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Showing posts from 2010

What an Amazing year-1755

For all those that follow and treasure the Swift mine lore, one of the key elements in all versions of the supposedly Swift journal is the per chance meeting Swift had with a Frenchman named George Munday, sometimes spelled Mundy.  In nearly all accounts of the legend John Swift joined the pioneer militia and combined British army under the command of General Edward Braddock.  This time being before the winds of revolution evolved into all out war, the single purpose here was that the French had established a Fort at the the point where the two rivers combined and formed the mighty Ohio.  Today this location is Pittsburgh.  The French and Indian allies of various trips were intent on keeping the British loyal colonist from expanding westward.  It was into this volunteer and regular army that Swift claimed to have joined.  Here he says that he met a prisoner, George Mundy,  that claimed to have been mining and smelting silver south of the Ohio River in the wilderness.
     Now the …

Some Background and Links

Facebook fans can now find a group, Swift Silver Mine, dedicated to sharing information about the Swift Legend.  It was just started by my friend Mike Steely.  Mike published a great book entitled "Swift's  Silver Mines and related Appalachian Treasures."  Mike's work is the most comprehensive collection of treasure stories and mysteries of the mountains I've seen.  The book is available from Check out Swift's Silver Mines for more information.
     While the story of "Swift" that I am telling is a novel and does not necessarily delve deep into the many variations and oddities of the lost treasure, it does indeed remain true to the basic legend as well as accurate time lines involving popular characters of early Kentucky history.  The book is in final edit stages and as noted in earlier post should be out for publication by early spring. Personally, I really dislike this stage of production, because, obviously, I am anxious to get t…

Pilot Knob

The pinnacle the two were climbing this hot August day was known locally as Pilot Knob. It was famous in the region, although no one knew for sure how the place got its name. Pilot Knob was the last great peak on the western edge of the Cumberland Plateau, which covered the eastern third of Kentucky, and the grand geologic feature marked the end of the rugged terrain of Eastern Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia. Here the mountains abruptly ended and gave way very noticeably to the much more level bluegrass region of Kentucky. The view from Pilot Knob was spectacular and it had been said that pioneer and explorer Daniel Boone first saw the beautiful rolling hills of Kentucky from this lofty view.             The smells of the deep, rich woodlands had now given way to the fresh scent of the many small Virginia pines that grow in abundance on the cliff tops. Will had learned many of the indigenous tree species and easily identified them along the way. He always enjoyed tryi…

Has it been found?

The book development is moving along.  The book is still in the edit phase and should  be ready for press just after the first of the year.  I had hoped to have everything done by the end of this year, but things have a way of changing plans.
     Many treasure hunters still search after the elusive Swift treasure even today.  Some have claimed to have found it and others claim to know where it is located.  I have never been convinced, yet, that anyone has actually found the treasure. On the other hand, if someone had made the actual discovery, would they tell about it?  Writing about this wonderful story has been a great project.  Most all locations mentioned in the book are actual places.  There are still other landmarks, such as the half moon pictured here, that have been mentioned in some versions of the Swift Journal that are not included in this story. Though historians may slightly be upset at the liberty I have taken with historical characters, I believe the reader will s…

Swift- A Novel Coming Soon

The legend says that men under the leadership of Captain John Swift were mining silver in the wilderness west of the Allegheny Mountains in mid 1700’s.   History records that one of Kentucky’s first pioneers, John Finley, established a trading store in the same region, also in the mid 1700’s.   The legendary silver mines have never been found nor have they been proven not to exist.   Historians face the same dilemma in that they cannot prove nor disprove the early pioneers did exactly what they claimed.   History is recalled from our minds, perhaps written down or photographed, but in the end history, legends and lore are all collections of recollections.  The current collection of history has been favorable to Daniel Boone and other early pioneers but has little regard for John Finley.  This was unfortunate.

Follow the Turkey Track - Excerpt from "Swift"

Finally, after what seemed like hours of driving, they reached the graveled parking lot and Rock Bridge picnic area. From the edge of the parking lot was the trail head. Will, Jennifer and Ray quickly grabbed a bottle of water each and headed down the trail. The Rock Bridge trail led the three adventurers off down a short half mile walk down the crest of a ridge. The obviously well used path brought the trio to one of the most famous and most unusual rock formations in all the country. Here the creek had completely eroded through the sandstone conglomerate rock creating a ‘rock bridge’ across the creek. Ray had seen it before and immediately scrambled up the rocky outcrop and made his way out on the bridge. In a matter of seconds Ray located the odd carving.             “Hey, here it is,” Ray yelled.             Will and Jennifer climbed up the rocks to see, for what they had traveled this far and spent a Saturday morning searching. Ray had seen this track before and wanted the others t…

Shawnee Town - Excerpt from "Swift"

Arrival at Eskippakithiki

The site of the Shawnee town was shocking to John Finely as they crossed over a low hill and the entire levels of the town came into full view. They had already greeted others along the path that were coming out from the town and saw other small parties of five and six hunters moving out in various directions. As they made their way into the village some took notice but seemed apathetic to the arrival of the group containing two white men. It simply was assumed that the warriors would not have brought trouble to this great town.
     Eskippakithiki was situated on a level plain at the foot hills of the last remnants of the mountains located to the east. The village was a scattering of long bark houses, the kind of permanent house most southeastern tribes built. Several poles were set in a general rectangular -shape, stockade style. Smaller rafter poles were arched for the roof. Mud, moss, leaves, dry grass and bark was mixed in random fashion to cover the ent…

The Journal

The Swift Journal

The legend of the lost silver mines of John Swift has been passed along from generation to generation.   There are many versions of the supposed journal left by Swift. Swift died in 1800 and wrote down the directions to the mines just before he died. Here are excerpts from the journal that is thought to be dated to 1859 and likely the oldest version.

“I was delayed in my search for the silver mines by the French and Indian War. I had known the Frenchman Munday, *several years by then. In 1760 we searched and found the mines but were unable to work them until the following year.   The first company in search of these mines were: Staley, Ireland, McClintock, Blackburn, myself and some friendly Shawnee Indians, with Munday as our guide into the wilderness.”

“The creek the furnace is in heads southwest and then runs northeast.  It is in a far and remote place in the west.  It abounds with laurel.  It is so rough and rocky that it is nearly impossible to get horses to the fu…

About the Legend

Currently, I am finishing up the edits and fine tuning my new novel entitled Swift. The novel chronicles the tale of three friends who accidentally discover clues to the hidden treasure. The background history about the legend is presented in a unique approach which gives readers an understanding of the legend.

The Legend of John Swift Silver Mines has touched many lives over the years and many people have spent fortunes searching for the elusive treasure.  Countless theories have been proposed and almost as many supposed journals that describe the secret location of the mines and caches of counterfeit coins.  There are a number of websites that briefly describe the Swift legend and the mystery has been written about in newspapers over and over again.

I invite anyone interested, knowledgeable or curious to join in on this site. You are encouraged to share your thoughts and ideas, ask questions or simply follow this site. We will be announcing the book release date and provide links to…