? Dont know; all kinds of thoughts running in my head ha ha.
 

franklin

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Hey thats an interesting story Franklin; thank you for sharing. Yeah I would for sure go back and check that area if I was you. You never know what may be in that area. There is a lot of rugged terain in that area.
EC Mason, I have a lot to check out. I am thinking of buying a motor home and hitting the trails. I certainly want to visit Kentucky where King Arthur was killed soon. May just rent motel rooms but most are over $120. a night since Covid. Twice the rates, half just to clean and disinfect the rooms. I don't know how difficult it is to find locations to park an RV. Has anyone went this route?
 

EC.Mason

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But I will say, I used to put a lot of faith in Joe Nickels article about Filson possibly making up the story of John Swift. That was my alternative thoughts if the legend was not real. However Prathers work has put that in serious doubt. That would be too much of a coincidence for Filson to make up a Swift then a real Jonathan Swift come a few years later who was connected with mining and land in Kentucky. One or the other has to be right unless of course the Swift Filson spoke of was a different Swift that had connections with Prathers Swift who came later.
 

EC.Mason

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EC Mason, I have a lot to check out. I am thinking of buying a motor home and hitting the trails. I certainly want to visit Kentucky where King Arthur was killed soon. May just rent motel rooms but most are over $120. a night since Covid. Twice the rates, half just to clean and disinfect the rooms. I don't know how difficult it is to find locations to park an RV. Has anyone went this route?
There are several RV parks around the Red River Gorge area as well as a few decently priced hotels.
 

franklin

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But I will say, I used to put a lot of faith in Joe Nickels article about Filson possibly making up the story of John Swift. That was my alternative thoughts if the legend was not real. However Prathers work has put that in serious doubt. That would be too much of a coincidence for Filson to make up a Swift then a real Jonathan Swift come a few years later who was connected with mining and land in Kentucky. One or the other has to be right unless of course the Swift Filson spoke of was a different Swift that had connections with Prathers Swift who came later.
I read one time that Filson was the autobiographer of not only Daniel Boone but Jonathan Swift also. Could these books be at the Library of Congress.
 

EC.Mason

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I read one time that Filson was the autobiographer of not only Daniel Boone but Jonathan Swift also. Could these books be at the Library of Congress.
I had never heard that Franklin, thats interesting. Its interesting that when FIlson was traveling with Boone they used to read "Jonathan Swifts Gullivers Travels." They even named a creek or two after things from the bookn (or so I heard). I always thought that the legend began with those campfire reads and then Filson created the myth for perhaps driving up the cost of land or to lure others into the area. But again if he did and with Prathers research; thats some pretty crazy odds for two Swifts in the area connected with mining.
 

franklin

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I had never heard that Franklin, thats interesting. Its interesting that when FIlson was traveling with Boone they used to read "Jonathan Swifts Gullivers Travels." They even named a creek or two after things from the bookn (or so I heard). I always thought that the legend began with those campfire reads and then Filson created the myth for perhaps driving up the cost of land or to lure others into the area. But again if he did and with Prathers research; thats some pretty crazy odds for two Swifts in the area connected with mining.
Daniel Boone met one of Swift's Party at the Cumberland Gap. Fry I believe was his name. They got into an argument and both went their separate ways. I always thought Fry was trying to get Boone to join their party to mine silver but we may never know.

I wish some could get to research the "Draper Manuscripts. There is a lot of history of early Kentucky. It even has two men that stopped at Martin's Station with a pouch of silver smelted in the woods while they were hunting. They never got to go back until after the Revolutionary War which they both survived. Their land grants was down near Bowling Green, Kentucky. Surely they would have gotten the military land grant where they had found the silver.
 

EC.Mason

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Daniel Boone met one of Swift's Party at the Cumberland Gap. Fry I believe was his name. They got into an argument and both went their separate ways. I always thought Fry was trying to get Boone to join their party to mine silver but we may never know.
I think it was in Mike Steelys book where he talks about the possible connection between Boone and Swift. Both would have been in the area at the same time if you are to believe the time frame given by Filsons land grant. I believe Steely wrote how Swift said that other people were beginnig to "become suspicious" or somethign along those lines of Swifts activites in Kentucky. It was suggested maybe Boone was catching on to what he was doing. He also raises the question of if Boone actually came into Kentucky for long periods of time just to hunt and trap. Again im not saying thats true but its an interesting thought to ponder.
 

franklin

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They all lived in the same area in North Carolina Boone and Swift's Party of men. I have a map where they all lived. I have even tried to find the silver caches of Flint and Fletcher. Only good signal I had was at Jefferies property and it was National Forest land. I could not dig. It was large depression like a root cellar and it was so loud I threw the headphones off my head to the ground.
 

EC.Mason

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They all lived in the same area in North Carolina Boone and Swift's Party of men. I have a map where they all lived. I have even tried to find the silver caches of Flint and Fletcher. Only good signal I had was at Jefferies property and it was National Forest land. I could not dig. It was large depression like a root cellar and it was so loud I threw the headphones off my head to the ground.
Yes you are right it was when Boone was on the Yadkin when Swift supposenly said people were becoming suspisious of him. Wow the map sounds interesting. Yeah man that would be frustrating. Im afriad I would be weaker willed and have to see what was in that hole ha ha. Joking.
 

franklin

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Problem on government land, they take your vehicle, your metal detector, a hefty fine and possible jail time. If it was in the woods it would be better but this is right beside the highway. I dragged the belly of my car off that mountain covered with ice. The belly dragging is the only thing that kept me in the road. Otherwise down the mountain for hundreds of feet. Took almost two hours to get off that mountain. I was mentally drained and I had to take at least 50 stops or more to rest my foot on the brake pedal. Really nerve raking.

The map is another complete story. I went to Salisbury, N.C. courthouse to search the deeds and wills for Swift's Party. I found most of them but when I looked for the Deeds they could not be found. I asked the lady that worked there and she reported that Deed Book 1 had been stolen. I sold the map for $20. in a treasure magazine. Only sold one to someone in PA. I asked Michael Paul Henson to get in touch with some rich Germans that had spent upwards of $1 Million in search of the Swift Treasure. I told Michael I would take $600000 for the Map. Of course, Michael laughed and laughed and said he could not do that. So I decided to sell them. I still have copies but I most likely will never sell as I want to find where the treasures went and not only where they were found in Kentucky.
 

EC.Mason

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Problem on government land, they take your vehicle, your metal detector, a hefty fine and possible jail time. If it was in the woods it would be better but this is right beside the highway. I dragged the belly of my car off that mountain covered with ice. The belly dragging is the only thing that kept me in the road. Otherwise down the mountain for hundreds of feet. Took almost two hours to get off that mountain. I was mentally drained and I had to take at least 50 stops or more to rest my foot on the brake pedal. Really nerve raking.
Yeah risk is not worth the reward in some situations. Nothing to tighten a man up worse then Icy roads. I feel your pain on that one.
 

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Considering the level of education at that time a man named Swift could have been Smith with a W inverted to an M and such. If passed on verbally accents alone could have caused mispronunciation. Another thought, 1761 could be 1791 by an inverted 6 to 9. With a generous estimated population of under 20,000 by 1790 in the KY region I find it almost impossible to have two men with same first and last name unless they were father and son. The fact that the Swift of Alexandria who owned lands in KY was the son-in-law of a revolutionary general who was in charge of a lead mining operation is revealing as to the root of the legend (think possible war stories being told). I still lean toward the possibility of a covert operation during the war for revolutionary material resources. Remember at this time salt, powder and lead were the only means for survival (food and clothing) on the frontier. Indian attacks continued into the 1790s at some stations (forts). The populated areas of the state were where ground could be tilled for crops usually along the rivers in the bluegrass region, necessary to make land claims...the Eastern mountain section of the would be state was very sparsely populated until after the war of 1812. Could be that the dates were altered to 1760s to predate the British claims of these lands after French claims? I don't know how mineral rights to lands worked in colonial and in early America...might be worth looking into?


On Swift's relation to Roberdeau
 
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