Revolutionary War-era sword, missing for 40 years, now found

Revolutionary War-era sword found

MIAMI TOWNSHIP, Ohio (FOX19) - A Revolutionary War-era sword that went missing from the Cincinnati Historical Society 40 years ago has been found.

A Harrison-Symmes Memorial Foundation board member happened upon the sword while browsing auctions online.

The sword holds special significance for members of the foundation board—and for Hamilton County residents as well.

More than two-hundred years ago, the sword belonged to John Cleves Symmes.

Symmes, a delegate to the Continental Congress from New Jersey and a pioneer in the Northwest Territory, settled in North Bend, Ohio. He is the namesake of the Village of Cleves.

Symmes was also the father-in-law of U.S. President William Henry Harrison, who is buried in North Bend.

Harrison, according to Harrison-Symmes Memorial Foundation board member Beverly Myers, is one of the reasons the foundation exists—to collect and preserve memorabilia from the former president.

Which brings us back to the sword.

“It started with John Cleves Symmes,” Myers explained. “It was his sword to begin with.”

The sword next passed to President Harrison, who wore it during his inauguration, according to the Enquirer.

It would be owned, if not carried, by five of his descendants.

The Cincinnati Historical Society came into possession of the sword sometime later. Then around 40 years ago—between 1978 and 1980—the sword went missing.

It remained missing until last weekend, when a foundation board member discovered the sword was set to be auctioned away on Oct. 25 at a gallery in Windsor, Conn.

The minimum starting bid was $15,000.

Police stepped in, however, and the sword was taken off the auction block.

A Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office deputy retrieved the sword Friday morning, the Enquirer reports. As to who stole it and how it made its way to Connecticut, that remains a mystery.

The Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating.

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