Swift's Silver and the Long Rifle Gun
By Caleb Lane
Related to James M. Hylton on April 23, 1941, a resident of the Hurricane section of Wise Co., VA and who is the son of old Uncle Jackson Lane who moved into the county from Scott Co. and made his home and reared a large family at the present site of the Lane home in the Hurricane. Caleb Lane who tells
this has lived in this county his entire life and was born in the county. He has worked at the timber business, mining, logging, carpenter and as county officer in different capacities. He is a devout Christian and is a man who is respected by all who know him. However he is in touch with lots of the events leading up to the present time in Wise Co. and at one time back in the early days of his life ran a Government
Distillery in the Hurricane and knew and contacted some of the bad men of that day andwho made history in the county of Wise. His grandfather old John Ritchie told him this tale when he was only a boy but he remembers it very well and says that he knows not from where Ritchie came but that he stayed at their
house lots and often he would sit and listen to him tell of the Indian experiences he had in the early days.
"One day as I was goin down Cranes Nest River", says Uncle John, as he stroked his long bare chin, "I met one of the Indians who had been campin down below our place an who we had been watchin close as a hawk, 'cause we se 'fraid they would try to steal ever 'thing they would get their hands on, and he
stopped and started banterin with me. Well, I se creful-like to watch him but he seemed friendly 'nuff an I dist let him talk on. He saw the big long rifle gun I had an he took to it like a fox would a chicken but I held it off so s he couldn t get his big hands on it. He tried ever way in the world to trade me out en it
an promised me he would show me where they was Silver an I would nt have to worry about horseshoes for me horse as I could shoe them with shoes of silver. He said he would show me the Silver Mine that Swift knew about if I would give him the gun but I se not goin to be fooled an thought if I let him have
my gun he would shoot me then an there. Anyway the gun was loaded as we always carried them loaded, if a man d wait to load them old guns 'fore he shot he might get shot in the act of loadin . Short time 'fore this the Indians had stole some whites down on the Scott Co. line an I knew about it an after one of em got away after five years she come back with some awful tales of how they had killed her sister an tortured her a lot. She said that they had tuck her over into Kaintucky an camped one night near a little branch that run down from the hill an went to a hidin place an got some silvery lookin stuff an melted it
by a fire an made bullets for what guns they had stole from the whites in this section. She said that on a trip back through this section with them once that one of the young braves had went to the bank of a creek and dug some shiny lookin stuff off a cliff nearby an put it in a sack of some kind an said that it would make bullets to kill the whites with if they follored them and tried to get her back. Her name was Jennie something an they named the branches after her an it is now called Jennie s Creek. They told her the Swift mine was not over the Cumberland Mountains an she could lay to that. They tried to make the whites think that the Swift mine was in the State of Kaintucky so s they wouldn t hunt for it in this country.
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