The Molten Rocks
By Taylor Nash
       Related to James M. Hylton on April 8, 1941, living near Wise, Wise Co., VA. The
  WPA Project, The Alderman Library, The University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.
       In getting my story right I will go back to where my great-grandfather met with Swift
  long ago when he was hunting. He was hunting a good deal in and around what we call the
  Flatwoods near Coeburn, VA, and it was on this sort of trip that he first met up with him.
  At least that was his Tales and I am sure he would not make it up. My Mother told me
  about Uncle Jessie Ramey as he was called telling her about meeting him with his little
  band of men once while they were dodging a squad of bad Indians who were trying to get
  hold of them and their food and guns. He showed him a draw in the hill where they could
  hide without being seen by them and the Indians went on by them. That was between
  Flatwoods and Big Stoney Creek and on the next trip they met at almost the same place. He
  told Mother that Swift went into the woods away from the rest of the little party and said
  he was searching for a spring from which to furnish the camp with water to cook and to
  drink. But that he hid a rifle barrel in some rocks as a marker for this trail, but that later
  he tried to show some men where the rifle barrel was so he could find his Silver but they
  searched everywhere that he directed but found no barrel. It was some time before he came
  back in search of his trail that he had tried to leave through the hills but he was blind at the
  time and could only guess and try to show those with him the right trail. On another trip
  in which Grandfather ran into him and his little band he said that he placed a sand stone in the
  fork of a growing tree and fastened it there with vines of some kind but that when the
  searching party came along years later to hunt for the lost silver he was told to have hidden
  the fork of the tree had grown up and mashed the sandstone to bits and no trail was left there
  that they could find. Of course the fork of the tree had grown and left no trace of the small
  fork or the sandstone either. Hop Corder of Coeburn (Wise Co.) VA found an old gun
  barrel in between some rocks there not long ago and I think it must have been Swift s that
  he hid and never could show his party of searchers where to find it. It is an old make
  and one that is loaded form the front end with a rod of some sort. Everyone who knows about
  it put more faith in the Swift Silver legend when it was found. My grandfather told my
  mother that Swift himself had told the searchers at the time of their search for the
  barrel that it was not meant for anyone to find it that blood had been spilt over his silver and
  that he didn t guess it was going to be found on that account. He was alleged to have killed
  his little party of men one at a time in order to have all the silver they had found and smelted
  in their crude way. That goes to show that Swift s Silver was hidden in this country
  instead of farther on in Kentucky or at least I think so. I am going to search right on after it
  and before the leaves fall I have a search to make that I am sure will net me some good
  information about this fellow Swift. Lots of people now think pretty strong that he had
  some way of smelting it in the hills or at least there is considerable proof to make you think
  so. I can also tell you about the other things that have taken place in and around the
  Flatwoods section that will go to show that there was bount (sic) to be somebody melting
  or silver of some kind. There seems to be too many traces for me not to feel confident about
  the whole thing.

Return to Wise page

Return to  Silver Mines

Copyright Notice
All files on this site are copyrighted by their creator. They may not be reproduced on another site without specific permission from Vickie Sturgill Stevens . Although public information is not in and of itself copyrightable, the format in which they are presented, the notes and comments, etc., are.