Swift's Silver Mines

     The following story was told to me (James M. Hylton) April 7, 1941, at Wise, VA, on Wise
Mountain by Mr. Taylor Nash, aged 76 years, and a resident of that Community. He is the great-grandson
of old Uncle Jessie Ramey who was one of the first early settlers in this county. Uncle Jessie was the father
of Polly and Margaret Ramey who told him these tales of Swift's Silver and who he says knew and met
Swift on more than one of his trips into this country on his way from North Carolina, from where he came
with his little band of men not only to look for Treasure but to hunt and seek out new land. His grandfather
died after the Civil War but Uncle Jessie died just before the war broke out but his family were all aware of
his travels and knew of his stories he told of Swift. Mr. Nash himself has sought out all the information for
years concerning Swifts Silver and is very much interested in the same. He has contacted men in and
around Coeburn, Va and the Flatwoods section near there who know more about Swift's travels through
there in the early days. He claims that a man who died several years ago told him he could show him good
evidence and proof of Swift's movements through the Flatwoods but he died before they got to make the
trip. At least Mr. Nash says he had ample instructions from him to warrant a search soon which he says he
will make before the leaves fall again. Mr. Nash is a Christian man and is truthful and dependable in every
respect. However he had a great misfortune to befall him about twenty years ago and through a jam of
misplaced evidence and circumstances was confined in the State Penal Institution at Richmond for a crime
he did not commit. However when the clouds cleared he was pardoned by the chief officer of the State and
is walking through life with a clearer insight than he might of had without this unpleasant experience.

 Sixteen Pieces of Silver

     "I will tell you about the 16 pieces of silver before we go along any farther with my story. We have
all heard about swift's silver I reckon and I have spent considerable time searching the facts here and there
about it. I am satisfied in my mind that Swift came through this part on his way from North Carolina on
hunting trips. I am satisfied too that he hid Silver away near the Flatwoods. My great-grandfather Jessie
Ramey knew him and met him on some of these trips. Anyway not so many years ago a negro at Norton
went up in the hills near Flatwoods to hunt and he found sixteen pieces of metal that was nearly all Silver.
On his way back he met with pat Nickels and old man Stidham. I don't know his given name and a fellow
by the name of Connell or Conners. He showed them the silver and gave them each a piece of it to keep. He went on back to Norton, VA not so far away and later died. But before he died he showed the silver around  lots and hit it before he died. It was molded like it had been molded in some crude mold of some kind in dirt  or clay and had some of the dirt hanging onto it at the time. Later the negro took a knife and parted the  metal from the dirt. He died on the Southside of Norton where most of the colored people live around here. He only died a few years back.

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